Vertical ice, strong muscles and six small steel spikes to stop you from slipping. It could not get any crazier. The icy rock faces and frozen waterfalls are indeed impressive – a definite draw for adrenaline junkies, who climb them in a variety of manners using ice axes and special crampons. Anyone keen to try their hand at this extreme sport must have knowledge of alpine climbing, a head for heights and good physical fitness.
Ice climbing around Pontresina, the Engadine
The ice surface changes every day.
Pontresina – the ice-climbing centre in the Engadine
Pontresina has become a major hub for ice climbing. Every winter, the Pontresina Gorge transforms into mighty ice walls boasting imposing icicles. A dedicated team of mountain guides treat the rock with water, resulting in optimum ice density, providing climbers with a variety of surfaces. Ice-climbing courses and rental equipment are available from the Pontresina Mountaineering School.
High alpine ice climbing on the Corvatsch
For those keen to venture even higher, the Corvatsch Mountain Station is proud home to the highest irrigated ice-climbing wall in the world. The ice wall is adjacent to the Panorama Restaurant and easily accessible by cable car. The 50-metre-long ice wall offers a comprehensive range of difficulty levels. Each ice-climbing experience is unique – in the truest sense of the word because the ice changes daily.