Wednesday, May 6, 2015

London Ice Climbing


Have ice axe. Will travel to London to go ice climbing. My cab driver thinks that is the weirdest thing he has heard his customers do. I think that if it is true, then his rides have been pretty boring.

But here I am, in a basement under Covent Garden, trying to climb overhanging ice. Can't remember when I climbed on ice the last time, it could be more than ten years. My skills have deteriorated, if I had any to begin with. And gained too many kilos. It is hard. And the ice is fresh, made yesterday. Tuesdays are the hardest climbing days, because the ice gets refreshed on Mondays. The route is solid ice.

I am at Vertical Chill, a climbing facility in the lower floor of Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports. It is minus six degrees Celsius, but I am sweating with the hard climb. And my light crampons are not suitable for this type of a climb. I'm sure I would have otherwise succeeded in passing the overhang :-)

There is one practice area and three main routes, the corner, straight up, and the overhang. There is also a dry tooling wall. The height is about 8 meters.

Vertical Chill offers one-hour climbing sessions at 50 £ per person or at 35 £ if you bring your own equipment. The price includes the instructor who will be belaying you. Recommended!

This must also be the only place where you can ice climb and use the free WiFi. Good for those selfies on the wall?









Photos and videos (c) 2015 by Jari Arkko, Alexa Morris, and Vertical Chill. Tämä blogiartikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi. And see also the video at Teton Gravity Research.

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