Monday, 1 April 2013

Ice Ice Baby

Ellis Brigham Vertical Chill review

Pictures from my recent trip to the Ice Wall at Ellis Brigham store, Manchester. Thank you to the staff at Ellis Brigham and the Merrell reps who organised a free climbing session for the Leeds Uni Hiking Club.

Ellis Brigham offer the latest climbing equipment for hire, and I was pleased to test out the DMM Apex axes (pictured). 

The ice wall is made using a mix of waste snow-ice from a nearby indoor snow dome, and this snow is plastered to the walls. Large refrigerator fans maintain the temperature at -12 degrees C. The ice is heavily pockmarked and can be climbed without swinging axes/kicking crampons in, just using simple placements more akin to the mixed game. Because the ice is plastered on it's likely to break off in large chunks, which can be infuriating at times if you're trying to hone a fine axe swing. A overhang obstacle also provides a few laughs.

Essentially, for 8 metres of ice climbing in the centre of the Manchester conurbation, it's a great facility and you can't expect an indoor centre to imitate the beauty of ice as Mother Nature makes it. The equipment and staff are great, though the climbing can be limited. Perfect for beginners and those needing to re-unite with their tools.

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