ice is nice or a Taste of ICE CLIMBING of a true warrior
The Truth about Ice Kingdom
"I was speechless, terrified, amazed, and puzzled , but within last 25 years of exploration i still discovering a new hidden treasures of the icy kingdom.. A magnificent world for a curious soul.."

» The land of Vikings is worth to visit by all means!
Iceland Aftermath
Our intentions to plan a trip to Iceland have got a pretty long story. After a successful ice climbing trip to Rjukan/ Norway, where we tick all the hardest lines and haven't been smashed by the falling daggers and avalanches, because of the rising temperatures we start to plan a trip to Iceland.
So, we suddenly decided, that the time has come and packed our racks and ropes for the trip into unknown.
Mostly every time, when we plan to climb somewhere there is a guidebook with topos, lines, description, GPS coordinates, tracks, accommodations, possible descent and all the above, but there is little data about Iceland. All we have to consider was some articles on, UKC, and Instagram about the first unknown ascents or expeditions by top climbers to the unknown land, like an ice Vikings!
We were lucky to find a home domain of the Icelandic alpine club, where we got a clue about possibilities for ice climbing, conditions, and descriptions. ( )
The home page will tell you about the crags and ice lines, but without any descriptions or details ( as current conditions, reports, how to descent, approach, where to find), just a scheme or a photo of the crag and the line itself. It was helpful, but...
The current climate change is playing hard with the extreme temps in BC ( up to – 50 C) to +8 in Norway and Iceland with the rain and breeze from the Northern Sea...
We book the tickets in advance and arrived at Reykjavik. The National Weather Bureau issued a warning yellow hazard notification for the West and East of Iceland ( Strong winds and Smashing Rain )…
But we were prepared and was eager to explore. We drove to The West Region National Park and then Eastern and found the remote virgin ice on the North – East and Western walls with the 90 minutes approach, or 45-60 for the fast pace group.
The Ice looked nice, a bit thinner, as it looked like from the road, but nicely structured. The lines were solid, but thin, with the running water inside out.
As a tip for future Ice Vikings: Bring Binoculars or Monocular with a nice zoom 20-50, it will defo ease the whole process of exploration, as we drove through the desert landscapes, we saw a few wild lines with a 2-3h approach, and truly speaking there are not in any guidebooks.
The average winter in Iceland is 3-4 solid weeks with -7-8 temps or lower, but this season in West and east side the winter was only 2 weeks and very mild.
We haven't explored the Northern Territories this time as its 6-8h drive one way to get there. Taking into account our experience we will definitely come back in the future to tackle some of the classics with more time under the belt!
The land of Vikings is worth to visit by all means!
Art and Photography, Geothermal tech and Geysers, Beautiful landscapes, Waterfalls, and national Parks, ice and Rock climbing, meditation in the wilderness, wild camping, extreme trekking and off-road adventures for all of you, who are ready to take a challenge!

Photo credit @alexorlovclimbingpt & @budchawla

The land of Vikings is worth to visit by all means!

Are You on a Dark Side?
They did it again!
Grivel once again are showing, that they are innovators and are following the demands of the X-treme albinism, mixte and competition climbing.
Since 1818 , they are truly inspired by the nature, difficulty and new materials in production of the high - tech gear for the all level alpinist and mountain Lovers.
Now they release a new babies : " The Dark Machine " and "The Dark Machine X ", with amazing light shafts and nice balanced heads, that will be crucial on playing safely on the ice and mixte terrain.
At a very light weight 470gr and 480gr respectively, they will become a nice choice of the Top Athlete and mountain climbers .
Bring it on!
Source : orsnowshow

One of the best Routes on Grandes Jorasses, ED2

The classics of the North Faces - Mclntyre / Colton

Enjoy the short film of the ascend from Heike & Tanya Schmitt & Matthias Scherer


Are you a dreamer? Are you looking for the virgin ice up far North?

Iceland - the mysterious land of tales and folklore. Magnificent ice daggers and pure nature for many kilometers. Total wilderness!

Where to go ice climbing in Iceland

and the main source of Icelandic Iceclimbing

Confessions of an Ice Climbing Junkie

Most of my heroes are dead. I have been ice climbing for over twenty-five years. Climbing is a dangerous game but ice climbing and alpinism are even more so. Well-known climbers like Guy Lacelle, Ueli Steck, Craig Luebben, Alex Lowe, Sue Nott, and Karen McNeill had a big impact on me. I still hold them all on a high pedestal, but they are gone. A very good friend lies in the hospital right now fighting for his life. I shed tears thinking about it. Yet despite all this, I still want to climb ice and to climb hard. Check this

Robert Jasper and M11/WI5/6. Trad gear ! In perfect style. Kandersteg. Anyone?

Some of the US Ice Festivals - safe the date!

Ice climbing continues to grow! And with it are several 'mark your calendars NOW' events that bring us climbers together for fun, friends, ice climbing, and usually lots of beer. Check out the starred events to get your hands on it...

Lavagen Ice Climbing: Photo Report

a land where ice fills the valleys from November to April, where alpine ridges and huge icy walls rise from the sea, and where around every corner more potential awaits. Sound like a winter climbing paradise? It not only exists, but is only a days travel from the UK. Welcome to Arctic Norway.

Are you ready to climb at the remote destination close to the Arctic Circle?
Norway - Island of Senja!

A super ice climbing in a remote adventure land of Vikings!

Feb - March 2019

Are you brave to join in?
Robert Jasper and M11/WI5/6. Trad gear ! In perfect style. Kandersteg. Anyone?


Some Great tips of how to stay safe and sound to climb and protect the steeper mixed ground.
Be Bold & Stay RAD & Safe!

So, The winter have started already in Canada with good ice formation. Just to keep heads on - if you still do not have any ice tools to play with , here is the great example of how to choose them ! Stay Rad!

Popular Locations for Ice Climbing in Canada
  • Bon Echo Rock in Napanee, Ontario is a 100 m (325 ft) rock face rising out of the Mazinaw Lake. Established rock and ice climbing routes include Sweet Dreams, The Joke, and Veriginous which can only be reached by water.
  • The "Weeping Wall" along the Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies offers a smorgasbord of ice climbing routes. It has grades ranging from MI3 to MI6 with upper and lower tiers.
  • Dufresne Regional Park in Quebec has 650 climbing routes ranging from 10 m (32.5 ft) to 130 m (422 ft).
  • Terminator Wall in Alberta is just past the town of Canmore. There are vertical routes such as Terminator, Replicant, and Sea of Vapours in the MI6 to MI7 range.
  • The Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Alpine Club of Canada have reached an agreement for ice climbing the Niagara Escarpment at Tews Falls and Tiffany Falls. A waiver must be signed.
  • Cascade Falls is a 300 m (975 ft) ice climb in MI4 range. If you're looking for warm weather ice climbing in Canada, this is the spot as the sun shines bright here.
  • Louise Falls at Lake Louise, Alberta is 110 m (357 ft) climb at WI4 to WI5. As you reach the summit you can relax with a pint at Chateau Lake Louise.
  • Canadian ice climbing is becoming one of the more popular winter activities in Canada among mountaineers and rock climbers. The most challenging and most popular areas for ice climbing in Canada are the Rocky Mountains.

Canada Popular Ice climbing destinations
WOLVERINE and W11 by Klemen Premrl
As far as I know, there are no WI8 or WI9 routes out there, but I might be mistaken. In truth I can't really compare Wolverine to Leichtfried's Centercourt WI 7+ or Gadd's Second Choice WI 7+, or for that matter any other ice route that I've climbed so far. Wolverine is simply so different and much, much harder. You can only compare it to Spray on WI10. And you can also compare the difficulty of Wolverine to other mixed routes in the range of M 11.
The climbing style is closer to that of mixed routes, but this certainly doesn't make Wolverine a mixed route, it is still a proper ice climb. It's protected by bolts and this removes some of the seriousness of the climbing, but you still climb ice and this, at least to me, makes it an ice climb. Every single move or placement is on ice, so the most obvious thing is to choose ice grading system (WI). Grade 11 is a bit controversial, that is true, but Wolverine is physically much harder than any other ice route I've climbed so far!
In short: Wolverine is bolted route, graded WI 11. Which means that the route is an ice climb, protected by bolts, and that the climbing will most probably feel harder than Spray on, and as hard as some M11 routes... that's all there is to it! You can only climb a route, not a grade. Will Gadd summarized it all perfectly: "At the end we always come to one simple point: They are what they are, and if you are up to the challenge you will do it, and if you are not, you will fall off, and that is enough for me."

Canadian mountain guide John Freeman describes how he survived one of the craziest ice-climbing falls ever recorded when a pillar of ice he was climbing detached from the cliff face. Footage from a helmet-cam shows Freeman in Alberta, Canada, falling hundreds of feet when the ice crumbles away. He slides off it and walks away unharmed

Ice Axes: How to choose your extreme companion? When the weigh is good or weightless is even better?
Scrolling the web last recent days, I have come across several discussions about how to choose the ice ax and what is the main principle of it.
Hi, nICE question. For the 25 years of alpine (ED 2) and waterfall ice climbing (WI6/7), including hard mixte and drytooling up to M10/11 I have used loads of tools and modifications.
That's a nICE question if you ask me.
Before you start surfing the web or asking Google what your best option is I strongly recommend you answer basic questions and think about your routes, future projects, lines, budget, and kit.
Let's walk together, and answer this questions one by one.
1. Why do you need them? What type of activity do you want to do, using them?
2. Is this ice axe should be all – rounder (AR)? or It should serve only a specific task?
3. What is your level of expertise in activity? Alpine? Ice climbing? Drytooling?
4. What is your fitness level?
5. How many climbing specific days do you do per season (3 months) or a year?
6. Do you need it for work or hobby?
7. Weight
8. Budget
The last 2 questions are connected.
So let's assume, that you just started a mountain climbing hobby venture and adrenaline kicks in.
If you will gain your experience with MG (Mountain Guides) you will be provided with the set of gear and axes ( a big plus, that you could test it). Also, a Ice festival is a great place to test the tools and choose from the mass loads of them, which is the best suits your hand, image, and budget.
If the Guiding is not an option for you, then make your choice with your future plans and budget, as you could simply rent the ice axes mostly in any Mountain resorts and towns from the Outdoor shops.
If your goal is:
1. General mountaineering (Just in case it's walking on glaciers, mountain ridges (snow and Ice), snow slopes - than classic mountain axe is your choice ( when you crab it by your straight hand and align it by your side, the end of the axe should touch your lower ankle. So, the length of it will be around 55/60cm long. straight shaft with a bit of curve towards the head, a good once are coming with the removable fang to support your grip, when you need to climb.
2. General Mountaineering Plus. The same, as above + climbing snow/ice up to 50-70 degrees (short sections) or WI (Waterfall Ice up to Grade 4/5), then the set of the tools/axes should be a bit different and you need a pair, instead of one.
Examples: PETZL GULLY ( 280GR) PETZL SUMTEC ( 470GR), BD SWIFT ( 487/526GR)
3. If you start to progress with Alpine climbing and want more from the winter, then hard mixte or drytooling and Waterfall Projects will start to be on your list. These ice axes/ice tools more curved and shaped, "T" rated (Technical), more robust and specifically fine-tuned for the task. There is a set of ( AR ) of tools, but frankly speaking, the more routes and years under your belt, the more you could do with just a 1 pair of tools.
Examples: BD VIPER ( 570GR), PETZL NOMIC (658GR), BD FUSION/FUEL (702/655GR)
4. Specific tasks/events. What is specific tasks and events? Off-piste ski and snowboarding, ski touring, high altitude mountaineering. Specific tasks – drytooling, competition climbing and hard mixte.
Examples for Ski touring and Off-piste skiing /snowboarding : PETZL RIDE (248GR)
Examples of high altitude mountaineering: PETZL GULLY (280GR), ICE ROCK ICE IDOL ( 188GR)
Examples of competitions: ICE ROCK ASPEED ( 475GR)
Examples for hard tooling/mixte WI 6/7 climbing: PETZL ERGO (645GR), PETZL NOMIC (658GR), BD FUSION/FUEL (702/655GR), GRIVEL TECH MACHINE ( 630GR), CASSIN X-DREAM ( 590GR), BD COBRA (588GR)
5. Budget: Generally you will find tools/ice axes from £70 ( ice axe ) to £600 and even more for the pair.
Based on my experience you need to decide what is your future gains and aims will look like. If you could afford 2 pairs, then it's easy : If you will be climbing general alpine route with more walking, then Petzl Gully (weight of a pair is around 600gr, with the possibility to climb if needed up to WI4/short WI5), or BD Viper, Petzl Quark - more a bit of both, but heavier and its more technical tool, so you are equipped for all-round stuff, but it will be hard to climb modern mixte bolted lines, because of the curve of the shaft. If during winter you will be specifically tooling or hard ice /waterfall climbing then Nomics, Fusions, Fuels, or Reactors, Ergo, as the curve of the shaft is specifically designed for it. So 1 pair is good, but you need to fine-tune your technique or fitness for it, or 2 pairs, that gives you a bit of slack, 3 pairs - specifically designed for the task. Like an ultimate weapon. So if you break your aims into specific goals /routes, years, seasons, then a weight of your kit will be a question and could you climb the specific route with any of the ice axes.
As a resume:
For general mountaineering /ski touring /WI2-3 Petzl Gully, it's weightless, all other options will be 500/700 heavier.
Then intermediate mountaineering /mixte. Alpine/WI - Viper, Sumtec and all other sorts of it.
Nomics (AR), Fuels and Fusions (AR),
Expert tools - specific tasks
Ergo, Tech Machine, Reactors, Fusions, Skeletons, Aspeeds and all sorts of curve tools.
Where to buy:
As for buying tools - look on eBay and Gear exchange on Facebook, you will have a nice tool, axe, the only blade needs to be sharpened or after you will buy a new blade. So you could have a pair for the price of a new one. Same for the blades. After a couple of seasons or years, you will be looking for another pair, as I guess your skills, agility, and appetite will grow for harder alpine and will be driven by special needs.

Have a nICE CLIMB! Have a look at the images HERE
Why is Ice nICE?

Its almost a third decade to come soon, as I am climbing the frozen windmills of the vertical flying circus on the unpredictable terrain. Each year, each waterfall/icefall and destination and place have its own climate or microclimate, air temperature, wind direction, altitude, air pressure and humidity.
Each region has its own history and trends and moreover, it starts to change in the past few years, because of the ecology, making our ice climbing life easier, than ever, as the climate starts to chill down, despite frying up Global warming prediction of many experts... What can I say, for us ice climbers - the winters started to be longer and the season starts nowadays earlier, than ever before. You could start a warming up ascents in October and proceed climbing until late April or even late May. But, let's do one step at a time and differentiate ice as a structure or route and how it builds up and what is the category nowadays of it …
Let's define waterfall ice ( WI ) from Icefalls / glassier ice and alpine ice at first, as the alpine or glassier ice mostly forms, as a melting snow high above at altitude, because of the air temperature and pressure.

But how literally the waterfall could freeze mid flow you would ask?
If you have a bit of time and you are curious, like me about the things, you could sit at the bank of the waterfall, when the air temperature starts to fall to minus 'C single numbers and observe the following : the water in the river/stream that supplies water to the waterfall supercools (when water experiences a temperature less than its freezing point without becoming a solid) when the temperature dips below the freezing point (around -6/8 degrees Celsius).
This results in a gradual slowing down of the flow as water molecules begin to stick to each other and form tiny, solid particles of 'frazil ice'. Frazil ice, which has an oily appearance when seen on the surface of the water, is a cluster of loose, randomly-oriented ice crystals shaped like tiny needles. It usually forms in rivers, lakes, oceans, and other water bodies containing turbulent, open and supercooled water.
These frazil ice discs cluster together and adhere to nearby surfaces, so in free-falling waterfalls, these discs attach to the overhang, whereas in waterfalls that flow down a cliff, the discs cling on to the cold rocks. Provided that the temperature stays at that level for a long enough time, frazil ice forms an anchor at the spot where the water drops from the rocks and begins to grow downwards, creating a column as tall as the height from which the waterfalls. The longer – the better ( it could be free standing columns), or Ice daggers, that are hanging mid in the air ( crazy "Flying Circus" ). After enough time passes, the entire waterfall appears to have frozen, making for a picturesque, but extremely surreal sight.
Although the process only occurs under cold conditions ( -6/-8 'C) and takes quite a bit of time ( at least several days of consistency low temperatures ) to bring a flowing water body to a complete standstill.

There are numerous factors, that are playing a major role in ice formation: 1) Temperature – not too cold, not to warm, these complex, intricate structures of crystalized ice build over time as the temperature continues to fall, and It needs to be a gradual process. 2) Time and consistency: A plummet in temperature for a week and the ice stops building, the ice may look great but there's no structure to it. It's brittle and has little to support itself. If it stays brutally cold, then perhaps the lower venues, where it's a few degrees warmer will start to come good. Too warm for too long, then it's a late bloomer with many of the lower venues possibly not even forming at all and climbing at a high venue where it's colder is key. A dry autumn with no snow means it could be a lean season with little seepage and only the main water courses coming into condition early on. Early snow may offer a good feed to many of the ice routes if you get a good melt-freeze cycle of weather.
Every season is different and that's what makes climbing the frozen waterfalls so special. Conditions change year to year and even day to day, so understanding how the ice has been formed, what the weather has been like over the past weeks before you head out and what's going on in the 'here and now' is key. Temperature is the biggest factor in the quality of ice and how safe the icefall is. Be mindful also of the snow that's built upon slopes above the icefall. The sun impacting that snow, the wind that cross-loads any bowls or gullies you may be climbing, both before and on that day. Don't plan too far ahead, but follow the weather and conditions and see how the ice is forming during this season.

So, now we know, how the WI is build up.
Let's define the waterfall grades ( how easy, or hard, or even complicated is to climb the waterfall will be ) and also when we should or shouldn't climb it and what are the major details we should be looking for to stay safe...
Let's look closely at the WI grades:
WI 1: Walk up with crampons on. No tools required. No moves, tools swing etc.
WI 2: Tool is required. A pitch of 60º-70º ice, reasonably consistent, with a few short steep steps; good protection and belays all the way. Good rest position and belay.
WI 3: Sustained 70º-80º ice, usually fat and "plastic" (great for tool handling). May have short, steep sections (5-7m), but with good resting places; good protection and belays. Often requires some technical moves.
WI 4: A mostly sustained 75º-85º ice, separated by good belays and steps, or a less steep pitch with significantly vertical sections (8-12m). Generally, good quality ice, offering satisfactory protection with good rests position.
WI 5: A mostly vertical Ice, but with good rests, extended sections of vertical ice; the noticeably more strenuous pitch of good but steep (85º-90º) ice. Also good belays, in some cases tricky to find. Ice could be all sorts of condition from plastic to brittle, from "Organ Pipes" to the Daggers.
WI 6: Steep and technical–ice likely of poor quality and protection generally sparse and difficult to place. A high level of skill and strength is requisite. A good belay points or protection is tricky to find. Extended vertical pitches of 90/95 º ice all the way with poor/no rest position. The ice could be any sorts of Brittle pipes and daggers to thin mixte mushrooms.
WI 7: Steep, technical, and most dangerous ice formations, that are hard to protect from the Bottom / up climbing. Marginal pick placements usually make this dangerous. Very steep, possibly overhanging, strenuous pitch with few resting places. Quite rare to form …
The WI8 grade is new for me, never heard, but, if it exists it will be some sort of "Mission Impossible "
WI 8: It will be free hanging daggers in mid-air, over the siling or consistent overhanging terrain with the probability of poorly bonded thin ice with probably mixed sections required to finish the climb, with the nearly non-existent pro. Highly dangerous–a fall would likely be fatal.
In this brief article I will be touching the abseiling techniques, as "Abalakov", or snow anchors etc, as, if you already started climbing ice, you should have some alpine experience under your belt to operate on the ice terrain and escape the route, in case of emergency. If you require any information about how to make "Abalakov" protection/ descent point pls click here, otherwise hire a professional guide or climbing instructor, that will be the coach you to perfection, how to make it and make it safe.
So we have the walk through the basic principles and factor and now know, what is the waterfall ice is, how it builds up and how hard the grades are.
Now – let move forward and have a look at the major principles of how to stay safe on the road climb, is it worth it, or is it better to abort the mission and come back next time, week, month, season, or even year.
To avoid any contradictions in ethics, I will put my cards on a table and would say:
1. I am the pioneer in climbing, I like to open a new line, repeat the old/ remote or rarely repeated ones.
2. This principle applies the zero 2 hero impact on ecology and environment. I will only leaver a tet, ice screw/sling, and carabiners, if necessary or bolt the section if there is no chance to protect it by the trad gear.
I totally agree with the bolted belays at the popular destinations and routes, as it will decrease the environmental impact on ecology, as our modern ropes, tats and slings, carabiners and ice screws will be a the bottom of the waterfall in spring, or in the lake, ocean, sea, river etc quite for a long time , and who knows , it might be on our table in the stomach of salmon? So, if the area is often visited by ice climbers or alpinists and the route is popular – it's a great advantage to bolt the belays in order to Save the environment, or use as much, as possible V-V tread technique to zero the impact.
By my own experience and PT & Sports science proof records all ice missions should be planned and scheduled precisely beforehand, and not as a last minute adventure. Yes – true, the more experience and knowledge you will get the more chances that you will be out of any mistakes or will prone to "bad decision "making, despite on many years of experience.
1. Plan your trip beforehand at least ( 1 month – 2 weeks – 1 week – 4 days ahead) - 3 month in advance is better, but 6 month or 26 weeks in advance is much better if you are considering to be on a road trip and hit the WI6/WI7 grades in Top Shape.
2. 6 month or 22-26 weeks is required to get your body and mind into the training regimen and sculpture it to the best shape. It requires dedication, time planning for strength, endurance, climbing indoor/ outdoor, projecting, agility and adopts new techniques and skills. Also, to have 1 week at least to recover to super compensate prior to the trip.
3. Also, it will give you the advantage to schedule your buying/bookings in advance (Tickets, bunk beds, hostel or hotel, gear, food, clothing and other ).
4. Also еhe months, that you will spend in preparation will give you an opportunity to deep dive into the massive data of the area, temperatures of the destinations, patterns, historical events, past weather forecasts and avalanche safety requirements, as the most waterfall formations are prone to avalanches, as they are a bottleneck of it, of the slopes or terrain of the approach, could be steep and will accumulate the stashes of snow and could trigger the uneven events . So the more information you could gather about the local area, climb, route, weather, forecasts, emergency contacts, local ice climbing clubs, alternative ice lines and avalanche bulletins – the better.
As a resume:
You need circa 6 months or 22-26 weeks to prepare your body and mind for the road trip to be in top shape and to climb Top categories, as your body needs adaptation for loads of physical activity, new skills, endurance and strength patterns. (We will discuss how to train for the Ice season further (if you have 24 weeks, or you want to have a short cut )
Within 3 months in advance you will start to gather the data of the routes, historical weather forecast of the area, avalanche patterns, emergency contacts, and gear, kit, that you will require for the successful route ascent ( more in details about the kit further in the blog later on )
Also, within 3-1 month prior to the trip, you will book all your travel accommodation, transfers or cars before the trip with the probability of 90% forecast will last.
Alternatively, you should have you plan "B-C-D-E-F" of routes, destinations or areas, in case your desired route will not be in condition, or too lean, or it will be too much snow to get there and you don't have skis, snowshoes and there is no rental shop around, or you don't have a budget to get them beforehand. So, think creatively – what could you do alternatively? Drytooling? Alpine Ascend in a new valley nearby? Or to go snowboarding to the nearby resort, or there is a chance to get the ski touring kit there, or snowshoes? Visit a museum or sauna on a rest day? Do a cross-country skiing or trail run? So – you are the only limit of possibilities, that you can think off.
So Try to gather as much, as possible information about the area, shops, road closures, maps, local clubs, hospitals, hotels, B&B's, rangers and park patrols phone numbers, your rest day possibilities.
Get a map of the area, emergency contacts, and avalanche bulletins.
Get at least 3 different local weather forecast stations/ websites, that has the forecast of you are of interest.
With the map (hard copy or a google one – walk the route, how you will get to the base of the climb, how long does it take to drive, walk, break the trail, how steep the terrain is) - All these questions need to be addressed beforehand.

Might be it's a good idea to drive to the base of the climb or parking lot the day before, just to be familiar with the road or conditions?
What is the kit required to get to the base of the route? Skis? Snowshoes? Do you have them ready? Where to get them? Hire? Where from? How to use it or repair? Do you have a kit for it?
What are the emergency procedures and contacts will you apply?
Do all the members or your climbing partner, as you have an Outdoor First Aid certification and Snow Safety experience, knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and how to use the beacon, shovel, prone in case of emergency?
Do you both know what to do?
How to safely descend from the route or navigate in the mountains?
Do you have the same understanding of the probability or consequences of the events of the ice climbing/winter mountaineering?
Do you have anyone to contact in case of emergency, that knows where are you or will go? Have you called him/her and tell where you will go and when you will come back?
So – you need to address these questions and loads more in order to have peace of mind and A-B-C algorithm of what you will do in case of A-B-C.
So, Chance favors the prepared mind and it's better to be prepared beforehand with climbing partner and team!
I am probably haven't opened an America for you, but, if you answer on one of the questions with "NO" – it's an opportunity to start thinking about it and ask yourself how it could turn around your climbing experience, preparation and moreover performance on the trip ahead!

Let's finish it!

The key principles of climbing smart and what factors you need to consider to climb a line or abort the mission:
Weather forecast ( last 7 -4 -2 days pattern ) How cold, mild, warm is it. Why we need it? If the temperature will be very cold for a quite long period of time – the ice structures become unconsolidated and there is no or very low bond between the layers of ice and its become unstable (daggers, freestanding columns, pillars) and brittle. So it could easily crack under your weight and fall with you or on your belayer when swinging the ax above your head it could break the "Lenses " – a big chunks of ice ( from 20 to 90cm in diameter, it's highly dependent on the angle). So with the very low temps this kind of highly likely conditions and events you should keep in mind.
The Mild temps will bring you the best swing, kick plastic ice ever – solid protection and swings all the way,
Warm temps – its an opposite of the brittle, but also it could drive the same events (Unstable of the structures, running water between the rock and ice structure, running water inside the waterfall, melting ice )
Terrain - is it prone to avalanches y/n?
Is it North Facing or is it on the Sun all day long?
Is it a popular climb?
Is it remote, or a 5 min walk?

So, when you will answer these questions the GO or NOT GO climbing section begins:

After you will analyze the weather and know the temperature you will be prepared for the basic evaluation and probability factors, that could cause the break of the ice, pillars, and columns
When you approach an icefall ( WI) have a look precisely on the colors of the waterfall. What do you see? If it white? Blue? Mineral Blue? Dark? Brownish? - The color coding will give you loads of useful information about the temperature, is the ice just builds up and adding up each day and hour, is it warm or is it melting, is it brittle or not. If you will know the basics and decode the sections in the mind field of potential danger, you will be prepared even before you will start to climb and could discuss what you see with your climbing partner.
Putting the dots together and adding the pieces of data you will come to the well-supported decision about GO/NOT TO GO, and if GO, what your possibilities and probabilities and what should you do and avoid.
I could add only one more thing – Mental Game, some WI are freaking dangerous or scaring and from the first 8 seconds your "Beautiful Mind" will suggest you quit and go home and be sorry for yourself.
Ask yourself and your climbing partner what he/she feels about it, what she/he sees and what he/she think and suggest.
There shouldn't be any delusion about the ascent, as by all means ice climbing is the most dangerous winter venture and 50/50% it doesn't work if you have obligations or this is your time to go
I will not suggest you do stupid or suicidal missions… I suggest to calculate your risks, discuss them, accept them, have a plan "B" and "C", as a back-up, and if you are mentally or your partner is mentally not ready to go, or even to belay you and second the route – abort the mission! Yes, sometimes it's painful and probably you will never come back to the same spot and the same conditions, but its better this way.
If you go – commit by 100% and give all, what you have been training for, as a TEAM!

Have a nICE CLIMB!
3 years ago, we went on a road trip to Norway and it was epic. #Icedudes2 was a successful mission. We explore a lot, but mostly play safely around the boarders of the popular routes, that was put together in the guidebook.
Time was flying by and loads of things has changed, as a river overflow the gorges, cutting the banks and stones.
So the new mission came out of the blue! Yes - #icedudes3.
This time, we have decided to explore more and to commit to the lines, that never was previously done. Some of them will be our next venture for a steep, pumpy and vertical commitment for 300-400m of WI6/WI7 routes…

Who knows, might be it will be another Ice Kingdom for the nICE dudes!
The ice is nICE and Norway is a hidden treasure of Odin's land and Valkyries sisters. A wild terrain full of unpredictable conditions, deep powder, 6 month grey sky and whiteouts every day, long icy driving roads, and the ice of any kind and colours.
#icedude4 is waiting, join in?
#icecamp #expedition #norway #powderisknowledge

More details and news are coming soon..
The ice is nice
What could I say more about the beauty of a sustained vertical pillar of an ice, rising above the overhanging terrain and only attached to it with a web of icicles?
It's truly terrifying, amazing, challenging and inviting.
I recon all the ice lines is a mirror of our souls and decisions, conscious and subconscious fears and doubts, failures and past experiences and future gains and plans.. It's a blue print of our eternity and war and peace inside us.
It remind us, that we are alive and we still exploring the world, but most importantly ourselves.
Why we are doing it!? Why we keep pushing the climbs of everyday life and flow of the daily routine?
Why we are keeping training day in and out, spending money and time for it?
The ???? question is within us. To live the life in the wilderness, as we suppose to live, without the turbulence of the modern pace of community and social media?
As the nature is giving us there treasure by opening the hidden icy and rocky terrain to climb and to connect our body and mind trough the ultimate emotions and adventures with the ice cold ❄ icicles of mother nature.
To regain the balance of reality and to reconnect our souls with other human beings.
As you will never be the same after a road trip or an expedition, wild weekend or camping.
With this tiny trails we are building roots to our inner peace and understanding of the world, that we are living in, but mostly other people, that surround us and starting to be our friends, partners and love ones, as we tied up together with the same rope, ultimate goals, road plans, love and passion.. Explore yourself and climb more!
Sometimes you need to be speechless to hear the voice inside of you.
Climbing is just a tiny parameter on a wrist watches of your lifetime... #powderisknowledge #mountains #yourclimbinglife #iceclimbing #Icecold #adventure #dryicetools #mixte #drytooling #icefalls #training #climbing #plans #winterishere #happypeople #gains #balance #mindfulness #mindset #soulecting #dreams #goals #character #flow #exploration #gym #community #society

Chance favors the prepared m mind

Today's update is about the book, that I have recently discovered.
This for those, who are looking to stay on track and want to keep moving forward...
"In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls "grit."
Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of "genius," Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not "genius" but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance."


Mental Fitness

Any type of climbing requires a solid foundation , but moreover a superb mental power in order to keep going on a no- fall zone terrain, where you bare could see your last point of protection, or even worse your belayer or ice screw.
So , i have found a great resource for you to share . The dedicated professional and a Mindblowing Athlete .
Please welcome and listen!
Fresh off of his audacious free solo of Freerider, Alex Honnold sat down with Arno Ilgner and Jeff Lodas from The Warriors Way to discuss his mental preparation. Arno asked me to record the conversation, and though I was running around The Salt Palace like crazy, I got it on tape for all of you to hear.
Two mental fitness giants, discussing a topic that is, at best, tough to pin down. Alex has done an amazing job of reflecting on what it is that makes him different, and is able to articulate it better in every interview I hear him in. This one is no different.

How to Maintain Climbing Strength as You Age

In our third decade, we start losing mass in skeletal muscles, and in our forties, the process accelerates—we may lose as much as 10 to 20 percent. Climbers may note this less because the decline is greater in the lower body than in the upper. But still, it's happening. Most of the muscle lost is fast-twitch, so power will drop first. But there is some good news: Endurance persists. Read on to sidestep nature.

The famous Wolfgang Güllich once said: "The brain is the most important muscle for climbing."
Utilising the power of your mind will make the most of your existing strength, techniques and ability to perform under pressure not just in climbing, but in all sport. Jerry Moffatt, who inspired generations of climbers, invites you to explore and maximise your mental potential.
Mastermind also contains a collection of inspiring stories from the current elite of the sport. Legendary figures such as Alex Megos, Adam Ondra, Margo Hayes and Chris Sharma reveal their innermost thoughts that help them perform at their best.

A Revolution has been made..
At British Columbia's spectacular Helmcken Falls, a revolution is taking place, led by Canadian Legend and my Friend Will Gadd. After 30+ years of ice climbing, Gadd has finally realized his dream of climbing radically overhanging, heinously difficult ice. Gadd and Tim Emmett dodge exploding 30 foot icicle bombs and send the hardest pure ice climb in the world, but they swear it's just the first step in a whole new direction for the sport.
I still remember those moments and talks about to transform the competition ice climbing from artificial wall to outdoors. My Friends Tim and Will did it , and its a great pleasure, that they succeed on behalf of all of us to bring those talks into the reality..

The story of Gord McArthur's ascent of Storm Giant (D16), the hardest drytooling* route in the world.
Go into the mind and technique of mixed climbing, rock and ice, with legend Will Gadd.
Steep Ice Climbing Skills Special
In case you haven't yet been climbing the Steep Ice before - these Oldschool step by step approach from the ICE GURU's will disclose the basics how to prepare yourself for the epics, and how to stay cool and to be in top shape..! Enjoy and Stay Safe!
"I've been climbing ice for more than 30 years, and I still get chills before starting up a column of steep ice. Sure, modern ice tools and crampons, warm gloves, and easy-to-place screws have made ice climbing much easier than it used to be. These days, a new ice climber can follow short sections of near-vertical ice on her first day out. A competent rock climber can lead lower-angle ice climbs halfway through his first season on ice, as long as he gets enough mileage. Yet for many climbers, truly vertical ice—WI4+ and up—remains frightening territory.
But it doesn't have to be that way. As with any other form of climbing, the keys to confident ice climbing are the right techniques, systematic practice, and a modest amount of training. We asked seven of North America's most experienced ice climbers to share their hard-won wisdom. Put their tips to work, and we guarantee you'll be more comfortable—and safer—on steep ice. —Dougald MacDonald"

A tribute to Guy Lacelle

This film commemorates the life of Guy Lacelle, who was regarded as one of the world's leading ice climbers. In 2009, at the age of 54, Lacelle was killed by an avalanche during a climbing competition in Bozeman, Montana. A pioneer in the ice climbing world, Lacelle was the first to show what can be done on vertical ice and established some of the most difficult ice climbs in the world.

X vs. T: Why the old X technique is inferior

The best tips from the Pro, how to approach the Steep Ice Sections . Some wisdom and Q&A from his book .
" ICE &MIXED CLIMBING: Modern Technique"

To support research and knowledge of Snow Safety Avalanche

Go to the mountains ⛰ because there's no place you'd rather be, climb simply because you love to climb, risk because it's in your soul to do so, and you will be a happy climber for life.


"Chance favors the prepared mind "

Feel free to contact me
Alex Orlov
Phone: +447801576233

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