Glaciers are large masses of ice that have solidified after years of being compressed by earth’s forces. While they originated from snow, glaciers are very solid masses that are able to slowly move through bodies of water. Climbing a glacier can be a fun activity, but it takes knowledge and skill to complete safely.
People who want to climb glaciers should learn as much as they can about glaciers and the gear that they may need prior to embarking on their climb. Aside from resources on the internet, there are several classes that people can enroll in to learn more about glaciers and how to climb them safely. For their first climb, a person should try to accompany friends who are knowledgeable about glaciers. If friends aren’t available, mountain guides can be hired. Mountaineers can oftentimes be the best option due to the fact that they complete climbs routinely and know the common pitfalls to avoid.
Climbers should always start off with smaller glaciers and slowly work their way up to larger ones. Not only will smaller glaciers allow climbers to improve their skills, but it will also allow them to understand if they like the adventure or not. By conquering glacier after glacier, a climber will begin to gain confidence and knowledge while also honing their skills.
The most basic skill that a climber should learn before embarking on a journey up a glacier is on the different types of knots that they can tie, how to tie each knot, and the function of each knot. Next, a climber will want to learn about the different types of terrain that exist on a glacier and what gear they will need to safely travel on the terrain. Climbers should practice safety maneuvers and understand protocols for when there is an emergency. Additionally, as alluded to earlier, climbers should join or assemble teams of experienced people who will not only make the journey fun but will provide valuable skills for one another in case of an emergency. The primary key to climbing glaciers is to practice and acquire many skills along the way.