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Ice Climbing: It's Kick-AXE

Ice Climbing: It's Kick-AXE

Ice climbing is a lot like rock climbing - Instead of grabbing on to cracks and rock ledges with your hands, you dig tools into ice and frozen waterfalls that have formed over the rock.


Obviously, you'll need to love being in the cold if you want to learn to ice climb. Don't go out and buy all the expensive equipment to ice climb just yet. Take a lesson from a knowledgeable instructor and learn all the skills first - you can rent all the equipment that you'll need.

When you climb ice, you'll use an ice axe to hold yourself up and to chop away the ice and make steps for your feet. You'll need special boots that are stiff enough to support your ankles. You'll also wear crampons - the spikes that attach to your boots.

You'll need a harness, warm clothes, several pairs of gloves, ropes, ice screws, and a helmet (for obvious reasons).

Ice climbing is the sport for you if you're feeling especially adventurous and have a lot of time on your hands. It's difficult and takes a few winters to learn and get the hang of.

And did I mention dangerous? The ice is surprisingly strong enough to hold you up, even if the axe and crampons only go in a centimeter or so, but there's always the risk of the ice cracking or falling on you - hence the need for the helmet.


Many people have been involved in ice climbing accidents - but check out this guy in Keene, New York. He survived a 100 foot plunge off a mountain, breaking only a few bones.

Fit's Tips: Learn to climb with other women. Check out Chicks With Picks - you can join them for ice climbing clinics. After a day of ice climbing with like-minded and supportive women, relax and unwind in front of a fire or soak your sore muscles in the local hot springs. I like the sound of that.

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