Accessories

In addition to clothing and hardware, a number of other items are, at various times, essential for ice climbing.

A ham«» far alpine ke dimbing should ha either lightly padded or not padded at oN and have adjustable leg loops. A chest harness should be added for extensive gloder travel. ¡Photo: /an Tomlinson)

A head lamp is often useful, on short winter days or for predawn alpine starts. Lithium-powered lights shine many times longer than those powered by regular batteries, but they are expensive and require special bulbs. Alkaline batteries are next best, and cheaper. Batteries stored near the body will last much longer than those exposed directly to the cold in a pack. A harness with adjustable leg loops will accommodate a variety of clothing. For glacier travel a chest harness, used in conjunction with a sit harness, is a good idea to reduce the chance of a broken back caused by a heavy pack. A closed-cell-foam-insulated water bottle, or a thermos, will keep liquids from becomingundrink-able solids.

A map and compass—and at least rudimentary knowledge of how to use them—will help you navigate in a whiteout.

An altimeter can tell you how high you have climbed, or warn of a change in weather. A thermometer can tell you just how cold you really are, while an inclinometer lets you know just how steep the ice really isn't! A small repair kit, with a file, spare picks, wrenches for tools and crampons, and so forth, is a smart idea.

A first-aid kit is always advisable. A helmet with a U1AA certification label may forestall the use of the first-aid kit. A mechanical belay/rappel device is essential. A mechanical ascender that positively grips icy ropes is a useful option to replace the prusik knot in glacier travel.

A lightweight shovel is essential for freeing victims from avalanches or digging a snow cave. Snowshoes or skis ease approaches and/or descents in deep snow.

A pack is necessary to carry clothing, equipment, food, and drink. You probably already own a small pack for rock climbing, which will do fine as you start out,- but if you choose to buy a pack for ice

U1aa Helmet Rockclimbing

A good ice-climbing pud hoi the folowring feature!: medium to large cecity {3,300 tabic inches for a day to 6,000 cubic inches for Himalayan alpine-ityle climbs); an easily accessible place to <vry two ke axes, crompons, rope, skis, and shovel; an «dfc*fable but (ghtweiglrt frame and harness system; son* expansion capability for oversized loads; durable but lightweight coaled Uric double-stl tdted, taped seams; # & or larger tippers. (Wrote Grej Low»)

A good ice-climbing pud hoi the folowring feature!: medium to large cecity {3,300 tabic inches for a day to 6,000 cubic inches for Himalayan alpine-ityle climbs); an easily accessible place to <vry two ke axes, crompons, rope, skis, and shovel; an «dfc*fable but (ghtweiglrt frame and harness system; son* expansion capability for oversized loads; durable but lightweight coaled Uric double-stl tdted, taped seams; # & or larger tippers. (Wrote Grej Low»)

climbing, it should have these features: padded adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt; load-stabilizing straps at waist belt and top of shoulder straps; compression straps on sides of pack bag, convenient attachment points for axes, crampons, skis, and so forth,- and a removable foam pad or internal frame.

After all this talk of exotic equipment and clothing, 1 want to reemphasize that owning the latest and greatest ice-climbing paraphernalia is not the goal. To get started, you can use army surplus woolies or old ski clothes, purchase well-cared-for used axes and crampons, and take off for the snowy hills.

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