What Not To Pack For Ice Climbing

This last week, I traveled out to Montana with some co-workers to represent Grivel at the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival. We were there climbing ice, demoing out the latest ice tools from Grivel, supporting Aaron Mulkey and Shingo Ohwaka during their clinics, and cheering on the international Grivel team as they competed in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour.

 Peter McConkie climbing Lower Green Sleeves in Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman, MT. Photo by Benjamin Eaton

Peter McConkie climbing Lower Green Sleeves in Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman, MT. Photo by Benjamin Eaton

 Benjamin Eaton trying to access some climbable ice on Pine Creek Falls near Livingston, MT. Photo by Peter McConkie.

Benjamin Eaton trying to access some climbable ice on Pine Creek Falls near Livingston, MT. Photo by Peter McConkie.

Ice climbing festivals are a perfect venue for a rock climber like myself to learn the ins and outs of climbing ice. After a festival, I feel enlightened and inspired; enough so that I don’t feel like the “noob” I once felt like when I first arrived at the festival.

In my efforts to avoid any sort of noob-status this time, I paid close attention to the gear I packed. As I packed for this trip, I had to remind myself to leave behind the rock-specific climbing gear that usually accompanies me on all my trips.

So I’ve put together this list of do-not-pack items to help any aspiring ice climber from looking like a vegan at a butcher’s convention when they go on their first ice climbing trip.

 A fail-safe ice climbing kit. Photo by Benjamin Eaton.

A fail-safe ice climbing kit. Photo by Benjamin Eaton.

What Not To Pack For Ice Climbing

 Photo by Benjamin Eaton.

Photo by Benjamin Eaton.

Climbing Shoes
Instead of packing rubberized ballerina shoes, pack the stiff boots you borrowed from a friend and a pair of Grivel crampons.

Chalk Bag
Forget about keeping your hands dry, keep them warm. Toss your chalk bag aside and grab your Outdoor Designs gloves…2-3 different pairs.

Climbers Tape
Tape won’t give you the comfort and security needed to advance upward on the ice like it does in the desert cracks…but Grivel ice tools will.

Tank-Top and Flip-Flops
Your trendy tank-top and flip-flops won’t keep you warm in between pitches, so bring your baselayer, midlayer, fleece, shell, and Valandre down jacket.

Crash Pad
We’ll be climbing ice, not boulders. So ditch the crash pad and bust out the Grivel ice screws.

Cooler Full of Ice-Cold Beverages
Leave your cooler at home and pack your Olicamp stove kit to brew up something warm.

 Photo by Benjamin Eaton.

Photo by Benjamin Eaton.

Did I leave something out? What else shouldn’t be packed for an ice climbing trip? Let us know in the comments below.

Have fun out there, be safe, and keep slaying the ice.

#grivel # bealropes #cypherclimbing #singingrock #lasportiva