Ice Climbing Experience (ICE)

The Ice Climbing Experience (ICE) is Alpine Guides' course specifically for climbing steep water-ice.

The scheduled ICE course is a perfect introduction to climbing ice. Our private courses are for those with previous mountaineering experience, who want to lead on steep ice and mixed routes.

Objectives - Climbing Technique, and Awareness

The ICE course focuses on technical water-ice climbing. Expect to climb water-ice graded from WI2-WI4. Some of these routes will be multi-pitch (dependent on ice conditions and your experience).

The course balances technical instruction, and practical climbing. Because of the alpine locations we use, you may also learn other practical aspects of mountaineering.

Scheduled Courses and Private ICE courses

Our scheduled courses are perfect for those new to ice climbing, or for joining as an individual. Private courses are best if you have some mountaineering or previous ice climbing exposure, and want to focus on lead climbing on multi-pitch water-ice.

An Ice Climbing "Safari"

The ICE is designed to have a flexible location for the climbing venue of choice - this makes use of the best ice available at the time your course runs.

Our local venue at Mount Cook is Bush Stream, and we also use Wye Creek in the Remarkables near Queenstown.

Accommodation in the mountains is expedition-style tent camping.

ICE instruction topics include:

  • Use of technical ice tools
  • Ice climbing
  • Knots and hitches
  • Belay techniques and systems
  • Ice, snow, and rock anchors
  • Abseiling & rope techniques

Experience required:

High level of fitness
Rock climbing experience
Able to climb & camp in COLD conditions
Previous alpine mountaineering experience preferred, but not required