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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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T-Rexs Can Go Bouldering Too
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Despite their notoriously short arms, T-Rexs are pretty strong at bouldering. Check out what may be the first dinosaur ascent of the Iron Man Boulder in Bishop, CA. The real question: can it be considered a clean ascent with all those tail dabs?

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Proof That East Coast Kayaking Is As Gnarly as the Rest
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The rock climbing world has never been immune to influence from outside parties. A few years ago, we saw that infamous Citibank commercial featuring none other than Alex Honnold and Katie Brown. Now, everybody’s second favorite free-soloist, Chris Sharma, gets the Polo Ralph Lauren Fragrance treatment. Not sure what to think of this, but they made sure to get the shot of him taking that shirt off. Either way, Sharma still crushes.