/ how to start ice climbing
Does anyone know any good places to go on a course (preferably in the uk) and what kit to get ect just anything i need to know in order to start really! thanks..
Do you climb already? Most people will move onto ice climbing after and apprenticeship in rock climbing and then winter mountaineering. Rock climbing is comparatively easy to get into and once you climb you will meet people and find opportunities to move onto winter stuff. By going winter mountaineering you will learn vital skills about staying alive in the winter mountain environment.
Of course you could just go and try ice climbing http://www.vertical-chill.com/ but if you want to become an 'ice climber' I would recommend becoming a climber and mountaineer first.
There are small indoor centres in London, Milton Keynes, Leeds and Manchester: http://www.vertical-chill.com/ although (based on experience of the Manchester one, they're quite short, and you only do top roping. (great for a quick first go though).
There's a much larger indoor centre near Fort william: http://www.ice-factor.co.uk/facilities/ice-climbing.html
If you're wanting to go outdoors pyb do a course in Scotland http://www.pyb.co.uk/courses-detail.php?coursecode=SWM08 (alternatively google mountain guides near you home town).
I second what Luke Brooks says. Get lots of experience winter hillwalking and doing easier mountaineering routes before moving on to technical ice. Unless you're made of money and can afford holidays in places where ice is roadside and free from objective danger, you're likely to be climbing British ice, which tends to form on cliffs high up on mountains with all the attendant weather and avalanche danger. Getting your first experiences of the winter mountain environment in a less technical and demanding context than climbing ice will be more likely to keep you alive in the long term.
Become a good reliable Lead belayer Rock climbing . Rockclimb and Hike alot for your fitness, and E mail every one you've ever heard of going iceclimbing including famous people and ask them to take you along. It may not work But you never know.
Good mountaineering Boots are important. Actual tools etc can be hired.
Good luck it can be hard to get into at first but don't give up!
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