Canada Alpine Guides - Mountaineering and Climbing in Alberta's Rocky Mountains

CRAG Homepage
Mountaineering trips & courses around Western Canada
Rock climbing lessons and guided ascents.
Ice climbing guides & instruction


Box 40087
Canmore, AB
T1W 3H9

[About our Guides]
[Prices & Booking]

Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides on Facebook! Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides on Instagram!

Ice Week Blog postings:
Dec 2012

Ice Climbing Skills Weeks - Lead Climbing, Multipitching, Anchor Building, Steep Ice!

The ultimate course for those who are psyched to become skilled & safe ice climbers! The week will be led by CRAG's head guide J. Mills, who has over a decade of experience teaching ice climbing and is one of Canada's top ice climbers. (more...) Very small group sizes (max 4) allow for instruction that matches your skill and ambition level and provides a highly enjoyable week for all.

Ice Climber lead climbing near Banff in the Canadian Rockies.

Winter 2021/22 Dates:
  • Dec 13-17th, 2021 (3 spots left)
  • Jan 31-Feb 4th, 2022 (4 spots left)
Cost: $1195 + GST
Maximum Group Size: 4
Meeting Spot & Time: 7:30am in Canmore (details will be sent out to all participants well in advance)
Custom Dates: Available December - Early April for groups of 1 to 6. Inquire for pricing.
To Register:

  • Please e-mail us for a registration package. A non-refundable deposit of $350 is required to book your spot on this course, with the remainder due 4 weeks prior to the start date.
  • Please send us an e-mail ( and we will provide you with an electronic invoice for the deposit or total amount (let us know which you would prefer). Payment can be made by credit card, e-transfer, cheque, or PayPal.
Prerequisites: At least a few days of previous ice climbing experience, preferably up to WI4, and basic climbing skills such as belaying & rappelling. Those with less ice experience but lots of enthusiasm can take our Intermediate Ice Course and/or arrange a couple of custom days prior to the course to get up to speed. If you are unsure about your readiness for this course, please just send us an e-mail and we can help you decide.
Ice Climber learning to place screws on an ice climbing skills week


Due to variable ice conditions, weather, and partipants desires, it is impossible to provide an exact agenda. However, the week will likely look something like this and will be sure to include as much climbing as you can handle!

Day 1 - We will start with a full day of climbing at one of the local single pitch crags. This allows us to focus on movement techniques and start learning some new skills while getting to know each other!

Day 2 - Mixed climbing day! We will spend the day at a drytooling crag with lots of routes of varying difficulties. Mixed climbing is a fun part of the sport and is an excellent way to improve many of your ice climbing skills such as swapping hands on the axes, relaxing your grip, precision footwork, balance, and much more. Most participants notice a significant increase in their ice climbing techniques after this day! There will also be the opportunity to do some leading for anyone who is feeling ready.

Day 3 - Lead climbing skills! We will head to a different single pitch area and spend the day learning and practicing lead climbing skills! Initially there are a number of drills we will do on top-rope in order to safely practice the skills required for leading. Deciding to lead is a personal decision and you will not be pressured to do anything you are uncomfortable with. However, if you are keen to lead and are looking solid we will get you leading as soon as you are ready! Practicing the lead climbing skills will also make you more efficient at top-roping and following on ice.

Day 4 - Multipitch climbing skills! As we climb all day we will work on anchor building, belaying from above, multipitch rapelling, rope handling, half rope techniques, and other skills for multipitch ice climbing. Those who are ready to do some leading will have more opportunities to do so, and those who don't will still have lots of turns to take charge with the other skills.

Day 5 - Steep ice & mixed climbing! For our final day, everyone will have the chance to push their technical abilities on a number of steep ice and mixed climbs at yet another world class ice climbing venue! This will also be your chance to review the other skills learned throughout the week and to climb until you can no longer lift your ice axes!

learning to lead climb on ice in the Banff area

Gear List

Group gear such as ropes, ice tools, and carabiners will be provided by Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides. You can either bring your own personal gear or borrow most items from us at no charge. Please just let us know if you would like to borrow anything for the course. Ice Climbing Boots and clothing are not available for loan and must be rented or purchased. Rental and purchase information can be found here.
  • Ice Climbing Boots
  • Small Pack (about 30 litres)
  • Crampons - available for loan
  • Harness - available for loan
  • Helmet - available for loan
  • Sweater/Fleece
  • Winter Jacket or Goretex/Softshell Jacket
  • Winter Pants or Goretex/Softshell Pants
  • Long Underwear
  • Gloves (2 pairs)
  • Toque
  • Down Jacket if you have one!
  • Water Bottle/Thermos
  • Lunches
Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides - - Canmore, Alberta, Canada