Ice climbing is the art of climbing waterfalls that freeze over in the winter season, becoming ephemeral climbing walls.
An outdoor activity that has undergone an incredible evolution in recent years and a sharp increase in practitioners.
This activity requires good physical preparation, an experienced guide and the necessary knowledge to get started, as well as equipment designed specifically for ice climbing and winter mountaineering.
AKU has developed footwear suitable for harsh winter climates that provides maximum protection and high warmth, even for prolonged use in cold environments. However, this is not enough, two other elements make the difference in ice climbing: lightness and comfort. Aurai DFS GTX weighs a mere 700 g and is certainly one of the boots of excellence for ice climbing and winter mountaineering. Aurai adopts the exclusive AKU Dual Fit System (DFS) technology, which guarantees comfort and allows for quick double adjustment of the fit: ultra-responsive in climbing sections, comfortable to facilitate blood circulation when resting or approaching.
Alessandro Beltrame, filmmaker and mountaineer who collaborates with AKU for several years, chooses Aurai DFS GTX for his winter climbs. We see him climbing the Salto dei Pachidermi waterfall in Val Varaita (Piedmont – Italy) and the Cascata della Nicchia waterfall in Gressoney la Trinitè (Aosta Valley).
Santi Padros, mountain guide and AKU ambassador, chooses Hayatsuki GTX for its versatility in different alpine environments, perfect on difficult terrain and mixed ice and rock routes. Last year in Canada, he climbed legendary routes such as Nemesis, 140m with difficulty WI6, where the ice can be thin, always overhanging and it is difficult to equip belays and protections.
This year, Santi instead explored his home mountains in the Armentarola area near San Cassiano (BZ), Val Travenanzes (BL) and Val Pramper (BL) in northern Italy in search of new climbs.
“The big structures are still in need of flow, but I guess it will be tough for them to get bigger as in other years. However, more waterfalls in the sun are forming and are climbable, who knows until when…”
The higher-than-normal temperatures make us reflect on our footprint and highlight even more the transient aspect of ice falls. Just as the monk models beautiful mandalas that will later be erased, so does the ice climber draw trajectories on beautiful ice cathedrals that will be melt in the warm rays of the spring sun.
Happy climbing to all!
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