Ice Climbing in London?

UK Everest Challenge has been busy training for their 10 peaks in 5 days UK Everest Challenge, totally amazing effort on behalf of 4 very worthy charities – certainly worth reading the article for more information!

Here though is a break-down of just one day’s training of Bryn and Darren as they prepare themselves for what is to be a spectacular feet!

UK Everest ChallengeAnother weekend another challenge. As part of our training we are taking in everything that will help us and enjoy learning new skills, really looking forward to starting the mountain leaders course next year, plus outdoor rock climbing.

Ice climbing in London…

Last weekend we went to London to climb an ice wall operated by Vertical Chill in London’s Covent Garden, just across the Thames from where the spectacular London Beetham Tower will be.

We got there not really knowing what to expect, it was all rather short notice for me and did not have time to my usual ‘Google-it’ moment. It was easier to find than I thought, going to the bright lights of the big city coming from Devon, I thought we’d get lost, only to be found several days later with no wallet and shuffling through bins!

London’s Ice Face

The wall itself is in the basement of the Ellis Brigham’s. It looked small as we peered through the thick insulated and lucky sound proof glass.

We have both done some rock climbing at certain stages in our lives, but neither of us on ice. I was expecting something bigger and mentioned this to one of the staff, who gave me a stare and muttered “it’s how you use it”.

After the health and safety talk we got kitted up, with thick outer layers, helmet with face shield, gloves, ice axes, boots and crampons and it was in to the freezer, a blast chillier to be precise.

Ice Climbing Crash Course

You really had to think your way around, skills that had long been forgotten. Check for strong footing before slamming the axe in. Both Bryn and myself quickly got into the swing of it and tried to get as much climbing in as possible for the hour we paid for, finally our bodies were exhausted as we tried a race to the top one last time.

London Ice Climbing

Although I had the easier route, with Bryn straddling off an overhang we submitted on our third run, to be lowered. Sweaty and feeling the burn, the ice climbing gave an excellent workout. Balance, strength and that all important use of the brain.

The main problem was us using our upper bodies too much, rather than our other major muscle group, our legs.

Stamina for the UK Everest 10 Peaks in 5 Days Challenge

Our ten peak UK Everest Challenge rests strongly on our stamina, we have nine months left and a long way to go, we are mixing up our training and the ice climbing proved an excellent addition. The following day you certainly knew you’d been up to something, I could still feel it.

This weekend we returned to more traditional training. On Saturday the 6th December we went to the North Dartmoor for a long afternoon walk with map and compass, plenty of rolling hills at a strong hiking pace. A sharp contrast to Sunday 7th, when we were on the south moor, in ice and fog at 7:30am, running up Haytor and around the rocks on a 7km speed run.

So a big up to Martin & Sam at Ellis Brigham for a fantastic afternoon, we’ll be back, we’ll have a few more tricks in the bag next time.


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