Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing

Darren Sheppard in Senja, Norway

Here’s a list for Euro style cascade climbing, based on staying in the valley overnight. Warm clothing and a sharp pair of axes and crampons are key
.

I’m a big fan of check lists – check out The Check List Manifesto by Atul Gawande.
This page functions as an online checklist by checking off the tick button for each item.
Alternatively, access a print version by hitting the button to the right.
This will hide all the images and supplementary info and you can then print it off as a hard copy.

ItemDetailTickMore info
Climbing KitThings to climb with.
BootsFor ice climbing, you will need a B3 (i.e. fully rigid) bootI use Scarpa Phantom Guides
CramponsA pair of rigid crampons will provide best performanceI use Grivel G20 monopoints
Ice axe and HammerThere's a wide range of great axes on the marketI use DMM Switches. Disclosure - they were given to me for a field test years ago. I've carried on using them
Leash(es)Leashless is definitely the way forward, but…some form of system is essential if we're on multi pitch in particular
HelmetThere's not many pieces of Camp kit I use, but a helmet is oneThe Camp Armour has done me very well for years
HarnessAdjustable legs and plenty of rackingI have an Arc'teryx model. Ice screw holders from Petzl or BD are useful too
Sling120 cm slings
Screwgates3 should do itI use Petzl 3D Attaches
Belay DeviceThis needs to be compatible with skinny ropesI use a Petzl Reverso with a dedicated krab
Day PackAbout 40 liters should do itI use a Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack 35
HeadtorchFresh batteries or fully chargedI use a Petzl Tikka RXP as it has reactive lighting and a red bulb option as well
ClothesStaying warm is a very good idea
ShreddiesThat's underpants in northern England
SocksGood quality socks are essential.I use Lenz heated socks. I must be getting soft
ThermalsDepending on temperatures, you may need 1, 2 or 3 leg layersI'm testing out some kit from Natural Peak. So far so good...
Powerstretch pantsThe second layer of leg insulationSometimes I even use a sleeveless salopette, aso known as a Farmer John or a romper suit
Shell pantsA good shell pant with side zips I use Arc'teryx pants Alpha AR with full side zips for uphill effort or getting on and off over boots
GaitersRequired if your boots don't have an integral gaiterScarpa Phantom Guides, like many full winter boots, have an integral gaiter. If you're more traditional then get gaitered. Calf to knee length please.
Thermal TopA long sleeved crew necked or short zip top
Mid layer topA long sleeved top with a full length zipA model with a hood can be useful
Insulation layerA light weight synthetic or down jacketI use the Arc'teryx Atom. Light and warm
Shell topA good quality waterproof, windproof and breathable shell jacketI use the Arc'teryx FL
Belay jacketThis goes on over the shellI have an old Lowe Alpine Camp 4 jacket with a hood.
BeanieWoolly hat. Long enough to cover your ears as well
SunhatBaseball cap if you want to look continental, a cricket hat for BritsUseful on walk ins
SunglassesCategory 3 lenses at least. Additional low light lenses usefulI use Tifosi Tyrants with interchangeable lenses
GogglesLow light screen usefulVery rare to use these
Light GlovesGloves to climb withI use BD dry tooling gloves
Warm GlovesFor when it's chilly. Mittens if you must, but not recommendedI have a pair of ski gloves that stay down the front of my jacket and get swopped out as soon as I reach the belay
Shades Protection from lumps of ice as well as UVI use Tifosi Tyrants with interchangeable lenses
Other Stuff
SuncreamSPF 30-50. Just enough to last the trip. Share with your mates?
Lip salveDon't share this with anyone unless you're prepared to kiss them
WatchSo you can get up for breakfast at the right time. I use a Suunto with an integrated GPS
Sandwich bagDepending on our plan for the day
LunchSomething to go in that bag
Snack barsChocolate, nuts, energy gels ? Keep some in your pockets
Water bottle/flask"How much water do I need?". If I had a £ for every time...A flask is normally a good idea
WalletFor beers and snacks at the end of the day
Mobile PhoneKeep it switched off and somewhere warm.Make sure you know the emergency number for the area. Ask me if you don't