1. “Wolverine”: Helmcken Falls Spray Cave, British Columbia, Canada from 11 Most Dangerous Places for Ice Climbing

11 Most Dangerous Places for Ice Climbing

1. “Wolverine”: Helmcken Falls Spray Cave, British Columbia, Canada

The 450 feet tall Helmcken Falls are strongly perceived to be the toughest, certainly among the most dangerous, ice climbs in the world. That’s why they’ve earned their nickname – “Wolverine.” You can always count on the climbing to be steep and hard. If you dare, go near the 100 feet dee ice hole. Imagine this along the ice spray and 6 feet icicles and you can understand why professionals are looking for ways go around the Wolverine.

2. Rjukan, Norway

Climbers all over the world go to Rjukan every year. Cold weather due to high pressure systems contribute to the development of some beautiful frozen waterfalls which are often several meters thick. The best time to go is in February and the worst in March, when the temperatures rise and some of the ice begins to melt, and in December when the wind is too strong. Lipton is the areas' most challenging icefall. There are no guarantees of decent ice climbing conditions.

3. Canadian Rockies

Most routes are long and difficult. The mountain has some of the most beautiful waterfall ice routes, too. Because of the region’s wide range of easy to difficult (and extreme and dangerous), the Canadian Rockies are viewed as the “mecca” for expert ice climbers and beginners. Glaciers, icefalls and ice walls are seem boundless. There are more than 100 ice climbing routes in Jasper and Banff national parks.

4. Annapurna, Nepal

Still, more than 40 percent of the people who attempts to climb this mountain die. Ice walls are everywhere and they collapse all the time. Rocks fall too. Many people can’t handle the altitude, some die. An ice climb there is accompanies by heavy snow and freezing winds.

5. Cerro Torre, Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America

This is probably the hardest low altitude climb in the world. It’s a lot more technical than other climbs and the weather conditions are almost always bad. Ice avalanches are a given. You are climbing a vertical mile of ice sheet, topped with more ice. There are few clear days that make the climbing easier. Getting to the summit requires ice climbing. Whirling storm clouds are the usual environment.

6. Iceberg climbing in the North Atlantic

You are not likely to find an experienced climber who will recommend climbing icebergs. It is totally dreamlike to have an ice ax be the only thing separating you from lethal 30-degree water beneath you. If you are really seeking places to climb that are more unpredictable and where the ice is more slashing, choose icebergs.

7. Kandersteg, Switzerland

Kandersteg is one of the world’s most famous ice-climbing locations. Ice climbing in Europe doesn’t get a lot more difficult than there. Kandersteg has a lot of terrains, some of which is relatively easy. But the difficult ones are not to be underestimated. The ice festival the mountain hosts every year is known as “the European meet of ice enthusiasts.” The challenging climbs are in the Gastern valley and at the Oeschinen lake.

8. Nanga Parbat, Pakistan

This is the “Man Eater” mountain. Its name translates to Mount Black. Its chilling, but deserved, reputation is due to the enormous rocky heights. The mountain is simply rocks and ice. Avalanches are common. People have died from exhaustion, among many other causes such as altitude sickness (more than 26,000 feet), hypothermia, and frostbite. Just over 260 people have attempted to climb the mountain, 61 of them have died.

9. Mount Washington, New Hampshire, U.S.

If you expect a mountain that is more than 6,000 feet to be easy, look for anything but winter sports as your hobby. The weather changes fast and all the time and ice and snow is everlasting in many parts of the mountain. More than 100 people have died trying to conquer the icy slopes. It gets under -40 degrees sometimes and strong winds make the conditions even worse.

10. Makalu on the border between Nepal and China

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Ice climbing on the fifth tallest mountain in the world is no easy matter. Far away from the common tourist treks and climbs, for decades only few teams have even tried it. Makalu is one of the harder mountains that go more than 8,000 feet and is considered one of the most difficult mountains to climb ever because of its steep pitches and knife-edged ends.

11. K2 on the China-Pakistan border

Experts have nicknamed the K2 mountain, which the second in the world, one of the most technically difficult as well. Going up via the easiest terrain possible is a trip through a complicated glacier. Climbing on the ice pillars is highly dangerous because they crack and easily.

11 Most Dangerous Places for Ice Climbing