Rock climbing relates to ice climbing in many different ways.
The following 4 tips will get you into the swing of things – from rock climbing to ice climbing.
Rock Climbing Relates to Ice Climbing when you Relax Your Grip
Rock climbing relates to ice climbing in that you don’t want to over grip. In ice climbing, just like rock climbing, over-gripping wastes energy. Worse, over-gripping when ice climbing squeezes the blood out of your fingers (making for cold hands). And over-gripping stiffens your wrists so your tools won’t roll off your hands properly when you swing.
Keep Shoulders Down and Arms Straight
Keeping your shoulders down and your arms straight helps you conserve energy on both ice and rock. When your shoulders are down and your arms are straight, you use your skeletal system for support instead of using precious muscle energy. Don’t hold on with bent arms! Straighten your elbows and hang off your shoulders so that your shoulder blades are pinned down your back.
Keep Your Elbows In
You don’t want chicken wings on rock or ice. Chicken-wings happen when your elbows aren’t in line with the front of your shoulder. When your elbows are out of line (maybe up by your ears!), your shadow will look like a strange cactus. Whether you’re on rock or ice, keep your elbows close to your center and not chicken winging out. Keep your elbows in when you’re ice climbing and you’ll get more powerful swings and better sticks.
And Rock Climbing Relates to Ice Climbing When You Make Eye Contact
Your attention goes wherever your eyes go when you’re rock climbing or ice climbing. Don’t take your eyes off the sweet spot when you place your foot or swing. And don’t squint. If you look away, or squint, you’re more likely to miss your mark. Keep your eyes on the prize when you’re ice climbing and you’ll be able to see if your tool’s teeth have engaged after you’ve struck the ice, or not!
For more ice climbing specific technique and training beta check out:
Cramponing Technique, by Ice Climbing Guru and Lead Chicks Ice Climbing guide, Lindsay Fixmar.
Swing! Training For Ice Climbing, by AMGA Rock Guide and Founder Ripple Effect Training, Carolyn Parker