If you thought ice climbing was like rock climbing but with ice… you’d be right. But there’s a little more to it than that as Mpora explained in their ice climbing guide:
It might seem like you can put your pick anywhere, making it far easier than the finite number of good holds on a rock climb. But in reality, not every placement will hold an ice axe or a crampon point because of the composition of the ice. And some routes are different year on year as the ice freezes and thaws.
Ice climbing is also split into two categories: one for the athletes and one for the adventurers. There are regional and world championships, there are women’s and men’s divisions and there are two types: lead climbing and speed climbing. No mention of Popo and Nana from Nintendo’s Ice Climber though.
Here’s Norwegian rock climber Magnus Midtbø trying his hand at World Championship ice climbing.