Climbing early-season ice is always a humbling experience. Despite dry tooling up blocks on my home woodie, I find the first ice climb of the year wakes my hibernating tool-swinging arms. This year will be different because I’ve been training on a set of Off-Belay’s new Ice Holdz, bolt-mountable faux-ice features that climb surprisingly like the real thing.
Most indoor ice features are made of dense foam or are actual ice in a refrigerated gym. Ice Holdz, however, are manufactured from a rubbery compound with a plastic shell. Think chocolate-covered nougat and you get the idea. I was astounded to find that even a 1/4-inch stick held me on overhanging terrain. The feel of the ice is realistic, and your tools clean easily.
Ice Holdz come in many shapes and sizes, from small, square Splatz to monster 22-inch-long textured sheets you can peck your way up. My favorite hold was a hanging dagger that I mounted to my gym’s roof. Held by two bolts, you can actually figure-4 on this plastic gob!
Ice Holdz wear out, but not very quickly. Each hold can rotate when one side gets mangled, and when the entire thing is shot you can pop out the backing and simply replace the shell. Off-Belay recycles all products, so even though their business is indoor climbing, they respect the cold winters we need to keep the real ice forming outside.
- Artificial ice holds made from a rubbery compound covered with a plastic shell.
- Realistic performance for ice tools.
- Bolts onto any standard woodie.
- 4 icicle shapes.
- 4 large features.
- Inside rubber is replaceable.