Skill and confidence in ice climbing comes from long practice. If you can link up with a steady partner, so much the better. Practice together often. Work on pinpoint ice-tool and crampon placement, which conserves energy so you can meet the rigors of serious routes. Also work to increase the speed and efficiency of your climbing, gearing it to the conditions of the ice and the current strength of your body. Learn to determine when you and your partner should rope up for protection—and when it's safer not to. An experienced ice climber learns these skills and applies them with confidence and good judgment.

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