Bush Stream Ice climbing. Photo by Danny Baillie.

Ice Climbing Experience (ICE)

Alpine Guides' 5-day Ice Climbing Experience (ICE) is an introductory course for steep water-ice. The Ice Climbing Experience is ideal for climbers new to the alpine environment, or for those with previous mountaineering experience.

Objectives - Climbing Technique, and Awareness

The ICE course focuses on technical water-ice climbing. Expect to climb water-ice graded from 2-4. Some of these routes will be multi-pitch (dependent on ice conditions).

The course balances technical instruction, and practical climbing. Because of the serious alpine location you will also learn some aspects of mountain weather, avalanche forecasting, and winter survival skills.

ICE Course Venue- Bush Stream

The main venue for the ICE course is Bush Stream, approximately 14 kilometres from Mt Cook Village. This location features at least 18 named ice routes graded from Water Ice 2, to Water Ice 5.

Accommodation in the mountains is a cozy expedition-style tent camp.

Helicopter transport in and out is included.

Bush Stream Ice. Photo by Tom Straw.

ICE instruction topics include:

  • Trip planning and preparation
  • Use of technical ice tools
  • Ice climbing (and climbing on snow)
  • 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
  • Multi-pitch 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$2,100 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 2014

Course Dates Spaces
ICE 1 July 14-18 Full
ICE 2 July 21-25 Full


  • 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

We can arrange private courses, which allow you to allows you to choose the dates, and tailor the content to your specific requirements. Contact us for prices ›