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London Ice Climbing

Editor's Note: Awesome to see our Stash members posting about all kinds of off-beat adventures around the world. In this one, Project Skier heads to London to do the last thing you might expect–ice climb. It's like indoor skydiving, but going up instead of down and in a giant freezer instead of above a giant fan. Would you do it?

Have ice axe, will travel. Ice climbing in a basement in Covent Garden? But of course. Eight meters of ice and overhangs. And how could one resist going to the world's only ice climbing route that is equipped with free WiFi?

I am 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!

A few more pictures here.

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This is The Most Fucked Up Rappel You’ll Ever See
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This is The Most Fucked Up Rappel You’ll Ever See

This is The Most Fucked Up Rappel You’ll Ever See

There's not much to say beyond the headline.   Austrian climber Hansjörg Auer was recently out on a solo ice climbing mission when, per his own admission, he got off-route and had to improvise with an incredibly sketchy rappel, looping his climbing rope over a minuscule, barely pronounced rock nose.  "When you're climbing solo, you realize that you got off the route but there is no option anymore to climb up or down?!" Auer wrote on Facebook. "By the way you have no gear except a thin rope,

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WATCH: Ski BASE Jumpers Send it To Another Galaxy off the Rock Springs Buttress near Jackson Hole
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WATCH: Ski BASE Jumpers Send it To Another Galaxy off the Rock Springs Buttress near Jackson Hole

WATCH: Ski BASE Jumpers Send it To Another Galaxy off the Rock Springs Buttress near Jackson Hole

Three things can be learned from this minute-long ski BASE clip. The first, is that if you decide to ski BASE, it doesn't hurt to bring a drone for footage. The second, is that if you need a picturesque locale to send it, the Rock Springs Buttress just beyond the boundaries of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a solid setting. And the third is that every clip is better when set to the music of Run the Jewels. Filmed by Tim Schwartz, the edit includes BASE jumping icons Richard Grove,

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An Intimate Look at the Latest El Cap Speed Record
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An Intimate Look at the Latest El Cap Speed Record

An Intimate Look at the Latest El Cap Speed Record

Yosemite’s El Capitan is a mountain of the extremes. The 3,000-foot tall Mecca of North American rock climbing has drawn climbers’ attentions since it was first climbed in 1958 by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, and George Whitmore. It took them 47 days to climb the face via the Nose route, using expedition-style tactics. Two years later, Royal Robbins led a team of climbers up the same route in under a week. By 1975, the route had been climbed in a day, albeit not free. It was not until 1993