If you’ve been looking for a masterclass in climbing on ice, Will Gadd just released a nine-volume course on YouTube.
Of all the climbing styles, ice climbing likely has the highest barrier to entry.
It’s expensive to buy all the gear, difficult to find places to climb, and complicated to learn the basics. Thanks to Will Gadd — patron saint of ice climbing — the last of those has become a bit easier.
This week, Gadd published nine videos to his YouTube channel that represent a crash course in ice climbing basics. Gadd had initially made the videos for Black Diamond and Climbing Magazine.
Now they’re available free of charge to anyone interested in learning ice climbing from one of the sport’s all-time greats (and he’s a pretty nice guy, too).
Individual videos offer the basics on a range of fundamental skills. Topics include feet placement, how to use your ice axes, dry tooling, ice screws, V threads, and more.
While Gadd is certainly an elite climber, he retains a childlike sense of joy and a layman’s language that will likely resonate with rookies. For example, in the video explaining Solid Steep Ice Climbing technique, he explains the importance of balance in footwork:
“If you don’t weight transfer, you end up hopping, and it just kinda looks like the ’80s — it’s not good,” Gadd says.
Check out the full list of videos on Gadd’s YouTube channel.