ICE CLIMBING — or ice in general — is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Italy. I have learned a lot more about this adrenaline-pumping sport from this video showing Matthias Scherer, Tanja Schmitt and Franz Walter scaling frozen mountains and rivers in Cogne, Italy. Unlike traditional mountain climbing and rappelling, ice climbing must be carefully timed based on weather conditions, seasonal changes, and how thick the ice is on any given day.

In ice climbing you have to find your own velocity – it’s fundamental to find the right balance between waiting and observing and then leaping into action. Ephemeral ice lines will often be climbable on very few days – sometimes just one day…

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