Two Day Alpine Ice Climbing Course
Our two-day Alpine Ice Climbing Course teaches the skills and techniques necessary to efficiently and confidently climb moderately steep ice, such as the 70-80 degree slopes encountered on Mount Baker’s North Ridge. This program is ideal for aspiring alpinists who are already familiar with glacier travel and mountaineering skills and wish to expand their adventures into more technical terrain with sections of steep snow and alpine ice. Successful completion of the course fulfills the prerequisites for both the North Ridge of Baker and the Kautz Glacier summit climb.
The training takes place on the Lower Coleman Glacier of Mount Baker where towering seracs, icy blue crevasses, and steep ice walls offer a plethora of climbing terrain for beginners all the way to advanced-level climbers. Participants can expect two full days of hands on instruction and ice climbing practice in addition to a review of essential glacier travel techniques.
Skills Covered in 2-Day Alpine Ice Climbing Course
Gear selection for alpine ice terrain
Crampon usage and techniques
Use of ice tools
Movement techniques and body positioning on low, moderate, and steep ice
Descent strategies- rappels, lowers
Ice / steep snow protection – ice screws, pickets
Risk management and objective hazard evaluation
Leave No Trace travel, camping, and climbing
Experience ascending and descending steep snow slopes
Basic ice axe skills
Equipment & Meals
Provided: Dinner and breakfast; all group climbing equipment, including climbing ropes, and technical hardware.
Not Provided: Personal equipment (including tents), lunches/snacks, and transportation. Climbers are responsible for all items on the gear list.
Note: If you are a beginning climber, we strongly advise renting as much gear as possible. Alpine Ascents and other local retailers provide quality rental equipment at reasonable prices. We also offer a 10% discount at the Alpine Ascents Gear Shop located at our offices. We conduct a mandatory gear check the day before your climb. A confirmation package with all details will be sent upon registration.
Overall, this was a fantastic climb. I was not thinking of doing much larger mountains than Elbrus in the future, but this program, along with Vern’s amazing support, has convinced me to try some larger mountains, both for the achievement, but also for the fun of the experience!