Techniques Of Ice Climbing

A rock climber taking up ice climbing may find some striking similarities in the two pursuits. In both, climbers progress by moving their weight from one point of balance to another, support themselves as much as possible on their legs, and plan several moves in advance, climbing "with their eyes." On ice, as on rock, climbers use surface features, seeking out buckets and protrusions for handholds, footholds, and ice-tool placements. Of course, the differences are at least as striking. Ice climbers must rely on hand tools and on crampons. They learn to make do with anchors that can be uncertain, and they work in a medium that changes throughout the day and throughout the season.

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