If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at ice climbing, it’s a great way to build on your summer climbing skills, and there is no shortage of spots in BC to try it out. Of course, you’ll need to have some background experience in rock climbing, according to Canada West Mountain School.
So if you can check off a few boxes there and are prepared to spend hours outside in the cold, read on! Your next winter adventure awaits.
With course locations in Squamish, Lillooet, and Whistler (depending on weather conditions), the Ice Climbing Essentials course offered by Canada West Mountain School is a great way to dive into the sport while establishing a solid foundation. In addition to warm layers, gloves, and toques, participants will need to bring their own ski goggles, crampons (adjusted to their boots), a headlamp, a Swiss army knife, and a personal first aid kit.
Technical climbing tools climbing harnesses, helmets, and belay devices can be provided CWMS if required. The guide-to-climber ratio is 1:4, and the experience is priced at $475 per person.
For more experienced ice climbers, there’s a two-day guided climb you can check out on Mount Matier, AKA the highest peak in the Joffre Range north of Whistler.
The Mountain Skills Academy offers intermediate skiers/snowboarders access to a thrilling ice climbing experience, perfect for first-timers. Here, all ice climbing equipment will be provided, and climbers will be introduced via a smaller, easier wall. The full-day adventure starts at 8:30 am on Blackcomb Mountain and ends at 4:30 pm.
The experience costs $329 per person ($999 for private sessions).
Note that participants must be a minimum of 16 years old to climb without a guardian.
The town of Golden is well-established as the ice climbing destination in BC, and for good reason. Popular spots include Kicking Horse Canyon, Blaeberry River Valley, Mount Hunter, Glenogle Valley, roadside waterfalls in Yoho National Park, and the Valenciennes, according to Tourism Golden. All of these destinations offer a range of ice climbing grades, allowing climbers to choose their preferred level of difficulty.
Last but not least, we come to Vancouver Ice Guiding, which offers guided climbs and ice courses for climbers of all experience levels (including beginners) at locations in Squamish and Vancouver. Each level builds on the skills learned in the previous one – so if you end up progressing from a gym climber to a multi-pitch lead climber and alpine climber.
So there you have it, climbing enthusiasts! Ice climbing could very well be the next winter adventure on your to-do list.
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