Tag: Jeff Lowe

A History of Ice Climbing in the Vail Valley

Ice Climbing Vail

Today's guest post is from Michael Mote, instructor and guide with Apex Mountain School in Vail, CO. Apex Mountain School offers ice climbing and mixed climbing outings for climbers of all ability levels in this historic region. You can check out their website to learn more. 

Ice climbing comes from humble beginnings. In the 16th century, shepherds crafted shoes with iron spikes to make travel on icy slopes feasible while tending flocks. Throughout the late 1800s, the “Golden Age” of climbing was characterized by the first ascents throughout the Alps, and was followed by the invention of the 10-point crampon by Oscar Eckenstean in 1908. Crampons were made available commercially by Henry Grivel, whose son, Lauret Grivel, later introduced the twelve-point crampon.

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