Climbing Dream: Ice Climbing

ice-climbing-by-Niki aplusbi

Climbing up a wall of ice is very different from climbing up a wall of rock. Waterfalls can become highways to ice climbers in the winter. If you’re looking for a unique climbing experience to quench your climbing desires in the winter, an ice climbing trip might be just what you need.

Where to ice climb

We don’t have many frozen waterfalls in Arkansas (in fact, probably none worth climbing) so ice climbing means taking a trip to another location. Colorado, Vermont, and Wyoming are good possibilities, but it all depends on the weather. Keep an eye on the forecasts and call or email ahead to ask how things look at your destination.

Waterfall climbing is a popular favorite but glaciers are another fun spot that can provide a fun and variable climbing atmosphere unlike anything else you’ve ever encountered.


On top of regular climbing equipment like ropes, helmets, and safety harnesses, you’ll need special equipment for ice climbing, including crampons and ice axes and other specialized tools. Because of these requirements, it’s best to climb with experienced guides who know what equipment you need and how to use it. Ice screws are also tricky to use if you’ve never done it before so using a reliable guide is important for your safety when ice climbing.


Since ice climbing was originally invented in France and Germany, there are many different techniques to learn with foreign names. Regardless of how you decide to climb, ice climbing will use different muscles than you use in regular rock climbing, both in your ankles, legs, and hands. Be sure to listen to guides about different techniques to try and learn a bit about them before heading out on an icy adventure. It’s also a good idea to do some exercises to build up strength in other areas so you can have fun on your trip.

While we don’t carry ice climbing equipment in our store, we have everything else you’ll need to stay warm and comfortable on your trip, from clothing to winter camping gear. If you do go ice climbing this winter, send us your photos!

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