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Have you tried: Ice climbing?

Written by Fiona

August 29 2016

You can try ice climbing indoors at several indoor facilities in the UK. Being indoors allows you to try the sport in safety and decide whether you enjoy it enough to take the climbing outdoors.

In winter in Scotland we are fortunate to have some great outdoor ice climbing locations. Many climbers learn and practise their skills and techniques at indoor ice climbing walls, such as at SnowFactor Glasgow, Ice Factor in Kinlochleven, Scottish Highands, and Vertical Chill in London and Manchester.

I headed along to SnowFactor to try indoor ice climbing during a taster session. I also gave my new GoPro its first outing.

Using the GoPro Hero4 Session

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 15.52.29

Close to actual size.

The new mini Hero4 GoPro Session is simple enough to use. I confess I had some trouble getting the GoPro off the packaging, however. I had to look on-line for a YouTube video to explain that you squeeze together two parts of the GoPro stand.

After that, make sure you purchase a micro SD memory card (it doesn’t work without this) and charge up the camera.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 15.52.21Features include:

  • Full HD 1080p video up to 60 fps
  • 149° lens
  • Waterproof to 32 ft with included housing
  • Up to 2 hours recording
  • 8 megapixel still photos & time lapse mode.

I used my GoPro camera with a strap that can be attached to a helmet (in this case, my climbing helmet). The impressively small GoPro attaches to the strap in its metal casing and then the elastic strapping fits over a helmet. It stays nicely in place.

To record your video you simply press the red “go” button on the camera. To stop, you press the same button again. It’s difficult to know, when the camera is on you head, if you are recording, for sure, or not.

To help with this you can ask a friend if it is recording (not so cool!) or you can check an iPhone app (much more cool!). This downloads for free on to your smart phone and allows you to see what you are recording and remotely stop and start the video recording.

You need to Bluetooth pair the GoPro with your phone but I managed this and I am not too hot on technical stuff. Note that you need to have the phone set to pairing with the GoPro if you want to watch the vide playback.

It’s a very simple video camera and easy to use for straightforward videos and still photos.

GoPro video editing

I created about half an hour of video action on the ice climbing wall. I was then able to edit it with GoPro Suite (another free download) on my Mac. I used the micro SD card adapter to turn it into a memory card that would slot into a port hole on my Mac.

From that I uploaded the video to the GoPro suite and then cut it into the sections that I wanted to use. Once I’d “converted” these (it’s easy to see how to do that), I did the rest of my editing in iMovie. I know how to use iMovie and I wanted to add words and music.

You can buy GoPro at Currys for £159.

You can find out about what it’s like to go ice climbing  in this GoPro movie.

Ice climbing indoors: Taster session


If you’d like to try ice climbing and you are in the London area see Where can I do extreme sports in London

• This is a collaborative post with Currys.

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