Kathleen tells us What an Ice Climbing Taster is like

'spiky accessories'

We got Kathleen, our new Marketing assistant to book herself into an Ice Climbing taster.

 

Hello, I’m Kathleen, as seen in picture below, and I recently had my first ice climbing experience along with colleague Darren.

ice climbing taster

Kathleen, friendly instructor James and Darren

I’ve summed up my first Ice Climbing experience in 8 bullet points:

  • Firstly, the concept of Ice climbing is bizarre, ‘Hi, I think I will attach spikes to my shoes and hold 2 very pointy and jagged axes and use these spiky accessories to manoeuvre myself up a vertical wall made of ice ’. HOWEVER, when you are shown how the equipment is used to enable you to climb with ease and keep you safe, the prospect of getting to the top becomes exciting rather than nerve-racking.
  • The instructors are very knowledgeable, patient and have good quality banter.
  • If you’re like me and get a little scared half way up, they will keep you calm when trying to ascend the wall. They are the kind of people you would probably gravitate towards in panic situations.
  • It’s superbly satisfying when you reach the top and get to hit the bar with your ice axe.
  • I hadn’t abseiled since I was in primary school, and had therefore forgotten what a fun activity it is. Abseiling down an ice wall is really, really fun and enjoyable.
  • Walking in crampons is a skill in itself, prepare to channel your inner John Wayne.
  • You really feel like you have learned something.
    • You start off as a complete novice and by the end you have tackled at least one of the ice walls, all of which are impressively steep.
    • Within the taster session, you are also shown the basics of belaying*. You get to be the beylayer** for someone else in the session, which is terrifying knowing that their safety is literally in your hands (and the instructor’s as he/she is very nearby and can take over at any minute). However, once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple and you feel very chuffed with yourself knowing that you helped your friend or whoever climb to the top safely and abseil down.
  • Once the taster is over, you kind of don’t want to stop. You receive a ‘Records of achievements’ card which details what you have learned during your session and what you learn in each future lesson. You immediately want to book you next lesson so you can tick more boxes on that Record of achievement card – it’s kind of like school again, when you receive a good report card.

* Belaying refers to a variety of techniques climbers use to exert tension on a climbing rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far.

**The belayer is the person on the ground who secures the climber, keeping a close eye on the climber’s progress and letting out slack to the line by releasing the belay, a special device that locks the rope a little at a time as the climber slowly ascends.

 

Book your ice climbing taster now:

book-now LONG