Introduction to Water Ice Climbing Course - 2024

Climbing Course

Introduction to Water Ice Climbing Course

Introduction to Water Ice Climbing Course

NOTICE: The dates for this course may change slightly depending on availability of permits. 

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).

Trip report from last year.

TO APPLY Please fill out this form:

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 three days, but you should plan to arrive in Ouray at least the evening before the course.

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 20th
    • Please get your application in by the 17th. 
  • The course fee does NOT include housing.
  • Proof of vaccination is required to attend this course.
  • This course often has many more applicants than room. Volunteering history with the Mountaineers on your profile or having volunteering activities signed up for in the future is viewed favorably.


Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

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.  Instructors are happy to give advice when buying gear. Gear can also be rented in Ouray.

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

- vertical automatic steel crampons

- stiff soled mountaineering boots appropriate for ice climbing

- proper layering systems and  gloves for ice climbing

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.