Ice Climbing

About Ice Climbing

When you strap on spikes to your boots and swing axes at the ice, and make your way up towering frozen water formations, you truly feel like a mountaineer summiting one of the highest peaks in the world. This sport will take you to some amazing environments and magical places, and the dramatic, shimmering surface of your climb is breathtaking on its own.

Ice Climbing AB 14 Kananaskis Credit Brandon Hartwig @freeluftsliv

Winter Wonderland

Many winter settings actually offer a chance to try out this chilly version of rock climbing. The roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and slabs covered with flowing water that has refrozen offers a variety of technical challenges, unique courses, and truly spectacular views of glistening ice, sparkling snow, and the wild settings that lay underneath.

Ice Climbing AB 02 Banff Credit Travel Alberta Jeff Bartlett

Expert Guides

You and your group can book a private guide well-versed in the techniques, safety, and best spots for an epic ice climbing adventure. Your guide will lead the climb, ensuring all climbers are secured to the ice feature, providing tips and encouragement, and tailoring the tour to the previous climbing experience (or lack thereof!) of everyone on the trip.

Ice Climbing AB 05 Nordegg Credit Girth Hitch Guiding ROAM Creative

In It Together

Let yourself have the thrill of climbing a beautiful chandelier clinging to the mountainside, and enjoy this incredibly pro-social activity that is great to do with family, friends, or co-workers. Requiring communication, adaptation, and support, ice climbing promotes personal and leadership development, great team-building, and sheer exhilaration!

Tours with Ice Climbing

Experience crisp mountain air as you travel far from the crowds. Climb frozen waterfalls, float above the snowy mountain peaks, and snowshoe the dramatic mountain range. Available December to March.

Build Your Own Ice Climbing Tour

Let’s make a trip that’s uniquely yours! You decide how long, level of difficulty, number of inclusions, everything. Start planning now and make your dream trip a reality.

Staff Picks

Canmore, AB

This small mountain town is the launching pad for some of the best waterfall ice climbing in the world. Many of Canada's top ice climbers reside in Canmore, and most of them provide guiding services!

Whistler, BC

Climbing tours are available at a variety of scenic spots in the area, including Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler Valley, and Duffey Lakes.

Whitehorse, YK

Excursions out of the Yukon capital can take you to the human-made ice towers on Mt. Sima, or to explore the natural frozen waterfalls and canyons in the surrounding area.



Ice Climbing AB 04 Nordegg Credit Girth Hitch Guiding ROAM Creative

Changing It Up

Every day, ice can change. It grows, shrinks, and shifts. Ice climbing provides the beauty of nature with the novel challenge of a medium that changes constantly.

Ice Climbing AB 10 Canmore Credit Vertical Horizons John Price

You've Got This!

While it may look intimidating, ice climbing is actually quite friendly to beginners. You’ll need a basic level of fitness and mobility, but it’s otherwise a relatively easy way to get out of your comfort zone.

Ice Climbing AB 01 Banff Credit Travel Alberta Anthony Redpath

Feel Like a Kid Again

Ice climbing is just plain fun. There’s something peculiarly satisfying about swinging spikey tools into ice that will tap into not only the cliffside, but your inner child, too.

Essential Gear and Equipment

Be sure to dress warm in synthetic or wool layers (and a waterproof outer layer) and bring mitts, a neck warmer, and toque. You’ll also need waterproof boots that are compatible with climbing crampons! Bring along your wilderness survival essentials (first aid kit, navigation, food, water, knife, fire starter, communication, and a backpack) as well.

Your ice climbing tour or guide should be providing you with the specialized gear needed for the adventure (helmet, crampons, ice axes, harness and ice clippers, belay device, locking carabiners, and anchor material, personal bail kit, ice screws and draws, and avalanche safety equipment).


Anytime you decide to go explore nature, you should…

  • Check the weather.
  • Research the route and take a map with you. 
  • Carry the proper gear for the experience.
  • Bring extra food.
  • Tell someone where you are going.
  • Check with the Parks or tourism office for closures and wildlife updates. 
  • Follow the Leave No Trace principles.
  • Do not feed, touch or approach wildlife.
Ice Climbing AB 15 Kananaskis Credit Tom Amaral @scree dust

Don’t try this alone! We highly recommend booking a guided ice climbing adventure so that a pro can show you the ropes (literally).

Focus on technique over power – it’s more important to get the motions of swinging your ice tools correctly than with a lot of force. Watch more experienced climbers and practice.

Never side-by-side as ice breaks horizontally.

Go slow as you rappel back down to avoid knocking your knees against a wall of ice!

Did You Know?

While the Rocky Mountains are naturally the most popular ice climbing destination in the country, the East Coast gets in on the action, too. You can scale the coastal cliffs near Sackville, New Brunswick, but you’ve got to be committed! First you’ll need to hike, snowshoe, or ski to the base of the climb, hauling all your gear with you. Once there, though, you’ll be afforded vast ocean views as you make your way up.

Ice Climbing General 02 Credit Joshua Sukoff

Have Questions?

Sometimes it’s just easier to talk to someone. Give us a call and let’s discuss how we can create your unique experience.