Ice climbing is a discipline shared by many enthusiasts. This sport involves climbing seracs, frozen rock faces or waterfalls with the help of ice axes, crampons and ice screws.
In order portray the atmosphere of winter mountaineering, I made a clip with the help of my friends, Franck and Bruno, at the frozen waterfall in Notre Dame de la Gorge in Les Contamines :
Ice climbing has really taken off in the past 30 years. Limited to a small circle of climbers at first, it involved mastering an ephemeral and changing environment using techniques specifically adapted to the conditions of the ice. Today, ice climbing can be safely practiced in leisure. With the help of a professional guide, pleasure is at the end of your ice axe!
Every winter season, the Frozen waterfall at Notre Dame de la Gorge is equipped by the local mountain guides. It is a great spot to learn, adjust equipment before a competition, test new crampons or finish the day before enjoying a good cheese fondue.
As night falls, the waterfall is illuminated by spotlights and is transformed into a surreal and magical world . Enjoy this unique experience under the supervision of a professional mountain guide. You will no doubt be seduced by the ease with which you climb this amazing frozen wall. After a few metres, any apprehension will give way to great fun and you’ll be hooked!
Both casual and confirmed climbers can benefit from the same structure to improve techniques or to train before engaging in more serious ice climbing in the high mountains.
The period conducive to ice climbing generally runs from December to late February when temperatures are low enough to freeze the water.
Equipment (helmet, harness, ice axes) are at your disposal free of charge. Remember to wear suitable climbing boots, crampons, gloves and warm clothes.
Ruisseling is another aspect of winter mountaineering is Les Contamines. We will discuss this topic at a greater length in another article. To be continued…
Information and reservations at the Mountain Guides Office.
Tel. +33 (0)4 50 47 10 08