Furnace Industries is two guys, Ben and George. While we like to think we’re industry standard setting uber-ice climbers who invented and hand produce cool products including a new ice axe, the reality is we get bogged down with real life, family, career, and the minutia of running a small climbing gear company.  So when we finally get to go ice climbing we want to be in the best shape possible so we can have the most fun.  But there are more practical reasons to train in and out of the climbing gym.  Read on for 7 of them…

1 - You’ll get used to the ‘Disconnect’

Not a lot has been written about the Disconnect but it can be a very real barrier to entry for many new ice climbers.  Unlike rock climbing where we use bare hands and feel the rock to know how a hold feels, we primarily use ice climbing tools to ice climb.  Because we’re not physically grabbing the medium on which we’re climbing, there is a ‘disconnect’ between climbing and medium that can mess with some folks heads.  This is the #1 problem new ice climbers face.  Add to that disconnect cold fingers, wind, crampons, bulky clothes and gloves, snow in your face, maybe even a face shield, and it’s easy to realize why ice climbing can be at first overwhelming.

By training with Dry Ice Tools, new and even seasoned climbers can overcome that disconnect months in advance of winter’s first icicle formation. Dry Ice Tools teach climbers learn to get a feel for security of the hold through the shaft of the tool. In ice climbing this is called ‘pick feedback’.  The more in-tune the climber is with the feel of placement, the higher the confidence level.

After all, why waste the first few days of the season getting ready for that hard project when you can be ready for it on day 1.

2 - Prevent injury

This cannot be stressed enough. Hitting that crimp on your favorite boulder problem 1,000 times will result in injury. If you want a long and healthy rock and ice climbing career, you must do other activities. One of the main ways to prevent injury is to cross train.

Dry Ice Tooling, lifting weights, running, biking and doing yoga in addition to your climbing routine will develop muscles that climbing neglects, ensuring that your muscles remain in proper balance. Plus, it just makes you a more interesting human being to have interests outside of climbing.

3 - Your head will be in the right place

Leading ice climbs is risky business, and having a solid lead head is a critical. Run out above your last ice screw on a WI5, mind and forearms screaming at you, the decision making process can become downright visceral. Lead climbing with Dry Ice Tools in the gym teaches a climber how to quiet the panic, bring control to your decisions, manage the pump, and arrive safely at that next stance, all in a lovely climate controlled interior with happy fixed clips.

4 - Grip Strength

Hangboard workouts are a great way to build grip and finger strength for rock climbing, but when ice climbing we really only use the handles of the tools, and those are in different positions than a hangboard provides. Training specifically for the grip of an ice tool will yield better results. The problem is, simply using your ice tools on a hangboard will also not help.  Ice tools are designed to be used with gloves. The volume of the handle is smaller to accommodate the added bulk of a glove.  Trying to use them barehanded may work, but the shape of the grip is simply not training the right muscles.

Dry Ice Tools have increased volume in the handles and are designed to be used barehanded in a gym setting so climbers can train their grip strength with the ergonomic specificity for the volume of their real ice tools.  Training the right muscles the right way yields the best results.

5 - Core Strength

This is SUPER important.

In rock climbing, our core muscles play a key role in enabling our arms and legs to maximize leverage and transfer torque from hand to foot and vice versa. The core muscles are what provide body tension when you’re trying to make a long reach or twisting body movement. In fact, every full-body climbing movement calls the core muscles into action. Developing your core will empower you to prevail through steep ice, while a weak core will leak energy and make hard moves harder.

Dry Ice Tools isolate your feet and specifically work your core, especially on vertical to overhanging terrain. Even a few laps with Dry Ice Tools on vertical terrain will have a V10 boulderer calling for tension.

6 - Footwork

Footwork is the foundation of solid climbing.  However, when rock climbing we can use our arms to leverage ourselves through certain moves, pushing and pulling our center of gravity as needed.

When ice climbing, that ability is limited.  Pulling sideways on an ice tool placement will usually result in a pick twisting out of the ice. This requires ice climbers to have excellent footwork to compensate for that loss of lateral control.  Because Dry Ice Tools isolate the lower body and bring awareness back to the feet, every climber can benefit from even a few runs on a pair of Dry Ice Tools.

7 - Safety

A sum of all the previous reasons, training with Dry Ice Tools will result in safer and ultimately more fun and enjoyable outings.  Climbing and training indoors in a gym allows us to learn good judgment without the serious consequences of bad judgment.  Building strength, honing our lead head, and having great footwork sets everyone up to safely push their limits.

Bonus:

You’ll look and feel amazing! Have you seen Will Mayo recently?

Conclusion:

What’s better than climbing? More climbing.  By training for ice climbing, you’ll be able to ice climb longer, safer and have more fun.  Because at the end of the day, that’s what training with Dry Ice Tools is all about.

-bc