Bush Stream Ice climbing. Photo by Danny Baillie.

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.

Bush Stream Ice. Photo by Tom Straw.

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
Photo by Danny Baillie.

Experience required:

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

AGL Skill Check



Season: Winter (July)

Trip Type: Winter Course

Length: 5 days

Max Guide/Participant Ratio: 1:4

Maximum of 4 participants


Price NZ$2,200 per person

Cost Includes:

  • All meals and snacks
  • Local accommodation
  • Local transport
  • Helicopter access and exit flight
  • Free use of a range of technical gear
  • Alpine Guides Technical Manual ›
  • 1 day weather contingency

Course Dates | Winter 2015

Course Dates Spaces


  • Open - free to book.
  • Limited - Please check before booking (may fill quickly).
  • One only/2 only = one or 2 spaces remain. Phone us to secure your place.
  • Closed - course no longer available.

Private Courses

Tailored private courses for one to 4 (or more) people.

This allows you to choose the dates, and tailor the course content to your specific requirements. See the detailed course notes for Private Course pricing ›