Introduction to Water Ice Climbing Course - 2023

Climbing Course

Introduction to Water Ice Climbing Course

Introduction to Water Ice Climbing Course

Explore the world of water ice climbing! This is a single-pitch course that will cover the techniques needed for safe and effective movement on vertical ice.   By the end of this course, students will successfully demonstrate excellent technique for climbing in the water ice environment (typically climbing WI4 on top rope).

TO APPLY, Please send a detailed email to both the course leaders Jacob and Mija that includes:

- why you want to take this course
- what experience you have climbing (ice, glacier, rock, sport)
- what type of experience you are looking for
- what skills you have (belaying, setting up a top rope, cleaning an
anchor, first aid, etc)

There will be an initial online session to discuss logistics, gear, technique and another session at the Seattle Program Center to get on the foam wall. The bulk of the course will happen at the Ouray ice park in Colorado. We will climb Thurs-Saturday, but you should plan to arrive in Ouray Wednesday evening. Sunday is an optional personal climbing day and/or travel day. 

In addition basic training techniques to prepare for ice climbing will be sent out. The better shape you're in the more ice you'll be able to climb.

Required: participation in this course requires a positive attitude. In the past we've dealt with bad weather in Seattle, bad weather in Denver, challenging housing situations. Ice climbing is also cold.

A few other things to note:

  • We will be reviewing applications and letting folks know by nov 15
    • Please get your application in by nov 11th. 
  • The course fee does NOT include housing.
  • Proof of vaccination is required to attend this course

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Introduction to Ice Climbing - lecture
Online Classroom
Thu, Dec 15, 2022
Registration closes Dec 8
0 participants
1 instructor
Seattle Program Center
Fri, Jan 6, 2023
Registration closes Dec 8
0 participants
1 instructor
Water Ice Field Trip 1
Ouray Ice Park
Wed, Feb 1, 2023 -
Sun, Feb 5, 2023
Registration closes Dec 8
0 participants
1 instructor
Required Equipment

(a more detailed gear list will be provided):

If you do not already have the gear, expect to spend $500 to $1500 retail.  Do not buy anything in advance of course acceptance notices.  

- 2 technical tools (good idea to try out different tools on the ice before buying first pair)

- ice screws - 2 per person (must have a “crank” like the Black Diamond Express Screw)

- v-thread tool

- steel crampons (vertical or horizontal points)

- stiff soled mountaineering boots appropriate for ice climbing

- single ropes with dry treatment for top roping (note: 70m length can be useful in Ouray)

- proper layering systems and  gloves for ice climbing

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.