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Intro to Ice Climbing
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Dec 3-4, 2022
Dec 29-30, 2022

Custom dates available


Two Day Program 1:4 ratio $435/person, 1:3 $515/person, 1:2 $675 per person. 3rd Day Guided climb 1:2 $335/person, 1:1 $575/ person + gst

Group Size
4 participants/instructors. 2 participants/guides on 3rd day
Skill Level
Beginner & Intermediate

Intro to Ice Climbing

Safely enter the enticing world of frozen waterfall ice climbing...

The focus of the intro course is to give you the skills and confidence with modern ice climbing technique on vertical ice and mixed terrain.

On this 2 to 3 day intro program, we will also introduce and review basic movement skills and safety, belaying and rope management while climbing lots of ice.

Take your adventure to the next level and invest a 3rd day climbing a classic multi-pitch ice route in the Canadian Rockies. This will give you the opportunity to apply your newly learned skills and climb with a professional ice guide.

Here is a sample itinerary for the Intro to Ice Climbing course:

  • Day 1: 8:30 am meeting at climbing area TBA. Welcome, introduction, goals and agenda for the day/course. Walk-in to the climbing site.  Introduction to basic ice climbing crag safety. Review of Knots and harnesses. Adjust crampons and check gear. Crampon school with emphasis on the “French technique”. Discussion of safety procedures with review of basic belaying methods & belay calls. Ice “bouldering” – how to use ‘crampons’ in a safe environment just a few feet off the ground – essential for confidence! Top roped ice climbing. Debrief and wrap-up by 4:00pm
  • Day 2: 8:30 am meeting at climbing area TBA. Bouldering warm up. Introduction to steep ice climbing techniques. Lots of climbing with coaching on steeper ice. You will be surprised at what you can climb when using modern ice tools and proper body positioning. Introduction to use of ice screws and other protection methods. Practice “seconding” which involves removing gear placed by the “lead” climber. Debrief and wrap-up by 4:00pm
  • Day 3: 3rd day multi-pitch option TBA. Possible early start for multi-pitch venue. Climb a classic Rockies multi-pitch frozen waterfall. Continue developing your newly learned skill. Improve your skill with personalized coaching. Debrief and wrap-up by 4:00pm

This is a beginner to intermediate program. No prior ice climbing experience is required. You will benefit from previous outdoor and/or indoor rock climbing experience. Guests are responsible to self evaluate their skills as groups need to be matched together based on prior experience and ability. Please contact us to discuss your background, we will then find the best possible venue for you.

Most of our Ice Climbing courses are based in the Canadian Rockies. When the conditions allow, we sometime run courses in the Kootenay regions of South Eastern British Columbia. Here are a few towns where we run this course from; Nelson, Cranbrook, Invemere, Golden, Lake Louise, Banff & Canmore. Suitable accommodation can be found in all these locations.

Depending on where the participants are coming from, it may be possible to car pool to the course location. This is a great way to conserve energy and minimize transportation costs.

The instructors will be meeting with participants the evening before the course starts for a final gear check. We will go over last minute changes (weather & avalanche conditions) and logistic for the following day(s). We will also sign a liability waiver.

The Rocky Mountain weather is generally cold and dry. In winter you expect temperatures to be from -25C to –10C in the day while in spring daily temperatures could rise to zero. West Kootenay weather can vary drastically. In winter you expect temperatures to be from -15C to –5C in the day while in spring daily temperatures could rise well above zero. Visibility may be poor or whiteout conditions when snowing heavily or clear on bluebird days. Ensure you are dressed for all variations as temperatures, wind and precipitation can change within the day.

  • Pre-trip planning support
  • Fully certified IFMGA and/or Alpine guide service
  • All the technical climbing equipment
  • Group safety equipment (communication device, rescue kit, first aid supplies, GPS, maps)

Not included in price:

  • Lunch, snacks
  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Personal ice climbing equipment
  • Trip cancellation, adventure travel insurance, medical insurance

Where can I rent or buy Ice Climbing equipment?

Summit Mountain Guides has a limited amount of Ice Climbing equipment available for rental. Contact us for availability. Here are a few outdoor stores in Nelson, Golden, Lake Louise, Banff & Canmore that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment and gear rental, please ensure you rent gear well in advance.


Selkirk Source for Sports: (250) 344-2966

Lake Louise:

Wilson Mountain Sports: (866) 929-3636


Monod Sports: (403) 762-4571


Valhalla Pure Outfitters: (403) 678-5610

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