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Winter Mountaineering, Mixed Climbing and Ice Climbing – What’s the difference?

In our efforts to give a succinct overview of Winter Climbing, we thought it would be useful to provide other short definitions as follows:

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Winter Mountaineering is generally considered to be something different to Winter Climbing and to be larger in scope or scale than ‘climbing’.

Fundamentally, mountaineering most often involves summiting a mountain.  It also often refers to longer ‘classic’ lower grade routes – usually no harder than Grade II, very occasionally graded II/III.

It is usual to climb a mountaineering route with a single axe, although on the harder ones many people now carry a second tool ‘just in case’!

WCS 2013 // Awkward Holds

How to use slopersYou could feel the buzz from the moment you stepped in, instantly spotting all the elite climbers milling about and chatting with other attendees.  Initially I was a bit star-struck, but they were so friendly and welcoming it felt like you were just there with a load of mates.

The workshops I attended were Awkward Holds and Dynamic Climbing.  I was looking forward to an afternoon of talks including Rebecca Dent’s talk on nutrition and losing weight safely.

WCS 2013 // Yoga, Physio, Inspiration

004There’s a certain irony about going to a women’s anything when you have stomach cramps and all you want is to be fed chocolate.  Entering a room full of friendly sporty women with a passion for climbing was just the start of a day designed to uplift, excite and inspire climbers from 14 – 70+.  The day started with a talk on the history of women climbers by Angela Soper.  I managed to get a sneaky photo of Angela climbing – if you think you’re too old for climbing, think again.  Back in the day, these amazing women were climbing in skirts and hobnailed boots!  More about Angela here.

Women’s Climbing Symposium 2013 // Common Injuries Talk
Beth and Pinnacle Club member at Women's Climbing Symposium1

Beth with Pinnacle Club member at the Women’s Climbing Symposium

Did you know it takes the average woman 6 weeks to build muscle?

The Common Injuries talk by Anne Rigge, a Physiotherapist, tied in well with previous Yoga session and taught us all sorts of facts – like the fact that it takes women 6 weeks to build muscle, 6 weeks! No wonder I’ve been frustrated when coming back from injury.  For men, it’s a much shorter time, so if you have a male climbing partner

Who is Angela Soper?

Angela Soper Climber 1Angela Soper is a stalwart of the climbing community.  She was President of the Pinnacle Club when I was only three years old (1981) and she has inspired a whole generation of UK women climbers through her mixture of consistent climbing spanning a period of 50 years and her work acting as a centre point and bringing women together to climb harder.

Most recently she has been rewarded for her commitment to climbing by being named as an Honorary Member of the BMC alongside Gwen Moffat.

Angela still climbs.  Regularly.  At the age of 50 she won