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Climbing Course

Alpine Ice

Introduction to alpine ice climbing. Learn the skills necessary to swing leads on a 45-60 degree alpine ice route.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Prerequisites: Intermediate Rock Climbing module or equivalent, and Intermediate Glacier Travel course.

This module teaches the skills necessary to swing leads on an alpine ice routes typical for the Cascades. This includes:

  • Crampon techniques for ascending and descending on ice
  • Placing ice screws
  • Building v-threads
  • Building anchors in hard ice and hard snow.
  • Swinging leads on 45-60 degree glacial ice

The module consists of one evening lecture, a two day FT to the Coleman Glacier Seracs and a one day FT to Observation Rock.

Applicants must have completed the Intermediate Glacier  module, and both rock modules (single and multi-pitch trad).

Applicable standards:

●  Ice climbing, leading and swinging leads on alpine ice up to 45 degrees, including:

▪  Flat-footing and front-pointing crampon technique

▪  Using ice tools

▪  Placement of ice protection, including pickets and ice screws

▪  Construction and use of ice anchors for belaying

▪  Construction and use of ice anchors for rappelling, including the v-thread anchor

▪  Running belays on low angle ice and hard snow

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Alpine Ice Lecture
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Thu, Aug 12, 2021
Registration closes Aug 10
10 participants
Alpine Ice FT 1
Heliotrope Ridge and Lower Coleman Glacier & Seracs
Sat, Aug 14, 2021
Registration closes Aug 12
9 participants
1 instructor
Alpine Ice FT2
Heliotrope Ridge and Lower Coleman Glacier & Seracs
Sun, Aug 15, 2021
Registration closes Aug 13
9 participants
1 instructor
Alpine Ice Field Trip 3
Observation Rock/North Face
Sat, Sep 25, 2021
Registration closes Sep 2
11 participants
Required Equipment
  • Everything needed for an alpine rock climb (minus the rock protection), plus
  • Sharp 12 point steel crampons (no aluminum)
  • Conventional ice axe
  • Ice tool(s) (optional - we have several for you to try)
  • V-thread tool 
  • 4-5' 7 mm nylon cord
  • 2-3 ice screws, including one 22 cm
Course Materials