Ice Climbing - Basic Gear Guide
Talk to anyone who's been ice climbing and they'll tell you it's a rush unlike any other, and the views you're rewarded with throughout the climb will keep you coming back for more. They'll also say, however, that you'd better be prepared with the right gear if you hope to be safe and warm throughout the day.
When dressing for a climb, be sure to pack on layers following the traditional three-layer setup. Start with a tight-fitting wicking layer that will drive sweat away from your body, keeping you dry. For the second insulating layer, use a medium- to heavy-weight fleece, covered by a waterproof/breathable shell for your outer layer.
Choose a boot that is best suited for the style of ice climbing you'll be doing. The terrain and slope of the ice and rock will dictate the crampons you need, as well as the ice axes and anchors that will be best for your situation.
Ice climbing requires a dry-treated rope for use in wet, icy conditions, and just as you would before any climbing excursion, be sure the length and diameter are appropriate for your climb.
Be sure to throw in an extra heavy jacket to throw on when belaying. You'll be amazed at how cold you can get once the adrenaline stops pumping and blood flow returns to normal.
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