A really interesting video has popped up on the UKC forums, creating a long and interesting discussion on ice climbing safety. UKC user Caspar has been out in the Northern Corries and he and his partner each took a fall from the popular ice climb Aladdin's Mirror Direct.
We've had a chat here at the UKC headquarters, and we've taken a few falls in winter ourselves, but we are of the opinion that lobbing off in winter is not to be recommended, especially if the gear you are relying on is an ice screw.
However, fair play to the guys involved for getting out climbing, and also posting this interesting video afterwards. We are particularly impressed with Caspar's attitude in the forum. Good luck on your next climb guys!
Top winter climber Greg Boswell gave the following advice:
"Build up through the grades, don't just jump in at the deep and and think its ok to fall off stuff in winter like it is on the rock. It's so easy to break yourself with crampons on, and then it becomes not just your problem, but the mountain rescue's as well."
Here's the video, the first climber has a go and takes a fall, then the second climber goes up and also takes a fall.
VIDEO: Falling off Aladdin's Mirror Direct
What has been useful is some of the links and commentary coming from the forum thread:
UKC user mrchewy commented: "Well, I have to say I've learnt some decent stuff regarding technique due to this thread being posted. Cheers."
We liked this video of an experienced ice climber making a subtle mistake and taking quite a fall:
The description of the video is:
"This video was taken up in Boulder Creek, AK on a classic route called Taurine Scream. The ice on the face of the pillar was exceptionally bad, but the ice that had filled in between the rock and pillar was good. The first time I had to swing onto the front of the pillar it badly dinner plated but the second time I had to swing out on the top of the pillar I made the mistake of putting my tools much to close together (funny how you do these things once your pumped) and took my first ride down an ice route."
If you are looking for some advice on steep ice climbing technique - why not read this excellent UKC Article: