Technical rock and ice climbers require good flexibility in the hips, shoulders, and core muscles in order to negotiate wide stems, twisting overhangs, and high mantels. Technical climbers should develop core, upper and lower body strength for vertical travel with and without a pack. Anaerobic conditioning also is an important component in the technical climber’s program, increasing in importance as the climber develops more advanced skills.

Rock climbing is technical class 5 climbing that is steep enough to require sticky-soled, snug-fitting rock climbing shoes as well as helmets, protection, and ropes for the safety of the climbing party. Ice climbing is climbing on routes that require crampons and two ice axes or ice tools. It may be done on frozen waterfalls (water ice) or solid glacier ice that is steeper than 40 degrees. If you are climbing low 5th class rock in mountaineering boots or you need only one ice axe to ascend icy slopes of less than 40 degrees, see the training tips for mountaineering. If the climbing is difficult enough to require rock shoes or the terrain requires two ice axes, see links below for information related to technical climbing.

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