This week I joined IFMGA Mountain Guide, Tal Niv, ice climbing in the Tyrollean mountains.
Tal runs exclusive outdoor courses through his mountaineering school Harim Mountains and as well as ice climbing, he teaches freeride skiing, ski touring and other mountaineering courses.
I was very grateful to be shooting with the lightweight a6300, as I was also carrying plenty of heavy ice-climbing equipment. To be able to shoot all day in bitterly cold temperatures, I kept my batteries in my inside jacket pocket with a hand warmer and this worked a treat. My LCD loupe hack also helped a great deal.
- Organise your gear: this is crucial not only for your safety but your convenience. On top of your camera gear, when ice climbing you will have a tonne of equipment; ice tools, harness, ice screws, crampons, helmet, ropes, slings...
- Go lightweight: when you're freezing cold, half way up a waterfall and you can't feel your hands or face, a large, heavy DSLR will be a nightmare. The new breed of small but high-quality mirrorless cameras are ideal.
- Layer up: I wore three pairs of socks, and two layers of thermals, and I still got cold. Hand warmers are also a life-saver for your hands and batteries.
Thanks to Tal for the excellent course and setting everything up, as well as climbers Shaul Oron, Elad Sandovski and Avi Horowitz for being great models!
Tal Niv in action
Climber Shaul Oron, belayed by Tal Niv
The team: (from left to right) Elad Sandovski, Shaul Oron, Avi Horowitz and Tal Niv
Day 1 - Shaul belaying Tal; Tal ascending; and a demo on ice screw techniques
Tal leads the way on our second day
A demo on climbing techniques
Avi and Sando watching Tal