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What is Iceclimbing?

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Main section of MCS AlexClimb iceclimbing School 

Iceclimbing is a very young sport or, more precisely, a sports kind leisure activity, recently emerged from mountaineering like rockclimbing. Iceclimbing has retained all the main features of its ancestor - high levels of adrenaline, unpredictability and treacherous terrain, dependence on weather and climatic conditions.

Climbing ice cascades. Norway
Climbing ice cascades. Norway

Iceclimbing, as a type of seasonal winter extreme activity, is inextricably linked with mountaineering and rockclimbing. For mountaineers, iceclimbing is of utmost importance in terms of preparing for ascents of medium and high difficulty. For rock climbers, iceclimbing classes bring qualitative variety to their training routine and allow them to apply rockclimbing skills in a completely new and educational environment on unusual terrain.

Regular iceclimbing training is a great way to prepare for alpine ascents.
Regular iceclimbing training is a great way to prepare for alpine ascents.

And vice versa - for ice climbers, rockclimbing is necessary for the development of basic technical climbing skills, which are used on mountain climbs and in iceclimbing training.

If rockclimbing, today, has become an independent sport, having practically lost touch with its ancestor - mountaineering, the same cannot be said about iceclimbing.

Iceclimbing training in Hemsedal, Norway
Iceclimbing training in Hemsedal, Norway

Iceclimbing is a dynamic, exciting sport, built on the technical base of rockclimbing, but associated with the use of a full set of technical mountain climbing equipment. This type of winter activity is extremely popular in all developed mountainous regions, where mountaineering for many people is not just a form of active leisure, but an integral part of life.

How boring the world would be without ice...
How boring the world would be without ice...

With a pronounced sporting and extreme character, classic iceclimbing is more of a game than a sport. In terms of the set of techniques, iceclimbing is very similar to rockclimbing, but the technique of climbing ice is somehow narrower in terms of the set of specific moves, and more dependent on the using of equipment.

Iceclimbing on natural ice is an incredibly emotional and fun activity.
Iceclimbing on natural ice is an incredibly emotional and fun activity.

In addition, the iceclimbing technique is based on the fundamental principles of mountaineering technique and tactics - the ability to “feel the terrain,” think through a route, and assess its condition.

To climb safely on ice, you need not only to see the holds, but also to understand and feel the relief.
To climb safely on ice, you need not only to see the holds, but also to understand and feel the relief.

During the winter season, we invite everyone to try their hand at our exclusive iceclimbing programs, acquire basic skills for safe movement and protection on ice terrain. We share our skills and knowledge that we have acquired over almost 20 years of iceclimbing training, participation in iceclimbing and rockclimbing competitions, and climbing the most difficult alpine ice routes around the world.

On the ice route of climbing the Most Beautiful Mountain in the World - Alpamayo
On the ice route of climbing the Most Beautiful Mountain in the World - Alpamayo

Our offers in the “Ice Climbing School” section are limited to a small set of beautiful and interesting programs built on the principle of intensive training and themed trips to the natural ice cascades. The small number of iceclimbing programs is associated with a number of difficulties in organizing training and choosing the most convenient and safe locations for iceclimbing.

The Gulsfilet Cascades in Norway are an ideal iceclimbing training base.
The Gulsfilet Cascades in Norway are an ideal iceclimbing training base.

The main limitation for the development of iceclimbing direction in our School is the small number of accessible facilities and areas for running our iceclimbing courses.

Artificial structures for iceclimbing are expensive to build and difficult to maintain. Natural iceclimbing sites are usually located in the remote regions. Very small part of them have the necessary accompanying infrastructure that makes iceclimbing training not only productive and exciting, but also (most importantly) safe.

The aesthetics of iceclimbing are inseparable from the general aesthetics of winter travel and outdoor activities.
The aesthetics of iceclimbing are inseparable from the general aesthetics of winter travel and outdoor activities.

In sport iceclimbing (on artificial terrain), the task is to climb vertical and often overhanging structures, which are specially equipped - filled with ice for this purpose. Iceclimbing technique, at its core, is not much different from rockclimbing, where everything is based on coordination and plasticity. The iceclimbing technique is somewhat rougher, simpler and more demanding on the athlete’s physical characteristics.

As a bonus of iceclimbing training in Norway - the availability of a rare natural phenomenon - Aurora Borealis
As a bonus of iceclimbing training in Norway - the availability of a rare natural phenomenon - Aurora Borealis

Iceclimbing differs from rockclimbing in its more extreme, entertaining nature - it is more of a game than a sport - unlike rocks, natural ice always presents much more surprises. All iceclimbing events and competitions usually present a colorful show - with music, a crowd of spectators, brightly dressed athletes. Along with alpine skiing and snowboarding, iceclimbing perfectly complements the range of winter activities.

The author of iceclimbing programs, text and photographs - Alex Trubachev
Your guide to mountaineering, iceclimbing and rockclimbing

MCS EDIT 2023

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Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.
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