Ice climbing is one of the most dangerous and rewarding outdoor activities available today. Climbers use special techniques and equipment to scale surfaces that are slippery, uncertain and unforgiving. All climbers must employ basic gear like crampons, belays and ice tools. Climber should also consider adding six very useful items to any klettersack.
Climbers who are tackling a large surface might be working upwards for hours. This can result in situations where a team has to move slowly in the dark because of the short daylight hours in the winter. It is very helpful to carry a body-mounted electric light. There are head-mounted lamps worn like headbands and other lights that attach to the arms, harness or pack. This will provide light at dusk without reducing the ability to climb safely.
An ice screw is a metal screw or cylinder that is used to create an anchor in the ice when there is no other purchase or area available. Some are actually twisted into placed while hollow models are gently tapped into the ice with an axe or tool. The anchor created by the screw will prevent a climber from falling. It can also be used in some situations to secure a belay.
Ice climbing requires the use of a large amount of rope and knots. There can be situations where climbers will need to make fast adjustments or emergency decisions. A knife is a useful tool that is more versatile than an axe and is often much sharper and better for cutting. Climbers will find knives like those offered at bladeops come in wide variety of shapes and sizes. A knife is also good to have when camping or resting between climbs.
Most ice climbers wear some type of hat in order to fight the cold at higher altitudes. What every climber should have is a good climbing helmet. Helmets are important because they will prevent falling ice and rocks from causing serious damage. Even climbers who have never worn more than a wool hat should consider a helmet for safety. Just a single piece of ice could cause an injury that will instantly end a trip.
An avalanche beacon is a small battery-powered device that can be carried effortlessly in a backpack. A basic beacon will transmit a constant radio or wireless signal that can be detected by rescue crews or anyone with a receiver. More advanced models allow for two-way communication. The beacon provides insurance in case of an actual avalanche or if a climber falls and is lost or covered in debris.
A probe is a lightweight stick that folds up into a very small cylinder. Probes are useful when the ice starts to become irregular and unstable. They are used to prod different areas to determine the depth of a crack or the stability of an outcropping. They are also useful when moving across snow-covered ground.
Author Bio: Annabelle is currently a loving and caring mother of two children. She lives outside of Milwaukee, WI and loves cheering for the Bucks and Badgers. She is a blog enthusiast and loves writing, if she is not writing she is cleaning up after her two lovely angels. She went ice climbing for the first time this year and was not prepared. She is looking at becoming more prepared for her next trip and she is looking at getting some http://www.bladeops.com/. Please be safe out there climbing!