The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation UIAA have produced an instructional video about ice climbing which they have posted on YouTube and is embedded below. It is called Basic Ice Climbing and is presented by four-time world champion ice climber Ines Papert. Considered the best female ice climber in the world, Ines Papert specialises in climbing frozen waterfalls, so she certainly has the necessary credentials for the ice climbing instruction.
The main rules of ice climbing are:
- Make secure placements with your tools
- Keep your tools in a vertical line
- Keep your feet under your body
- Stay in balance – feel your centre of gravity
- Keep your tools within the centre of your balance point
It is important to remember that if your ice tools and feet are too far apart it is hard to move. Therefore you should not try to move your arms or legs excessively in any direction. However you can swing your feet and cross your tools.
A good way to learn your balance point is by doing traverses.
Unlike rock climbing, it is not necessary to have three points of contact. When ice climbing you can swing your feet and hang on one arm!
The key to good ice climbing is to be fluid and dynamic.
Whilst you have your crampons on, you may also want to take the opportunity to do a crampon dance.