Why would you drive to one of the highest villages in the Alps in the middle of winter? To find reliably frozen waterfalls, of course. On Sunday the LAS Alpine Club drove to Arolla, which at 2,000 meters in elevation is home to some of the best ice climbing in Switzerland for beginners to learn on. Nine students strapped crampons to their feet and ice axes to their hands as Twid Turner, a professional mountain guide, taught them how to claw their way up vertical ice. Crampons are metal spikes and ice axes are like picks on a handle. With these tools experts can go up anything frozen. For beginners it’s a bit more challenging, but our students were quick to learn in such safe terrain. They were all belayed with a “top rope”, which means it’s impossible to fall down even when you fall off. On the bus ride home everyone wanted to go again soon.
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