Ice climbing is a sport in which athletes climb vertical ice formations, like a frozen waterfalls or cliffs covered with ice, with the use of ropes and other protective gear.
Besides the equipment used for traditional rock climbing, ice climbers also use some additional equipment like, adze, traditional or leashless ice tool, crampons (mono or dual point), and ice screws.
The two most common techniques used for climbing are:
- Flat footing: Where feat is opened up so the crampons are pointed right onto the ice.
- Front pointing: Where the front crampons are pierced right onto the ice.
Some of the other techniques used by climbers are, Cane, Cross-body, Low dagger, High dagger, Anchor, and Traction.
Some of the common practices used for navigating the routes are, rope systems - using single or double rope systems, tying-in - attaching the rope to harness, belaying - where fixed or running belays are used, leading - where a leader climbs first followed by others, abseiling - where a fixed rope is used to descend, and lowering - descend using a belayer.
Ice climbing courses vary based on height, angle and the total pitches in the climb, and are classified into nine grades, each of which progressively increases in difficulty.
- Sport Climbing — rock climbing compeititions, can be Lead Climbing, Speed Climbing or Bouldering.
- Para-climbing — sports rock climbing for disabled athletes
- Mountaineering — the sport of mountain climbing