Climbing Without Crampons

Climbing gentle ice slopes without crampons is balance climbing, moving up from one position of balance to the next. At each point of balance, your inside (uphill) foot is in front of and above the trailing outside (downhill) leg, which is fully extended so you can put most of your weight on the bone of that leg, minimizing muscular effort. The axe, in your uphill hand, moves only after your body and feet are in balance, and your feet move only after the axe has been moved forward. As you climb, look for irregularities in the surface of the ice to use as footholds.

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