Phone: 403 678 4164 - 1 866 678 4164
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Ice Climbing in the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies boast some of the best ice and mixed climbing in the world. Easy to access canyons and massive multi-pitch frozen waterfalls provide almost unlimited challenges for beginners to elite climbers alike. Many of Canada's top ice climbers call Canmore their home, and many of them guide for Yamnuska.

Ice Climbing Season

Ice climbing is typically available from late November through until April. Optimum season is December to mid-March.

Ice Climbing

Ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies is world class.  Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is the premier Canadian Rockies ice climbing guide company and ice climbing school. For over 35 years in the Canadian Rockies we have hosted thousands of ice climbers from Canada and all over the world. Rockies Ice is our home! Ice routes and crags in Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis, Yoho, Lake Louise, the Ghost and Jasper are our backyard, and we love it!

We provide you with the highest quality ice climbing experience. Our guides are out ice climbing every day and we have up to date ice route and avalanche conditions.  We have the most guides out in the field and our experience is unmatched. If we climb in or pass through avalanche terrain, we will give you a transceiver and teach you how to use it - our safety systems are industry leading. The Yam Ice Exchange is a network of information sharing for our gudies that promotes route and condition discussions for all of our ice climbing guides.

Our Ice Climbing Team includes most of the best ice climbers, guides and instructors anywhere! Enthusiastic and extremely talented, they hold climbing certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and from other International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) countries. Your safety and enjoyment are paramount to them. In addition to being expert ice climbers they are trained to meet our high standards of customer service.

The Ice Climbing Guide Team includes guides Jason Billing, Steve Blagbrough, Barry Blanchard, Pat Delaney, Carl Johnston, James Madden, Jesse De Montigny, Grant Meekins, Brent Peters, Jean Gamilovski and Nick Sharpe.

Experience the best ice climbing on the planet!

Beginner Programs

Intermediate & Advanced Programs

  • Advanced Ice Systems: Weekend ice climbing course in the Canadian Rockies focuses on technical protection and gear skills for leading and multi-pitch ice climbing.
  • Canadian Rockies Hot Ice: Canada's premier 5-day multi-pitch ice climbing program. We climb the Rockies Ice classics. 
  • Canadian Rockies Mixed Climbing: This technical ice and mixed course combines the best of both worlds! Rock and Ice!
  • Multipitch and Instructional Ice Climbing Programs: Available for beginner and expert ice climbers. Call us if you have a specific objective in mind or let us choose a classic Canadian Rockies Ice route or ice climbing training area.

Semester Programs

Ice climbing forms an integral part of the Yamnuska Mountain Skills Semester, a three month program of intensive mountaineering training.

Ice Climbing Grades

Ice climbing grades are unique to themselves. Most beginner or novice start on Grades 2 and 3. Many ice climbers can progress quickly and intermediate ice climbers are usually quite comfortable on Grade 4. Generally Grade 5 and up is recommended for more advanced ice climbers.

WI 1 - Flat - like a lake... and no routes are graded WI 1.

WI 2 - Low angle ice or very short pitches up to 80 degrees.

WI 3 - Sustained pitches up to 80 degree ice with good resting places. Requires skills for placing protection.

WI 4 - Sustained pitches of vertical or off vertical ice. May have some run-outs between protection.

WI 5 - Long pitches of vertical ice requiring good protection placement.

WI 6 - Full pitches of dead vertical ice. Featured or requiring awkward stances and movement.

WI 7 - Full pitch of thin vertical or overhanging ice. Requires exceptional skill.

WI 8 - Hardest climbs.