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Lessons with Steve House on Ice Climb Rappelling

Steve House gives a lesson on how to make an A-thread, a variation to the V-thread ice anchor.

This is a great way for rappelling without leaving any sling material behind. “I’m going to do this with 22cm screws, but in alpine ice I’ve done this with stubbies,” said House.

“I’m not going to take this screw all the way out. That’s an important thing to note. The reason is that I’m going to use it as a guide, as a sight.” Watch the video below.

Essential Ice Climbing Kit
A helmet + visor for protection from chunks of ice when planting your axe
A harness with 4 gear loops
Crampons with anti-balling plates
Leashless ice tools designed for ice climbing
A rack of at least 14 high-quality ice screws: 4 XL + 5 L + 4 M + 1 S
2 ice-screw holders
10 quickdraws
4 double-length slings (120cm) racked on one carabiner: 1 for each anchor and 2 extras for other situations
4 locking carabiners for anchors
1 belay device for double ropes, to belay the leader, the second, and to rappel
1 v-thread hook, an essential tool for turning around and heading back down
1 pair of double ropes, 60m each if possible
1 pair of thin gloves and 1 pair of very warm gloves
1 headlamp
1 35/40L backpack
1 pair of winter boots with rigid soles
1 knife
15 m of accessory cord to leave at each anchor on the descent
1 very warm parka (down or synthetic)
1 breathable and waterproof jacket and pants
1 pair of ski goggles for windy conditions
1 first-aid kit for a day trip
1 thermos filled with hot tea is a nice plus
1 hearty meal including salami, cheese, wine…
1 beanie that covers your ears and to wear beneath your helmet