An adventure sport is a popular term for such kind of activities perceived as having a high degree of danger with various uncontrollable environmental factors. Like any sport, ice climbing has its own popularity. People who are in search of unusual thrilling experience enjoy climbing ice walls. Ever-changing nature of snow and ice makes the climbing challenging and exciting. Mountaineers and sports climbers enjoy the challenge of climbing vertical ice. In this article, I’d like to share you free Guide for Ice Climbing in Nepal.
Types of Ice Climbing:
Climbing on ice is of two types- the first category is climbing on the frozen waterfall and the second kind is climbing on snow that is frozen on mountains. Ice climbing in Nepal is very famous among mountaineers and sports climbers. In this country, ice climbing is very different compared other countries because of the fantastic views of Himalaya and spectacular climbing conditions.
Climbing waterfall ice is a bit different from climbing on ice frozen mountain. The frozen waterfalls are found downstream. A waterfall climb is always vertical which requires more advanced climbing skills and specialized tools. One of the most important things about waterfall ice climbing is that you have to make your way like a Spiderman on vertical ice. But in another type of climbing, you have to climb to the snow covered mountain which implies climbing with such high level of difficulties and risks.
Best places for ice climbing in Nepal:
Nepal Himalaya gives an ample opportunity to the climbers. The area is as bleak and snowy as it is beautiful. Winter Waterfall Ice Climbing in Nepal is the great destination for adventure lovers who will like to enjoy with nature and do an exciting adventure expedition. In Nepal, the ice climbing spots are mostly in Everest Region, Langtang Region, and Annapurna Region starting single pitch to multi-pitch. The most popular ice climbing sites in Nepal I can suggest you are–
• Eagle Nest Waterfall Ice: The Eagle nest Waterfall ice is situated at Langtang valley. It has the area of 1 pitch of 30 meters rope length.
• Jean Coudery Waterfall Ice: The Jean Coudery waterfall ice is also located at the Langtang Valley and has the area as 3 pitches of 50 meters rope length. You can climb both Eagle Nest and Jean Coudery waterfalls in the same day of trek.
• IFMGA Exam Waterfall Ice: The IFMGA Exam waterfall ice is located at the Annapurna Sanctuary. The Nepali International Mountain guide team has first ascended this waterfall ice climbing.
• NORNEP waterfall Ice: The NORNEP waterfall ice is located at the Everest region near Thame, Khumbu Bijli power house.
• Kwangde waterfall ice: The Kwangde waterfall ice is one of the longest waterfall ices in the world and has the area of 18 pitches 60 meter rope length. All climbers must carry twin rope of 60 meters.
• In Everest region, you can climb an open crevasse wall, Single pitch Waterfall Ice, and multi-pitch waterfall ice.
When to go:
Now the mystery is “what is the best time for ice climbing?” The answer to that question depends on the climbers own preferences. If you are a solitude lover then you have to avoid the peak season. Generally from the mid-December to mid-march is the best time to climb. From mid-January to early-March you can get many Nepalese valleys with full of frozen waterfalls capped with huge peaks.
Things to remember before expedition:
Ice climbing is too dangerous in ways more than one especially in Nepal Himalaya because of its weather and temperature. Avalanches can happen without warning. Being prepared for chilly temperatures is a must. So, to keep these things in mind, you should aware about all do’s and don’ts during the expedition. Just make sure, before going on the trip, that you are fit enough physically and mentally. And also have to realize that you will always face the difficult conditions that can affect the hurdle and risks of your adventure dramatically, so you need to be extremely conservative in what you attempt.
How to prepare before Ice climbing:
Ice climbing is a kind of sport that demands a lot of strength, endurance and enormous willpower and you have to start training for it. In the beginning, you should start with rock climbing and after that, once you learn about the techniques of climbing then you can test your skills as an ice climber. So, to prepare for ice climbing, you have to do more climbing-specific exercises which will train your muscles specifically for climbing. You should go through a training that teaches you about safety, technical skills, and fitness. ‘Know your equipment and know to use them’, is one of the most important aspects of climbing, so you have to know about the commonly used knots, which are one of the first and most basic things to learn in rock climbing.
Necessary Tools and equipment:
There are various tools and techniques are there to help you during ice climbing. Because climbers have to climb sheer, slippery ice walls, have to fight against difficult weather condition. So you have to be prepared with long sleeve wool layer, long sleeve fleece/synthetic layer, down sweater, synthetic tank top, soft-shell, hard-shell, belay jacket, climbing gloves, helmet, Warm hat, neck warmer and sunglasses, wool or synthetic (or both) long underwear, gaiters, harness, wool socks, climbing boots, super feet insoles and crampons. These things will help you to keep you warm in the extremely cold environment. Ice axe, ropes, screws, climbing pack, belay device, spinner leashes; trekking poles with snow baskets, Insulated jacket are all the technical gears which help climbers in their expedition. Climbers should carry some personal care gears in their backpack like snakes, chocolates, sun block, lip balm, etc.
Ice Climbing began in the early days of mountaineering when climbers came across the snow covered rocks. After that, the frozen waterfalls propel its challenge to the climbers. As years progressed, techniques were developed, and the climbs attempted became more challenging and difficult. Consequently, several tools and devices were made and improved to meet the demands of the growing population of ice climbers.