Ice, snow and winter clothes, oh yes! December has truly struck and everything has turned a little frosty at Extreme Element (except for the atmosphere of course), and just in time for Christmas! Last week, Extreme Element sent ‘JOTR‘ ice climbing in London, but that wasn’t enough frozen fun for us, so we gave you a choice competition where we let the lucky winner decide between a slushie maker or an ice climbing experience. But we still didn’t quite feel Christmassy enough, so next week the office are all going ice skating!
To break the ice, as always, I’ll tell you about how my extreme experience went – this time I tried my hand at ice climbing in London. The hour-long session was brilliant, and with 40 minutes of the hour spent on the ice, it was a wicked introduction to ice climbing that left me dying to climb again. We started with a brief introduction to the equipment where I learnt about technical boots, crampons and ice axes. Before heading into the freezing room (strangely enough, in the middle of the Ellis Brigham store) I layered up in the provided gear – comfy salopettes and a blue puffer jacket.
There are four pitches on the wall and over the course of the session I managed to ‘successfully’ climb two of them…ok there were a few screams and slips but I can proudly say I got to the top and rang the bell of triumph! Comically enough it was the abseiling back down that scared me – apparently trying to use the ice axes to hack my way back down is not true ice climbing etiquette! I never was very good at letting go of the wall when I went rock climbing a few years ago… whoops.
Starting with the easiest route to the top, I found myself going slow at first, focussing on where to dig my feet in and where to aim the ice pick next. Before I knew it I was at the top…trying not to look down! My poor attempt to abseil back down, which involved a fair amount of screams from me, was made easier and a little less terrifying with some encouraging words and instruction from the brilliant professionals, Alex and Calum.
Next, the harder route which starts on a massive (well, it was to me) bump in the wall, which turned out to be quite tricky to climb up! Of course Calum made it look beyond easy – but surprisingly enough, I found myself getting quite competitive and I started to get a good rhythm going, reaching the bell in what felt like a quicker time than before.
Before I knew it, my time was up. I really enjoyed it, probably more than I thought I would. Oh, and if you’re worried about the cold, there’s no need; after all that hacking and climbing you’ll soon be warm enough to melt the ice… well, you’ll sure feel like you are!
Ahh, the competition I mentioned! It is a little too late to enter now… but fear not, we have plenty more to give away on our facebook page. Right now we’re giving you a choice between a toy tank and a tank experience! Hmm, getting muddy or perhaps irritated on Christmas day (depending on who gets their hands on the tank controls)!
The tip of the iceberg – our ice skating adventure next week. Stay tuned…I’m sure there will be plenty of hilarious photos and footage!
Not answered all your questions? Drop me an email:
jo @ exelement.com