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Winter sports

The equipment you need for ice climbing

  • #Ice climbing
Sales Consultant, Transa store Winterthur
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Would you like to take your first steps into the world of ice climbing this winter? We explain what beginners need to be aware of and have compiled the most important products for you. 

Ice climbing is obviously no walk in the park – that’s why you should let someone with experience or a specialist in the sport give you an introduction. Be careful when getting started. Training is the most important thing for ensuring you can climb ice successfully and safely. We have compiled a list of the equipment you need and give you tips for choosing the right clothing so that you can take your first steps into the world of ice climbing.  

Clothing for all situations

You have to expect extremely various temperatures when ice climbing. The layer principle can help with this: the first layer – for example, a Merino shirt – helps to wick sweat away from the body; the second layer provides insulation and consists of a down jacket or a fleece jacket; the third and last layer, a hardshell jacket, protects against the wind and weather. 

A helmet skull cap and neck warmer round off your clothing. You simply wear ski touring socks (over-the-calf length socks which warm your entire lower leg) with crampon-compliant mountain boots. 

Multiple gloves with different thermal performances are extremely important when ice climbing. When climbing, you need thin gloves that enable you to have a good grip on the ice pick and use the carabiners and rope precisely. On the other hand, rough, warmer gloves are suitable for belaying. You can keep the pair you are not using in your jacket so that they stay warm.  

Equipment for ice climbing

Besides warm clothing and reliable equipment, a thermos bottle with hot tea is a welcome addition. You should also be sure to have a snack in your backpack, as your body needs energy to keep you warm.  

Sure-footed on ice and snow 

Your route takes you through snow and ice – that’s why completely crampon-compliant shoes are important, as they transmit the force well to the crampons due to their hard and rigid soles. It feels like standing on a step. For climbing on an icefall, we recommend steep ice crampons. These differ from traditional Alpine touring and lightweight crampons in that they have upright front points and are reminiscent of the edges of ice tools. The second pair of points faces more forward, which gives you more stability on the ice.  

Gaiters aren’t an absolute must, but having them will definitely protect your trousers – one wrong move with crampons on your shoes and you can put a hole in your trousers. 

Depending on what the snow is like, snowshoes may be a big advantage when climbing up to the icefall – but watch out for avalanches and falling ice! You can rent snowshoes, avalanche transceivers, probes, shovels, poles, avalanche airbags and more winter sports equipment from us.

  • #Ice climbing

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