THE 10 ICE CLIMBING ESSENTIALS

Which are the 10 essentials you should have for an ice climbing adventure? 

Grip, performance and insulation may lead your chioce for what you may have with you for your winter adventures. Let’s discover together the 10 climbing essentials we suggest to you!

1. BOOTS


Get the most performing boot for your adventure! Boots specifically designed for ice climbing adventures may guarantee both the best insulation for your feet, the best comfort and protection during the activity.  

The ASOLO Eiger XT EVO GV presents an outer gaiter in Schoeller Soft Shell which ensures lightness and abrasion resistance while the Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Footwear lining guarantees insulation, waterproofing and breathability. The YKK zip closure is a fast and gloves friendly closure system while the Pu rand and the rubber toe cap offer the maximum protection. The internal shell is made of different materials (Cordura-microfibre-fabric-non-woven-Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Footwear) and offers lightness, comfort and protection. The six-layer carbonfibre footbed gives the best support and stiffness while the microporous midsole and Vibram Litebase rubber outsole sole with Mont compound guarantee lightness, grip and precision. The model is fully compatible with the automatic crampons.

2. CRAMPONS


Crampons are a must to have to climb on ice walls! They allow you to cross glaciers, climb frozen waterfalls and scale ice-smeared rock. Semi-rigid construction with horizontal frames are the rule to choose the perfect product and note that the modern crampons are lighter and better fitting than before.


The GRIVEL G20 Plus is a revolutionary, ultra-ligh crampon, designed for ice, mixed climbing and dry tooling. It has a central point in forged steel which significantly improves the penetration and the strength of the front teeth plus two reinforced central points that can be used on particular icy structures or as retention points. The position of each point is designed to provide greater stability in all climbing positions and on all forms of ice. It has only one Antibott system in the back to reduce weight to a minimum. The bar characterizes the product by providing both rigidity and simplified adjustment system for all sizes.

3. ICE AXES

Do not understimate the ice specific tools! Ice-climbing axes, designed for climbing frozen waterfalls, icefalls or ice-covered slabs of rock have to be short offering the best comfort in using it to penetrate ice. Usually they are used in pairs and it is recommended to have also the leash to secure and not lose it. 

Ultimate technical ice axe designed for ice-climbing, the GRIVEL Dark Machine has a G-bone carbon composite shaft and full carbon handle that ensure lightness, extreme toughness and durability. It measures 49 cm and weighs only 490 grams, it offers a higher balance point, that allows a much better swing.

The head is compatible with VARIO System, an innovative light and modular system for interchangeable blades which allow to choose between different blade construction technologies and to perform the best combination to front any type of terrain.

4. HARNESS


Get the perfect harness for your iceclimbing adventure! More adjustable leg loops and more gear loops may be considered to choose the harness for the ice climbing activity. 


The mountaineering harness which better combines the required lightweight and the comfort for climbers during the activity is PETZL Sitta, designed for skilled climbers and mountaineers, the thin and flexible waistbelt keeps your movement completely unhindered. Four gear loops allow you to carry all the gear you need to climb ice and the reinforced tie-in-points are designed to provide long-lasting resistance to rope friction.  It is also very compact when stored in your backpack.

5. HELMET AND CLIMBING ROPES


Safety on ice climbing may depend also form the technical gears and tools you decide to use. The helmet and the ropes are two of the main items you may have for your security; the first one protects you from ice falling or impact and the rope stretch to absorb the impact of a falling climber. 

Providing ultralight, low-profile protection, unparalleled ventilation and a secure and super-comfortable fit, the BLACK DIAMOND Vapor helmet has a sheet of Kevlar and a series of carbon rods in between co-molded EPS foam and a polycarbonate shell to keep the weight at a minimum while keeping you protected. It has also removable headlamp clips to secure your light on pre-dawn starts or when rapping after dark and a ratchet adjuster with molded push buttons that let you to compact storage in your pack or haul bag. 

Ideal for long alpine routes and tricky weather conditions, the BLACK DIAMOND 7.9 Dry Climbing Rope features a burly sheath that uses a 2X2 weave construction to lengthen the rope's lifespan and a dry treated core and sheath which protects it from the inside out against moisture. With easily identifiable middle markers, the 7.9's could be in 60 or 70 metres, and it is specifically designed to be used in pairs as half ropes or twins for an alpine or ice climbing set-up. Neither too stiff nor too soft, the 7.9 rope was built to assure both durability and great handling, giving you a great feeling rope that knots easily, feeds through your belay device with ease, yet holds up to a barrage of use.

6. BACKPACK


Lightweight, comfort, narrow profile and specialized tool loops or pocket are the perfect requirements for the perfect daypack for ice climbing adventure. With a capacity of among 36 and 50 litres, let you have the right space for the additional clothing and gear you may need.


Intelligently-featured climbing pack for summer ascents or ice climbing in winter, you can load the 48L OSPREY Mutant 22 backpack like a bucket for your gear; it has a reinforced base and haul system and it can be easily opened by a reverse opening top and glove friendly zipper. It presents the snow-shedding fabric backpanel, side ski carry loops and dual ToolLock system which allows a quick and secure ice axe attachment. When carrying a harness, the webbing hipbelt can be reverse wrapped or removed if preferred and a top compression strap under the lid can be threaded outwards to double as a rope-stay. 

7. FIRST LAYERS


The ODLO Active Thermic base layer are crafted with the Active Thermic technology by ODLO which regenerates your body heat to create constant, reliable warmth when on the move and helps you maintaining your ideal personal climate even in chargeable conditions. The ZeroScent-treated apparel limits bacteria build-up and controls odours, while the fabric's moisture wicking properties, keep your skin dry and warm. 

The pants are made with a super soft fabric for excellent long-wear comfort and they are made to fit next-to-skin; you can stay warm, comfortable and fresh. The Long-Sleeve base layer is made from soft fabrics and stitching, allowing for maximum comfort when worn under mid layers and jackets. It’s incredibly versatile and it is made to fit next-to-skin, as well.

THORLO ST Mountain Climbing socks are specifically engineered to deliver the maximum protection and comfort for any mountaineer with its unique padding specifically designed for activities in sub zero weather. The socks are constructed with ThorLon blended with thermal fibers for extra insulation, superior softness, resilience, durability and moisture-wicking and it has a 100% wool toe for maximum warmth, and low profile toe seam which don’t rub or irritate feet. More, it offers a cushioned instep and arch for a better fit, more support and less pressure on the feet for a more comfort.

8. CLOTHING

Pay attention to your winter climbing clothing! Layers are fundamental as well as the warmth, waterproofness and comfort may be assured from the clothes you are going to wear.

Here are our suggestions:

The long-sleeves PATAGONIA Capilene Cool Merino Shirt is designed to naturally keep you comfortable during the activity. The soft and next-to-skin blended fabric made from a blend of 65% RWS-certified merino wool and 35% recycled polyester, wicks moisture, dries fast, naturally regulates your temperature and resists odor. It has also set-in sleevers which enhance movement and fit guaranteeing the mobility for the climber.

The PATAGONIA Dual Aspect Bibs are a waterproof and breathable hard shell garment, designed for mountaineering activities in the most demanding weather conditions, thanks to their pre-formed pattern which offers the maximum freedom of movement. The shell fabric in H2No Performance Standard 3-layer with a slick jersey backer and a waterproof barrier, while the stretchy bibs and the suspenders in 100% polyester are secure and enhance comfort while wearing a harness. The stash pocket in the bib, the watertight zippers and the built-in RECCO Reflector are additional advantages for the choice of this model.

A cool-weather crosslayer is the PATAGONIA R1 Tech Face Jacket. Thanks to its lightweight double-weave fabric, is soft, warm next-to-skin without trapping heat and it is designed for a wide range of movement thanks to the stretch fabric. Face is durable and treated with a durable water repellent finish to shed moisture, that assures abrasion and weather resistance. Low-bulk, snag-resistant cuffs with stretch knit provide versatile coverage and comfort. The two welted, high handwarmer pockets have cleanly finished zipper garages and are harness- pack-compatible and a dual-adjust cord-lock system at hem seals in warmth.

The PATAGONIA Triolet Jacket leverages waterproof, breathable and windproof 3-layer GORE-TEX fabric delivers versatile, durable performance. The Optimal Visibility Hood with laminated visor is helmet-compatible and two-way-adjustable to provide good visibility in difficult conditions; more, RECCO reflector is concealed for the safety in case of incidents. It also has two Napoleon chest pockets, two welted handwarmer pockets which stay clear of a harness or pack waistbelt and low-profile cuffs use a tapered tab hook-and-loop closure for a tight wrist seal. In the end, low-back elasticized strap connects to some alpine pants help to prevent jacket from riding up.

9. HARSH WEATHER PROTECTION


The BLACK DIAMOND Punisher gloves are the comfortable, warm and versatile climbing gloves for long days, hard climbing and variable conditions. It has a 100-gram PrimaLoft Gold insulation on the back of the hand and 190-gram fixed fleece lining for guarantee the best warmth. The TPU knuckle patch protects against abrasion and an ice tool specific, pre-curved fit provides a secure grip; the innovative "seamless pinky" construction (the seam on the pinky is removed) increases the level of comfort when hanging on the tool and the 4-way stretch shell at the fingers make for a dexterous, supple feel while climbing. Moreover, a waterproof BD.dry insert protects against wet ice while the leather palm patch and suede nose wipe add grip and comfort. 

Built with light, stretchy and weather-resistant Soft-Shell fabric for high-output pursuits, the BLACK DIAMOND LightWeight Softshell gloves offer dynamic, highly breathable protection whilst in cold conditions. More, simple stretch cuffs keep cold air out and make for easy on and off and they also offer gloves-on touchscreen functionality. 


Sport style hat ideal for winter activities, the BUFF Polar Beanie EcoStretch hat is made of two layers for better protect from the cold. Made using recycled materials and designed for breathability and to stay warm in winter. The fleece fabric provides warmth with an extremely soft and gentle feeling and the Primaloft fabric - the highest warmth-to-weight ratio of any synthetic insulation – gives softness, durability and high-loft.

10. FIRST-AID KIT


Ice, snow and cold weather are unpredictable! Get prepared for pack a first-aid kit also for the daily activities; don’t forget to bring with you the necessary medical supplies, an emergency thermal blanket and a fire lighter, as well.

A must for every mountaneering daily backpack, ORTOVOX develops emergency products that can save lives in an emergency. The ORTOVOX First Aid Waterproof Mini is completely waterproof and can thus be used in all weathers. A practical roll-top enables quick access to the contents. There is also space for any of your own medical additions. The kit contents are nearly divided between two compartments and illustrations and captions provide information on the contents, together with important first aid tips.  

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