What the Experts Say – Ice Climbing:
“The Ice-Factor is your one and only opportunity to experience what ice climbing really feels like without waiting ages for the right weather, walking miles up snowy mountains, or serving your apprenticeship in winter mountaineering skills. You just step in the big fridge and start swinging ice tools. Some folk will just want to try it for fun, some will use it to fine tune their ice climbing technique, some will train for the ice climbing world cup – doesn’t matter. The point is you clock up the metres on real ice without the normal hassles of winter mountaineering.”
Dave MacLeod, Climbing Athlete.
“I was cynical about heading indoors at first, yet grateful to have a successful foul weather option up our sleeves. Several seasons later and I don’t know how we ever managed without it! I’m never going to suggest the Ice Factor as a total replacement to the real thing – but I can tell you that a coaching session in The Ice Factor will add a good couple of grades to the routes folks can climb for the rest of the week.”
Martin Chester is the Director of training at Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre; and the Publicity Officer for the British Mountain Guides.
“The Ice Factor ice wall is the only place in Scotland with reliable ice conditions all year round. The ice wall is superb for coaching as it allows steep ice techniques to be worked on in an environment that is very comfortable for both learner and coach. We’ve found running ice climbing coaching sessions at the Ice Factor especially useful for individuals heading off to foreign climes. One of the things missing from both the Northern Corries and Ben Nevis is the easy access to a nice warm cafe serving very good food and coffee – another advantage in running coaching sessions at the Ice Factor!”
George McEwan, Senior Instructor, Glenmore Lodge National Centre
“The Ice Factor has radically improved our Scottish Winter Climbing programme. Before the Ice Factor existed steep ice coaching was something we only did now and then and only on good clear days. Now we can do it on really foul weather days, protected from the wind and 2m from a real coffee maker. We all thought it was a gimmick at first that wouldn’t last, 8 years on, I don’t know what we would do without it now. Clients and Instructors love it. An invaluable part of the Winter Course Structure.”
Ed Chard, MIC, is the Scottish Winter Programme Director for Jagged Globe and also the Development Officer for the Association of Mountaineering Instructors.
What The Experts Say – Rock Climbing:
“In my opinion the Ice Factor’s bouldering wall is one of the best training board in the UK and knowing it was there definitely influenced my decision to move from Glasgow to Lochaber. If you’re into training for rock climbing, you know that you need a big steep board with carefully chosen holds, good setting and good temperatures. Not many bouldering facilities anywhere manage to have all of these factors together. The holds are generally arranged by keen local bouldering addicts who are always happy to show you good problems. The dry-tooling problems are excellent fun too, and are popular even with climbers who don’t mixed climb! Regular sessions are guaranteed to make you strong. The biggest problem is concentrating as there as so many laughs to be had on a winter night with the locals in the boulder wall.”