/ Where to go for good steep Ice Climbing?

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Murilo Lessa - on 05 Dec 2012
Hello I have a full week off in February and instead of the usual Scotland me and a friend are now looking for a nice place for proper waterfall ice climbing. I can climb up to IV and keen to try harder stuff. Can someone recommend me a good and affordable place in Europe (France, Austria, ...) for a full week of ice climbing with easy access to good crags without loads of walking? :-)

If you could also suggest places to stay or camp it would be great.

Thank you very much for any information.
cheers,
Kevin Avery - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Murilo Lessa:

Cogne in Italy and Kandersteg in Switzerland are both incredible and should have reliable conditions at that time of year. I can recommend inexpensive accommodation at both venues if you like? Cogne would be a little cheaper than Kandersteg overall.

Kevin
RichieBizzle - on 05 Dec 2012
Gavarnie... http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=831

Not many brits, quieter than the alps and weather in the valley has always been glorious for me.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Murilo Lessa:
If you want to compare grades take ATLEAST one off the Scottish number to get the WI grade. ie grade Scottish IV would probably be WI2+ or WI3.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Murilo Lessa:
I'm climbing a similar grade to you, and have researched this a bit, cogne looks like one of the more reliable venues with a good number of routes throughout the grade scale. La garve is also a good option although perhaps a bit less reliable, I think the walkins tend to be shorter.
GridNorth - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Murilo Lessa: With one or two exceptions, which tend to get very crowded, the approach times for the more worthwhile routes at Cogne are usually between 20 minutes and 2 hours. I've never seen anyone camping. We stay at La Balme a very conveniently situated hotel in sight of many of the ice falls. A weeks stay half board is about 310. I wouldn't even consider camping. The prospect of coming back to a tent when you are wet and cold doesn't even bear thinking about but then I'm getting on a bit.
AndyCook - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Murilo Lessa: Camping!!!!! Are you mad :)
Mr Fuller on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: Do you think that applies in typical Scottish conditions, though? I've led WI3+ in blue skies and sunshine but not sure I'd want to get on Smith's route in a howling gale!
Dan_S - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to Murilo Lessa)
> If you want to compare grades take ATLEAST one off the Scottish number to get the WI grade. ie grade Scottish IV would probably be WI2+ or WI3.

I'm not sure comparing WI and Scottish grades is a sensible thing, even in a rough, vauge style like this.

Generally I've found WI is significantly more solid and confidence inspiring than the frozen stuff that Scotland produces. I'll happily potter up a WI 4 without to much of a leaky bladder, but I don't fancy having a stab at anything harder than a Scottish 4. I've also yet to come across an "out of condition" WI route despite several years of trying, whereas on a number of scottish 3s I've ended up doing moves outside of my technical competence and comfort zone because the route wasn't fully formed or "a bit thin"
Mr Fuller on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Dan_S: Yeah, I'd agree. I've only climbed 4 WI routes, but each had confidence inspiring and solid ice. Last winter in horrific weather and with melting ice a Scottish II/III felt absolutely dire, though it was nowhere near as steep or sustained as the WI routes I'd done. Just different I suppose: Scottish is more ballsy (which I'm not very good at), WI more physical (which I'm better at, though still pretty crap).
CurlyStevo - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Mr Fuller:
To be clear I was only quoting what I've read, I've not done any WI routes, which I why I'm looking at Venues for intermediate ice in Europe for this winter.

I have previously lived in Scotland for about 6 years though. I guess living there I was spoilt as you can take the time off work when the conditions and weather are good, you also get a knack for predicting which venues are more likely to have the better conditions based on the current and previous weather. I've climbed my fair share of routes with great neve and fat ice.

I guess the comparison probably works best comparing good conditions and weather.
chris687 - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Murilo Lessa:
Get to Rjukan, there are roadside ice falls all the way up the valley

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