The Development of Ice Climbing as a Mountain Pursuit

Ice Climbing pic

Ice Climbing
Image: climbing.about.com

Edwin Hammond Meredith maintains a career as chef in the Florida Keys and enjoys outdoor activities such as camping and hiking in his free time. Edwin Hammond Meredith also takes part in winter sports such as ice climbing, which developed out of European Alpine traditions in which it was considered one element of mountaineering.

Early in the 1990s, Laurent Grivel helped make ice climbing a distinctive pursuit through the invention of crampons with sharp front metal points that protruded. With these in place, chopping steps in the ice became a thing of the past and climbers could attempt more technically challenging ascents.

Ice axes and other tools that assist in climbing were introduced in the 1960s, with the lightweight, short-shafted reverse curve pick enabling a more aggressive approach to navigating steep, icy terrain. These days, standard climbing equipment also includes ropes and harness, belay device, slings, and locking carabiners. Climbers also gird up with helmets and warm clothing designed to stay dry.

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