It was a while ago now but I’ve finally got round to writing a short blog on my Ice cragging trip to the Swiss (and Italian) alps in Feb 2014. I went to Switzerland for a weeks Ice Climbing with IFMGA guide Mike ‘Twid’ Turner and Rhodri. We spent a week on some awesome multi-pitch Ice routes based out of Villars Sur Ollon, we went to some near by routes like Evolene and we even had a trip to Cogne, Italy (which by the way is well worth a visit for some great Ice climbing with a large variety of routes.)
If you want to learn the basics, improve your climbing or are just after a specific route then hiring a IFMGA guide really is worth it. It’s quite impressive the amount of knowledge that a guide like Twid can pass onto you in 5 days. We looked at all aspects of ice climbing, from better steep ice movement technique and ice threads to multi-pitching tips for ice and avalanche awareness. One tip I have that I learnt form this trip is carry loads of gloves in the Alps in the winter and hot aches in the hands do hamper progress on Ice falls. (they really f****** hurt)
The conditions were OK for climbing but heavy snows meant slogging snow shoe approaches and serious avalanche hazard; I’m quite glad we had Twid with us to teach us more about avalanches and snow pack formation. Lots of climbers might not of heard of him, as he is a modest kind of guy, but they probably should have when you look at his climbing CV. Having worked at the Brenin for many years he’s got extensive instructing experience and in my opinion is one of the best and most knowledgeable British mountain guides; plus he’s a great guy.
Check out his bio on DMMs website to see his impressive haul of climbs:
Whilst out there we took a few pics and I made them into a video, credit goes to both Rhodri and Twid as well as my shots.
Find out more about Twid and get yourself some guiding with the best: