Why admire Ontario’s frozen waterfalls from afar this winter when you can strap on a harness and climb your way to the top? Ice climbing may seem like an activity that only seasoned pros can do, but there are actually beginner-friendly climbs you can do with all of the gear and instruction you’ll need.

Specially created for beginners, this 60-foot ice climbing route takes you up Ontario’s historic Elora gorge. No prior experience is necessary but a moderate activity level is required.

You’ll be given all the necessary safety gear for your climb, including a helmet, crampons, boots, and axes. You’ll be taught how to ice climb with a specially trained instructor and a free belay lesson for those who could use a refresher.

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The lesson and climb take about 6 hours to complete. You can book your experience in a group of up to 10 people or a private lesson for you and a friend for an additional cost.

There are plenty of places that offer ice climbing for beginners in Ontario, including Muskoka, Haliburton, and Algoma.

And if you’d rather explore from the safety of land, Niagara’s Journey Behind the Falls lets you wander through tunnels and caves behind the falls while taking in some seriously majestic views.

One Axe Pursuits: Beginner Ice Climb

Where: 24 Henderson St
Cost: $350 per person