The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) has teamed up with Outdoor Research and Petzl to create a 10-part video series to help you learn the fundamentals of ice climbing and self-rescues skills. Useful for everyone from newbies to veteran climbers alike, the video tutorials are lead by longtime guide and AMGA instructor Patrick Ormond — married to Chicks Climbing co-owner and guide Dawn Glanc.
Last week, AMGA released the first installment called “Sharpening Tools,” where Ormond walks you through step-by-step how to sharpen your ice tools and crampons so you will be ready for the upcoming ice climbing season. If you need your ice screws sharpened, I recommend taking them to Bill at Ouray Mountain Sports. He is the master. Or if you own the Petzl Laser Speed or Laser Speed Light ice screws, you could buy the LIM’ICE tool in order to dabble in ice screw sharpening yourself.
Throughout the series, Ormond will demonstrate a variety of skills ranging from placing ice screws to rappelling techniques. The videos will be released on a weekly basis and available anytime on-demand for viewing at your leisure.
If you are the type of person that needs hands on experience to properly learn a skill instead of just watching a video, I recommend you head to one of the numerous ice festivals set to take place this winter across the country — Bozeman, Ouray, North Conway, Sandstone. It’s a great place to get one-on-one instruction from some of the best climbers in the world for a very small amount of money.
And for any female out there that wants to learn how to ice climb, I can’t recommend enough the various Chicks with Picks programs. It’s where I first learned technical ice climbing and who I went with to climb in Iceland last winter.