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Dates and Prices

Price

$995 CDN covers instruction and use of technical gear including boots (may be subject to availability). Accommodation and meals are not included but low cost, easy options exist which we can tell you about. GST is extra. Gratuities not included.

Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.

Is it for you?

This course is suitable for total beginners, rock climbers and general mountaineers. Ice climbing can be a strenuous activity but our instruction will emphasize development of technique to reduce the need for brute strength. The climbing will be tailored towards your ability and strength as much as possible. A high level of fitness will contribute to enjoyment and achievement. You need NO previous experience.

Ice Climbing Level 1 & 2 - Ice Evolution

The Ice Evolution technical ice climbing course mirrors development for the average person in the sport of ice climbing over a period of 5 days. First we instruct and coach you on ice climbing movement skills. You will make full use of modern ice climbing equipment in this course and get instruction on current ice climbing standards. Quickly improving, you'll find yourself climbing steeper and steeper ice as the course progresses. You'll also experience the excitement of climbing a classic multi-pitch ice climbing route on the 3rd day. Ultimately you will finish the course where the sport is now - mixed climbing on rock and ice, using 'leashless' tools. From our office in Canmore, Alberta Canada we utilize waterfall ice pitches in Canmore, Banff and Kananaskis for our instruction and course curriculum. Our instructors are top ice climbing guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.

This innovative and modern ice climbing development program is taught in the Canadian Rockies by instructors who are on the cutting edge of modern climbing. It is suitable for fit beginner climbers and is also a great transition program for rock climbers. Five days of focused instruction is designed to accelerate your ice climbing experience and ability.

Ice Evolution Course Agenda

Note: There is considerable flexibility built into the delivery of this course, no course is exactly the same. Ice and weather conditions as well as participant ability will dictate the order of presentation to some degree. Key topics will be constantly revisited during the program.

Day 1: 7:30am At Yamnuska Office in Canmore, Alberta Canada

  • Welcome, introductions, goals and program agenda.
  • Issue and check gear, adjust crampons.
  • Discussion of safety procedures, hazard awareness and basic rope techniques.
  • Discussion of knots and harnesses.
  • Basic ice movements - use and placement of crampons and ice tools; this is crucial to climbing success. All too often ice climbers waste precious time and energy in failed attempts to properly place crampons and tools in the ice. It's not about strength but technique.
  • Top rope belays and climbing communication.
  • Movement skills on short top-roped climbs. How to ice climb efficiently and use correct body positioning to save energy and time. A lot of the time on this program will devoted to coaching participants in movement skills and techniques. Rock climbers will enjoy applying their existing movement skills to this new medium. 
  • Lowering skills.

Day 2:

  • Consolidation of technical belaying and communication skills.
  • Site hazard awareness.
  • Climbing warm up.
  • Introduction to steep ice climbing techniques.
  • Lots of climbing with coaching on steeper climbs.
  • Introduction to placing and removing ice screws.
  • Introduction to basic ice anchor construction.

Day 3:

  • Multi-pitch climbing. Split into small teams of 2 students per instructor you will use your new skills on one of the longer multi-pitch ice climbs for which the Canadian Rockies are famous. Your instructor will choose a climb that is designed to challenge and test you but still be appropriate for you to learn and develop multi-pitch climbing systems.

Day 4:

  • Discussion of emergency preparedness.
  • Top rope anchor construction using bolts, ice screws and V-threads.
  • Rappelling with a bottom belay.
  • Rope coiling and care.
  • More climbing with coaching on steeper ice.

Day 5:

  • Basic trip planning (review weather, avalanche conditions and topos).
  • Student lead hazard evaluation of the site.
  • Route selection.
  • Student led route set up.
  • Using ice screws and bolts as directionals.
  • Route cleaning (getting your gear back)
  • If time permits we may explore dry tooling techniques for mixed climbing on rock and ice. 
  • The course ends at approximately 5:00pm.

More climbing: Yamnuska Ice Climbing Guides and Instructors are also available for private climbs after the program.