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

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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]

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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 2018/19 Dates:

  • Dec 15-19th, 2018 (FULL)
  • Jan 26-30th, 2019 (FULL)

Cost: $1095 + GST
Maximum Group Size: 4
Meeting Spot & Time: 8:00am in Canmore (details will be sent out to all participants well in advance)
Custom Dates: Available December - Early April for groups of 1 to 8. Inquire for pricing.
To Register:

  • Please e-mail us for a registration package. A 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 online, easily and securely, using a credit card number or PayPal account. Alternately, mail a cheque to: Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides, Box 40087, Canmore, AB, T1W 3H9.
Prerequisites: At least a few days of previous ice climbing experience, preferably up to WI4. Those with no ice experience but with a mountaineering or rock climbing background and lots of enthusiasm can take our Intro Ice Course 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 out with a skills day at a local single pitch area such as Haffner Creek or the Wedge Smear. This gives everyone the chance to get to know each other and start learning new skills while climbing all day. There will likely be the option to try some mixed climbing as well.

Day 2 - Multipitch climbing! This will be a fully guided ascent of a multipitch ice climb with lots of time to work on skills such as anchor building, rope handling, belaying from above, and multipitch rapelling. We will choose a route that is not too long so that we have no need to rush and can focus on skill development.

Day 3 - Lead climbing skills! We will head to a different single pitch area and spend the day learning the basics of lead climbing on ice. 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 have the skills, we will get you leading as soon as you are ready!

Day 4 - Multipitch climbing! We will again head out for a multipitch day, but this time the leading may be shared between everyone who is ready. If you don't feel ready to lead climb, you will still have opportunities to take charge with the descent and other parts of the day. As always, everyone will get lots of climbing in during the day!

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