/ "Ten Commandments" for ice climbers

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george mc - on 13 Jan 2017
planetmarshall on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:

Rule 6. A thousand times Rule 6. The number of times I've seen climbers queuing up directly under the likes of Point 5, basically inviting a head injury. I've probably done this myself.

Note to self, don't do this.
george mc - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

Aye that's my one golden rule. I'll avoid following other teams up an ice climb.
gavinj - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc: what does choking up mean ( number 5)?

1
TobyA on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to gavinj:
Sliding your hand up the shaft, and gripping it firmly at the neck - think choking the chicken. No. seriously.

Basically holding the axe at top so you can be lazy and not replace higher up. If its down towards waist height you are actually starting to pull up on it which means it can pop out. Of course sometime the stick won't come out even when you want it too, but maybe that's just me always climbing like Gadd describes, getting very solid placements because I'm generally terrified.

Sort of what I'm doing here http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=21329 So don't do that. ;)
Post edited at 22:31
drsdave - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

I did and got caught out wickedly. If that ice limb had hit my head or neck that could have been game over. Never never will,I stand under a belay station again fts
gavinj - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to TobyA: Thanks, I think I also do that quite a lot!!

TobyA on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to gavinj:

I find if you hold the head of the tool over the top, rather than the top of shaft, then you are still pushing it down into the ice. You can even mantle on to it if you really have to!
Tricadam on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:

Good tip re placing screws low, especially on steep ice, so as to make sure as little outward force as possible is applied to the tool you're holding onto.
abseil on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:

Another rule: when walking down facing outwards and wearing crampons, keep your feet apart - splay them well - or one foot will catch in the other and over you go.
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GarethSL on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Rule 6. A thousand times Rule 6. The number of times I've seen climbers queuing up directly under the likes of Point 5, basically inviting a head injury. I've probably done this myself.

> Note to self, don't do this.

It's how we spot Brits in Rjukan. (>_<)

jonnie3430 - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:

Place gear as high as you can from the easy bit, climb fast (or smoothly, as he says,) to the next rest and place more gear, climb from gear to gear and know that you don't need to stop half way up the steep bit because inner fear is telling you to!

And I second rule 6, it bugs me that I get on a route without anyone on it, only to find someone turn up and try to overtake by soloing the first pitch. I tell them that they can go past, but please don't knock ice down. As this is a given they get confused and I politely point out that I was first and wouldn't be there if someone was above me.
tripehound - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:
I try to regard every axe placement as a mini belay and every foot placement must be solid, the rope is only there as a backup.
If you move up on a poor placement you then do not have a stable platform to place the next one, and so it gets worse till you reach safety or fall off.
I recently learnt on an ice climbing wall that I sometimes overreach with my axes with the result that my heels can lift and the frontpoints pop. This only happened when in extremis but its useful to be aware of it. Will Gadd does another good article where he mentions that when you kick into ice you should think "Anterior Tibialis" that is the muscle at the front of the leg should be tight and the toes pulled up.
..All good advice
Post edited at 10:45
Rick Graham on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to tripehound:

> I try to regard every axe placement as a mini belay and every foot placement must be solid, the rope is only there as a backup.

> If you move up on a poor placement you then do not have a stable platform to place the next one, and so it gets worse till you reach safety or fall off.

> I recently learnt on an ice climbing wall that I sometimes overreach with my axes with the result that my heels can lift and the frontpoints pop. This only happened when in extremis but its useful to be aware of it. Will Gadd does another good article where he mentions that when you kick into ice you should think "Anterior Tibialis" that is the muscle at the front of the leg should be tight and the toes pulled up.

> ..All good advice

Agreed.
What I try to do, especially on poor ice/placements, is when with two axes in , is to sort my feet out so the loading on the axe staying in is minimised. Only then do I move the other axe up to a new placement.
kevin stephens - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:

All good, especially treat each pick placement as if it's a belay and don't move on until you are happy with it.

Commandment 11: Take up back country skiing instead, safer and doesn't hurt as much. Especially when it's a little too warm for "hard" climbing so you pick an easier less steep line instead - resulted in a smashed shoulder blade (and helmet) and helicopter rescue for me
pass and peak - on 14 Jan 2017
Pay Attention - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:

Rule 5. What is "choking up"?

"I’m seeing a lot of intermediate ice climbers choking up continually on their tools; this just means they haven’t gotten their feet high enough initially, and are correcting the error by choking up. Choking up puts more outward force on the pick of your tool"
jonnie3430 - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Pay Attention:

Answered in the fifth post.
andrewmc - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Pay Attention:

I've just noticed the irony of your username :P
Pay Attention - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to andrewmc:

Note to self : Pay Attention.
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