Ice Climbing Gloves
Wearing gloves when ice climbing is necessary to protect your hands, however they hinder use of the necessary tools and your climbing gear. Gloves with thick pile liner and a waterproof and breathable shell are good for ice climbing. Small 'biners are very difficult to clip with gloves on. Good ice climbing gloves also have an attachment for a leash. This is so you can take the glove off if some type of technical work is necessary, and they dangle from the wrist on the leash. They should also be waterproof. Working in ice and snow will get your gloves snow covered, and the heat from your body will tend to melt the ice and make the gloves wet. Gloves with seamless waterproof breathable inserts will keep your hands dry.
Using gear with ice climbing gloves
For ice climbing, the extra strong, large gate carabiners are best. The larger gate allows you to clip with gloves on. Buckling up a climbing harness can also be a challenge while wearing ice climbing gloves. It is much easier to place protection and use the tools with gloves. Gloves provide better dexterity, however mittens are much warmer. Protect your hands while ice climbing. A hazard of ice climbing is hitting your knuckles against the ice while using the ice tool. Padded gloves will help reduce the pain of smashing knuckles.
When ice climbing you need the use of your fingers. To keep your fingers warm in extreme cold environments, use chemical heat packs. For mixed climbing a thin pair of liner gloves will offer reasonable protection. Mittens are warmer than gloves. However you need use of your fingers for most of the ice climbing tasks. Many people use mittens for the belay as the rope can be controlled fed and braked through the palm of the hand.
- For the approach, use a lightweight durable glove.
- For belaying, use warmer mittens.
- At the climb use a thicker glove made for ice climbing, below.