How to have even more fun in the snow

We have been blogging about Scottish ski resorts after snow records revealed there is more snow in Scotland than there is at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The five Scottish ski resorts are the place to head for skiing and snowboarding fun in the UK.

While the snow is in abundance, why not give some other winter activities a go? Scotland can’t offer a luge run or the skeleton but it does boast a good range of snow-based activities that are great for off-piste fun.

Ski mountaineering

traction-products-at-icegripper-for-ski-touringThere are many miles more of snow to explore in Scotland away from the five ski resorts. One of the best ways to travel is on mountaineering skis.

The skis have non-slip “skins” that can be attached to the base so that it is possible to ski-walk uphill. Boots are attached to bindings that allow the back of the foot to be released so that skiers can walk more easily uphill.

When downhill sections are approached, the ski boots are fixed at the heel and skins are removed so it’s possible to descend in a similar style to downhill skiing.

It’s important that ski mountaineers are experienced in navigation and avalanche awareness because going “back country” can be dangerous. If in doubt, hire a ski mountaineering guide.

Read this article for more information about ski mountaineering in Scotland.

Split boarding

split-boarding-accessories-at-icegripperSimilar to ski mountaineering, but on a snowboard. The board splits into two skis for the upward journey and then fixes together for the descent, like snowboarding proper.

Nordic skiing

Nordic skis are longer and slimmer than downhill carver skis. They are also used on flatter terrain and often on Nordic ski trails. You will have seen Nordic cross country skiers in the Winter Olympics.

In fact, Nordic skiing is one of the oldest forms of skiing and is a great activity to try. Although energetic, most people can learn how to Nordic ski fairly quickly.

In Invernesshire, learn to Nordic ski at Slochd, by Carrbridge.

When the snow arrives in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, there is Nordic skiing at the Huntly Nordic & Outdoors Centre. When there is no snow, skiers practise on roller skis.

Snow shoeing

snowshoes-at-icegripperThink of the shape of a tennis racquet but without the handle and a little bit squashed. Then add bindings for your shoes.

Snow shoes allow for the heel to move up and down while the toes stay in place, so that snow shoers can walk on the snow.

The snow shoe is wide and flat and allows you to walk across the snow in situations where you might ordinarily be knee or waist deep.

You can snow shoe anywhere that you might walk and exploring Scotland’s wintry landscape is made all the easier with snow shoes attached to your shoes.

Winter walking

kahtoola-kts-crampons-at-icegripperIf walking is your passion, don’t let the snow or ice hold you back. So long as you have sufficient navigation experience and avalanche awareness you can walk many hundreds of miles in the hills and mountains.

Walking in snow can be tiring but that’s part of the challenge for many winter walkers.

kantoola-k10-crampons-at-icegripperAnd in hard snow or ice conditions, using a pair of crampons can aid progress. For example, Kahoola KTS Hiking and Trekking Crampons offer aggressive traction in snow and ice.


And there’s the Kahoola K10 Hiking Crampons for times when you need a lightweight and flexible walking or running advantage.

Snow tubing

Jump on to an inflatable tyre and zoom downhill on a purpose-built snow course. That’s snow tubing and it’s great fun for all the family. Try it at The Lecht in Aberdeenshire.


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More snow in Scottish ski resorts than at Sochi!

If you have been watching the Winter Olympics in Russia, and oohing and ahhing about the snow then you might be surprised to learn that Scotland has more of the white stuff than Sochi.

skiing-with-ICEGRIPPERThe five Scottish ski resorts are experiencing some of the best snow for many years and in at the Glenshee resort in the southern Cairngorms there is currently 10 metres of snow in places, compared to the one-and-a-half metres found in Sochi.

A spokesperson for Glenshee said the resort has been hit by snow drifts so deep they match the ski lifts in height.

He said: “We’ve got more snow in places than we’ve seen in 20 years.”

At Cairngorm Mountain, another snow-filled resort near the Highlands town of Aviemore, staff have been busy digging out their top station after it was buried by four-metre snow drifts.

The Nevis Range resort, close to Fort William, in Inverness-shire, has also reported a bumper snowfall this year. The slopes have a coating of between one and three metres of snow.

A Cairngorm chairlift is buried – until staff dig it out

A Cairngorm chairlift is buried – until staff dig it out

Glencoe ski resort, the closest to Glasgow, has also been faced with tows and chairlifts buried by deep snow. Staff there have also been digging out the equipment so that skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the fantastic conditions.

If you want good skiing, come to Scotland, not Russia.

Where to ski in Scotland

Glenshee Ski Centre, Cairnwell, by Braemar

The largest resort in the UK, Glenshee covers four mountains and three valleys. There are 36 pisted runs over 40kms served by 21 lifts and tows.

CairnGorm Mountain, near Aviemore

CairnGorm boasts Scotland’s only funicular railway, which whizzes skiers and sbnowboarders to the Ptarmigan Top Station at 3500ft. There are 24 runs and 12 lifts. The longest run is 3.3 kms.

Glencoe, Highlands

Experienced skiers love Glencoe, especially the UK’s steepest black run, the Flypaper. But beginners should not overlook the large plateau area for fantastic skiing.

Nevis Range, near Fort William

Skiers can ride Scotland’s only gondola to a large ski area at Nevis Range.  Twelve lifts serve a good range of pistes from green to black, plus there’s the challenging Back Corries.

The Lecht, Aberdeenshire

The Lecht, at 2090ft above sea level, boasts of some of the most consistent snow in Scotland. You’ll find 20kms of skiing over 18 runs.

Note about piste grades

Green: Gentle, easy-going slopes for absolute beginners.

Blue: Next step up and usually longer and wider slopes.

Red: Longer runs that include some challenging sections for more experienced skiers.

Black: Very challenging for only the most confident and experienced skiers and snowboarders.

Stay on your feet on the snow

veriga-city-track-at-ICEGRIPPERDon’t forget to take grips for your shoes and boots when you head off to the slopes. ICEGRIPPER sells a wide range of snow grips so that you will stay upright when you are walking to the ski hire centre or when watching your kids or other half ski.

skooty-claws-at-ICEGRIPPERThe innovative Skooty Claws also make it so much easier to walk on snow and ice when wearing ski boots. No more embarrassing and potentially dangerous slips in those cumbersome ski boots!



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Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER

What is the winter solstice?

Every year the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year. This is the day when there is the least daytime daylight and the most night-time darkness. In 2013, it will be on December 21.


Winter solstice celebrations. Pic credit:

If you are looking for a technical explanation, the winter solstice occurs when the sun’s maximum elevation (at noon) is at its lowest of the year. From this day onwards, until the summer solstice, the sun will gradually become higher at noon each day.

When it is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (this includes the UK), it is the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. And vice versa.

Winter solstice celebrations

Across the world, different cultures celebrate the winter solstice in a variety of ways. Many celebrations are connected to rebirth and involve holidays, festivals, or rituals.

The Montol Festival, Cornwall

The town of Penzance on the southwest coast of England has revived a series of winter solstice events over a six-day celebration leading up to December 21. The festival is a mix of pagan customs and more recent Christmas traditions that were once common throughout Cornwall. Head to the Montol Fest to join in carol singing, mask-making workshops and to attend a mummers play, which is a traditional English folk drama.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

This is one of the most popular places in the world for winter solstice celebrations. Many thousands of people come to the historic site that is renowned for its spiritual connections. On the solstice, visitors have the rare opportunity to enter the towering, mysterious stone circle for a sunrise ceremony run by local pagan and druid groups.

Santa Lucia and the yule, Sweden

In Sweden, winter solstice observers celebrate with a host of traditions. In fact, they begin the party early on December 13, which is Santa Lucia Day and also known as the festival of lights. This event remembers an early Christian martyr, Lucia, who is celebrated in Scandinavia as a bringer of light in this dark northern land. Elements of the yule, Northern Europe’s ancient winter solstice celebration, are also incorporated into modern festivities, including gathering around bonfires, feasting, drinking and telling stories.

The Arctic Circle

Head to the arctic circle for the possibility of seeing the wonderful northern sky lights display known as the aurora borealis. In Swedish Lapland, the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park could be an ideal place to catch the show. (It’s only a possibility and never a guarantee.) Or book into an ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi, where local guides will help you to spot the lights.

How about Mexico?

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Chichen Itza is also a stunning ancient city of temples, columns and pyramids that were once considered a great centre of science and astronomy. The Temple of Kukulkan, with its 365 steps (one for every day of the year), is one example of the remarkable engineering of the Maya.

Makar Sankranti, India

India chooses to mark the solstice on January 14 with a celebration called Makar Sankranti. This festival marks the sun’s journey toward the Northern Hemisphere, bringing longer days and the end of winter. With these longer days comes the promise of a good harvest.

Different regions have different names for the festival and each of them celebrate in different ways, usually with bonfire pyres, huge feasts and a lot of singing and praying.

Kite festivals, India (again!)

In India, many cities host a kite festival around the time of the winter solstice. The kite makers sell their kites in huge markets in the days leading up to the festival and when the big day comes the sky is filled with amazing kites as they are flown from parks, beaches, gardens and balconies.

The Lantern Festival, Canada

In Canada, Vancouver’s Winter Solstice Lantern Festival offers a stunning celebration to mark the solstice. It is the Secret Lantern Society that organises all the music, dance, food and lantern-lit processions, which take place through many of the city’s neighbourhoods. If you visit Vancouver before the solstice you can take part in lantern making workshops.

And before you leave home for your solstice celebrations

Make sure you’ll stay on your feet whether it’s icy or snowy in one of ICEGRIPPER’S range of grips for footwear. Check out Icegripper new products

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Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER

The 12 days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Be a good Samaritan and keep an eye on elderly neighbours who might be prone to becoming cold, hungry or lonely during the festive period.

skooty-clawsOn the second day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Put warms clothes, snacks and drinks and winter safety equipment in the car in case you become stuck in the winter weather.

On the third day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Check that you have your ICETrekkers chains to hand so that you’re ready for the ice and snow when it comes. There’s no excuse for being late to work!

hitec-glencoe-200-ladies-snowbootOn the fourth day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Be smart on the ski slopes. Check out the Ski Skooty and the Skooty Claws for better traction in ski boots.

On the fifth day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Make lists. Lots of lists. Ensure your Christmas day goes like clockwork with lists of food, products, cooking times, gifts and all the guests.

On the sixth day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Keep fit in December. You won’t feel guilty about the extra festive calories if you continue to walk, run, cycle or take part in whatever exercise is your passion.


Winter cycling? Pack some ice grips from ICEGRIPPER

On the seventh day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Don’t give up on exercise outdoors when the snow and ice come. Instead, make use of the vey practical grips for running shoes.

On the eighth day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Have fun in the snow and learn how to build an igloo.

On the ninth day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Enjoy quality time with family and friends.

kahtoola-kts-cramponskahtoola-mtn24-snowshoesOn the 10th day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Keep on hiking the mountains. Crampons attach to walking boots for superb traction at snowy altitude.

On the 11th day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Think outside the box. Our tester put Icespikes to great use in a cyclocross event.

zipfy-mini-luge-from-icegripperOn the 12th day of Christmas, our Icegripper expert said to me: Put the finishing touches to your Christmas gift buying. We suggest a Zipfy Mini Luge for the kids, snow shoes for Mr Outdoors and snow boots for Ms Outdoors.

Then sit down, put your feet up and open a box of Christmas choccies!



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Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER

The things I love and hate about winter

Some people love winter and others hate it. I love some things about winter and hate others. Here’s my list. Why not tell us about your loves and hates, too?

Things I love about winter…

get-attachment-5Crisp dry days with a bright blue sky

Frosty landscapes

Running trails covered in snow

A view of snow-capped mountains





get-attachment-10Family walks in wintry countryside

The chance to run with my Icegripper Icespikes while others are forced to stay at home

Cyclocross – winter is the season for the madcap cyclocross series (and another set of Icespikes come in handy for the mud!)


Skiing and snowboarding

No more leg shaving and wearing shorts until spring

Pic credit: Ellen of Inabundance

Pic credit: Ellen of Inabundance

Frosty spider’s webs

Ice skating

Loony Dook’s on New Year’s Day. See, for example, Queensferry Loony Dook

Being all cosy and warm indoors next to the fire and looking out at the chilly weather

Wearing winter clothes

Less to do in the garden

Things I hate about winter

Pic credit:

Pic credit:

Surprisingly this list isn’t as long as I’d imagined it would be.

Numb hands that just won’t warm up (I have Raynaud’s Syndrome)

The electricity and gas bills

Keeping wood chopped and the log pile in order

The ice after the snow (although Icegripper aids for walking on ice do come in handy!)

Tinny Christmas music and the same old songs played on repeat in shops

People who buy pets for Christmas without thinking it through

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What things do you love and hate about winter? We’d like to hear your stories…
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Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER

Get set for winter 2013/2014

Brief history of UK’s worst winters by ICEGRIPPER

Winter weather forecasters have their “grim” faces on as they predict plummeting temperatures, high winds, snow and ice. Well, this is what the long-range forecast is right now for the forthcoming winter 2013/2014

driver_without_icegrippersIt’s thought that this winter could bring “record-breaking snowfall” and that heavy wintry showers will continue until at least February.

But why? And how can the forecasters tell what is coming so far ahead? Apparently it has something to do with the position of the fast-flowing band called the jet stream. This is currently close to Britain and this causes the high pressure conditions that lead to extreme weather.

Jonathan Powell, a forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, is reported as saying: “We’re looking at persistent cold snaps with some very heavy snowfall likely. I would not be surprised if some records are not broken this year”. He continued; “The main issue will be the extreme cold which is showing signs of really bedding in, thanks to freezing winds from the north.”

James Madden, a forecaster for Exacta Weather, is also quoted as saying that this winter’s weather is “likely to be the worst for more than 100 years”.

Brief history of UK’s worst winters

Is “the worst weather for 100 years” likely to happen? ICEGRIPPER takes a look back at some of the worst winters in the last 400 years. Here are the years when winter hit worst:

1683-84: Mid December saw the “great frost” start in the UK and Central Europe. The Thames was frozen all the way to London Bridge by early January 1684.

1694-95: There was deep snow and a lot of snow across the UK, even affecting London. The UK’s capital had five weeks of snow and the Thames froze again.

1708-09: It’s recorded that a frost last for more than three months and temperatures plummeted to -18c. The River Thames froze in London froze again.

1739-40: Another severe winter recorded.

1783-86: Two winters in a row this time were very severe. Some of the bad weather was attributed to an Icelandic volcanic eruption, although details on this are not conclusive.

1794-95: The cold started on Christmas Eve, according to records, and lasted until late March. This winter saw the coldest January ever recorded in the instrumental era (which began in 1659).

1812: In March, a foot of snow fell in Edinburgh.

1816: This is talked about as the “year without summer”. Snow fell late in the winter and it seems that summer never really arrived.

1834-38: A very snowy winter in Scotland with eight or nine feet reported in some areas.

1837-38: This winter is known as Murphy’s winter. Patrick Murphy won fame and fortune from the sale of an almanac in which he predicted the severe frost of January 1838.

1875-76: Lots of snow, especially in the south of England, from November through to May.

1880-81: The snow came early. October in London

1932-33: Again the snow came October in Scotland. Then in February there was a “Great Blizzard” in Ireland, Wales and much of England.

1937-42: Lots of snow fell in the winters of these years with 16ft snow drifts recorded.

1950-51: This is thought to be one of the snowiest years for a century. For 102 days, snow lay on the ground at Dalwhinnie in Scotland (1000ft). Even the southern coast of England was hit with 10 inches of snow in Bournemouth.

1962-63: A famously cold winter.

1977-78: In January the snow came down hard with six foot snow drifts recorded. The another four inches of snow fell in England. In late January, Scotland became worse hit with 28 inches falling in some areas.

1978-79: The north of England and southern Scotland had heavy snow of six to seven inches in late December. Then in mid-February snow drifts of up to seven feet were recorded on England’s east coast. And in mid-March, NE England saw drifts reaching 15 feet. Crazy stuff!

1981-82: It was the SW and southern England that saw seven inches of snow in places in mid-December. The winter was also very cold generally.

1984-85: Another very cold and snowy winter, especially in the south of England. In late January, the snow came to Scotland – and then again in March.

2009/10: This century, it has been the last few years that have seen remarkable snow and cold. Temperatures were an average of just 5C in December, making it the coldest December in more than 100 years. There was also a lot of snow!

(Thanks to for the info.)

Like the snow or not

ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip at ICEGRIPPERThe chances are that the weather forecasters will have got it right – at least in parts of the UK – for this winter. Some people, such as ice climbers, avid winter walkers and kids, will be looking forward to the snow and ice. But many others will not.

The best plan is to be prepared. Make sure you have warm clothes at the ready and know what to do to stay safe in an emergency if out driving. In addition, equip your footwear to cope with the snow and ice.

Keep a firm grip in the snow and ice with ICEGRIPPER’s extensive range of grips for your footwear. You can take advantage of an early bird order price of £30, down from £39.95, on the best selling ICEtrekkers Diamond Grips


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Do you remember any of the dates mentioned, since the thirties? We’d like to hear your stories – share them with us by posting on our Facebook, Twitter or G+ pages


Good use for Icespikes – in the mud

Our Icespikes are put the test in mud, instead of ice when FionaOutdoors, a Scottish outdoors journalist and blogger, took part in a cyclocross event.

get-attachment-43-e1382605502540-768x1024I had just bought a Planet X cyclocross bike, mainly for commuter cycling on badly pot-holed roads in my home city of Glasgow, when a friend suggested I give a cyclocross race a go. I love a new outdoors challenge so I booked my entry and started looking at what kit I might need.

  • Cyclocross bike. Check.
  • Disc brakes. Check.
  • Padded cycle shorts. Check.
  • Cycling gloves. Check.
  • SPD or “egg beater” bike pedals and cleats. Check.
  • Mountain bike shoes. Check. Although this last item is very old-fashioned and not at all grippy. 

The advice from people who had taken part in a cyclocross event before was that I’d need mountain biking shoes with a bit of grip. Why so? So that when you jump off the bike to run sections of the course (which you need to do quite a lot), you won’t slip over and land on your face with the bike on top of you.

At short notice, I reckoned that my icespikes might do the job of converting my mountain biking shoes into grippy cyclocross shoes.

How to create non-slippery cyclocross shoes

get-attachment-64Take one pair of old mountain bike shoes. Turn them upside down and screw in around 10 icepsikes into the soles of each shoe. Space out the Icespikes along the outer edges of the shoes and a good distance from the SPD cleat connector.

I decided to add the icespikes mainly to the forefoot of the shoe although it would also be possible to add to the back end of the shoes except I was a bit worried about weighing down my shoes!

Racing cyclocross with Icespikes

Before I attached the icespikes and during a practice go at cyclocross on a nearby off-road and muddy trail I found that my mountain biking shoes slipped all over the place. I could hardly stay upright on the flat sections, when required to get off my bike and run with the bike on my shoulder. At the steep banks and ascents I found it almost impossible to run and instead ended up on my knees half dragging myself and the bike uphill.

After screwing in the Icespikes (this is so easy to do with the accompanying Icespike screwdriver) and during the race itself at Callendar Park, Falkirk, I was amazed by how much grip I had.

Cyclocross is a fun event that involves a lot of mud, soggy grass, obstacles and challenges on bike and on foot. The aim is to race as many laps as you can in the set time (40 minutes for women) and against the other riders. You can ride the bike or run with the bike, it’s up to you.

Obstacles at the Falkirk course included steep and very slippery ascents and descents; planks and wooden steps; tight corners; cambered banking and a great deal of soggy and muddy grass.

My aim was to ride as much of the course as possible for speed but I also had to jump on and off my bike at regular intervals to cross obstacles or to cope with the tight bends and cambered banks. I was delighted to find that I had superb traction thanks to the icespikes fitted to my mountain bike shoes. This was in sharp contrast to my experience in practice – and I also noticed that other cyclocross riders were having trouble “sticking” to the ground.

I was told later that you can buy mountain biking shoes that have studs and two screw holes for adding studs. These would be a great investment if I planned to take part in more events but for a sure-fire way to convert your ordinary bike shoes to cyclocross or off-road mountain biking shoes, you could simply add a few icespikes.

The icespikes are easily removed after the event and do not damage the soles of the shoes. And they would work just as well if you plan to do any off-road and muddy running this winter.

Have you discovered any alternative uses for ICEGRIPPER products?   We’d love to hear your tips and tricks – share them with us by posting on our Facebook, Twitter or G+ pages

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Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER


Seven unexpected uses for ICEGRIPPERS

Anglers at Grafham Water order ice grips from ICEGRIPPER

Parents walking their kids to school, office workers heading to their workplace and older citizens looking for a safe way to get to the shops. These are a few of the customers that we expected would use ICEGRIPPER’s products. Being based in the UK, we also imagined that most of our trade would be “at home” and in the winter. But you never can tell where a business will take you – and ours has gone worldwide and to many unexpected customers…

Here we bring you seven of the more unexpected requests for ICEGRIPPER products

Circus acts
FlameOz is a spectacular circus flame throwing act. They were asked by an ice skating touring company to perform a bespoke choreography routine on the ice rink. The performance was to be a fast-paced and synchronised dance-style act yet on a surface created for maximum slide. So they needed something on their footwear to make things a little less slidey and a lot more precise. An on-line search brought them to ICEGRIPPER. We have been able to supply exactly the right grip for the ice rink performers.

ITV Dancing on Ice
When you watch TV’s Dancing on Ice you most likely only consider the ice skaters and their performance on skates. But what about the camera crews, technical staff and other non-skating personnel who need to remain upright and steady during their part of the show’s filming? ICEGRIPPER ice cleats came to the rescue this time!

Meat packing plant in Brazil
Meat packing plants require temperatures to be low. And in the cold store they need to be kept below zero. But, of course, this means that there is often a lot of ice about on the floor. ICEGRIPPER were able to supply pull-on ice grips for staff so that they could stay upright and work safely in such tricky conditions.

Airport operations in Arctic Greenland
This airport only has a few weeks each year when it is NOT under snow or ice and operating in sub-zero conditions. So most of the staff require an addition to their ordinary footwear to ensure that they can work efficiently and without fear of slipping over. Again, ICEGRIPPER were approached for their specialist ice gripping footwear products.

US Military digging out a town in Alaska
Alaskan National Guard Soldiers were involved in an operation in the town of Cordova after the community was engulfed by snow in January 2012. ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip from ICEGRIPPER were as important as the snow shovels and formed part of the rescue kit. Have a look at the video, where you can see the Guardsmen wearing Diamond Grip over their Arctic snow boots:

Forestry operators
Kahtoola MICROspikes offered the prefect solution for forestry workers who were faced with
steep sided and muddy banks while working in spring and autumn. ICEGRIPPER products aren’t just for the winter ice and snow but work really well in wet and muddy conditions, too.

Anglers at Grafham Water
How about using ice grips on the bottom of your wader boots? The perfect way to prevent slipping over on slimy slipways. ICEGRIPPER have an increasing band of anglers at Rutland and Grafham Water who order ice grips to ensure they land the big one, without having to join the fish in the water.

So, you can see, ICEGRIPPER products are being used all over the world in all manner of fantastic places. We have tested more than 100 ice grips, ice cleats, snow chains and other winter traction products. We are uniquely qualified to advise you on the correct products to prevent you from slipping on snow and ice, whether for general domestic activities, industrial use, or to support your winter leisure activities. Call the Ice Grip Adviceline on: 0844 272 3444

If you have any unusual uses for ice grips, let us know…
We love to hear your stories, or see your photo’s – share them with us by posting on our Facebook, Twitter or G+ pages

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 Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER




ICEGRIPPER solution for FlameOz

ICEGRIPPER was recently approached by FlameOz, the UK’s premier fire act who have performed their award-winning brand of dynamic fire dance, acrobatics and circus skills in over 40 countries, with an unusual challenge. They were touring with a Mexican ice show. The challenge was to perform their amazing fire routines on ice! They needed an unobtrusive ice grip product, which whilst giving them the necessary grip on ice, allowed them to also perform dance routines – with fire!
Flame OzEven after years of very diverse customer enquiries, this was a rather unusual one for the ICEGRIPPER team. Director, Carl Marsh said “ Whilst we had previously supplied ice grip products to ITV for Dancing on Ice, this enquiry was for a product which did not just provide the gripping action alone and it needed a product which could cope in a very demanding environment, that’s why I recommended our ICESPIKE product”. Here’s what Dave Knox from FlameOz had to say: “Our brief to ICEGRIPPER was a bit on the unusual side – we are a circus act that needs to perform on an ice rink. FlameOz were asked by “Illusion on Ice” a touring Mexican ice skating spectacular to perform a bespoke choreography on the ice rink. Clearly this  presented a particular technical challenge – performing fast paced synchronised dance-style choreography on a surface created for maximum slide! After an online search, I contacted ICEGRIPPER to discuss options available from their extensive catalogue. ICEGRIPPER looked like the right retailer for us. The website was clearly laid out with loads of information. I could tell that a conversation with Carl would be fruitful and I wasn’t wrong!

Carl recommended ICESPIKE as it was flexible (we could apply it where we needed), robust (it is!) and easy to fit to a range of sizes (small girls and big guys). The ICESPIKE were super easy to apply – just screw them into the sole of the shoe. When we needed to make changes in the configuration there was no immediately visible damage to the sole of ICESPIKE by ICEGRIPPER the shoe (a teeny screw hole/mark). Over a run of 60+ shows, 7 days per week for 4 solid weeks we had a total of only two ICESPIKE’s come out of the shoes. Not a bad failure rate at all bearing in mind we are pirouetting, twisting, running, turning etc… I can’t comment on their use for running, but WE found them to be an excellent product in a very demanding ice dance environment. The feedback from the team in Mexico is fantastic – we will be ordering more ICESPIKE’s from ICEGRIPPER, thanks Carl!!”

FlameOz  is the UK’s premier fire act  who have performed their award-winning brand of dynamic fire dance, acrobatics and circus skills in over 40 countries to more than 1000 audiences. FlameOz shows have been performed across the world at a range of events from Olympic Closing ceremonies, corporate galas, international arts festivals, weddings and parties:

 ”A truly exceptional show prepared and delivered with a professional expertise that wholly reassured both ourselves and the venue. We are recommending you to all our corporate clients.” J. McCarthy, Client Relationship Manager, Outward Bound, UK

“Nothing short of extraordinary! I would strongly recommend booking FlameOz – your event will move up a notch, your guests will be in awe and you will get the opportunity to work with some fabulous individuals.” Randy Warren, Director of Entertainment, Waterloo Carnival, Canada

“Truly breathtaking. FlameOz are rightly regarded as one of the best fire acts in the world.” Greentop Circus, UK

Have you seen FlameOz in action?   We’d love to hear your comments, or see your photo’s – share them with us by posting on our Facebook, Twitter or G+ pages

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Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER


What’s hot about Antarctica?

The appeal of Antarctica is easy to see. Frozen beaches, a superb monochromatic landscape, fabulous wildlife and miles of no-one else makes for a hugely attractive destination. Of course, being such a difficult place to reach and explore does also mean it’s an expensive holiday but still the tourism numbers have hugely increased in the last icegripper products for Antarctica60 years.  Tourism has grown from a few hundred at the beginning of the tourist industry in the 1950s to close to 40,000 visitors each year more recently. At ICEGRIPPER we have seen a continued increase in demand, year-on-year, for summer orders of ice grip footwear products from tourists going on Arctic and Antarctic cruises.

What’s the appeal of Antarctica?

Scenery: A vast, jaw-dropping landscape offers both beauty and eye-catching wonders. Stunning seascapes, frozen beaches, almost black-and-white contrasts and awesome glaciers. Seeing is believing in this fabulous setting.

Wildlife: One word sums it up, Outstanding. There are numerous opportunities to get very close to creatures such as seals, whales and dolphins. But perhaps the biggest stars are the penguins, which number in the tens of thousands in Antarctica.

For the adventure: If you’re into adventure travel, there’s plenty to do including kayaking, hiking and trekking, mountaineering and scuba diving. Many people come for the history and science, too. To make the most of the exploration it’s a good idea to take ice grips with you.

What might stop you

Realistically, the Antarctic is not for everyone. It’s not cheap, with a trip for a fortnight costing somewhere around £5,000. And that doesn’t include the airfare to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city and the capital of Tierra del Fuego. From that minimum figure, prices can go to as much as £40,000, depending on the tour and accommodation.

Some people are also hit by seasickness. Even if you normally have an iron stomach, the voyage through Drake’s passage can leave you feeling pretty ropey.

Ice and snow terrain might put some people off although the 21st century range of ice and snow gripping products for your footwear is now a major bonus for trips to Antarctica.

Where do tourists go in Antarctica?

Most vessels sail to the Antarctic Peninsula region although some itineraries include South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. A small number of tourist expedition ships visit the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea region and East Antarctica, as well as many of the other sub-Antarctic islands, such as Snares Islands and Macquarie Island. Private expeditions also visit inland sites, including Antarctica’s highest mountain, Mt Vinson, and the geographic South Pole.

More fascinating facts about Antarctica

  • The Southern Hemisphere’s summer lasts from November to March, which is the best time to go.
  • Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, emptiest, coldest place on earth.
  • An ice sheet covers all but 2.4 percent of Antarctica’s 14 million square kilometers.
  • At its thickest point the ice sheet is 4,776 meters deep and averages 2, 160 meters thick. This is 90 percent of all the world’s ice and it is 70 percent of all the world’s fresh water.
  • There are lots of penguins, whales, seals, krill (the main food for whales).

Have you visited Antarctica?   We’d love to hear your stories, or see your photo’s – share them with us by posting on our Facebook, Twitter or G+ pages

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 Walk, work, run and play on winter ice and snow with ICEGRIPPER