This 3-day course is packed with information. You will learn about the important classic crampon techniques, steep ice climbing, and anchor systems as they relate to alpine ice. We will cover basic rope handling techniques in alpine and glaciated terrain, create multi pitch scenarios and talk about gear and route selection. If you have any ambition of climbing some of the classic snow and ice routes, you should strongly consider this course.
This course has a slightly different focus than the winter Ice Climbing course or our Mountaineering Courses. There will be a stronger emphasis on crampon technique as well as movement in alpine ice terrain. We will cover steep ice climbing, anchor systems and rope handling in an alpine setting. All this will happen in glaciated terrain of the Lower Coleman and Roosevelt Glaciers, which will allow us to cover multi pitch scenarios, gear selection, route and site selection and much more. If you are an aspiring alpinist who wants to be prepared for the amazing variety of challenges alpine ice can throw at you, don't miss this course.
Overall Difficulty: Moderate
Skills Required: No climbing experience required
Fitness Level: This trip is strenuous. Good good physical fitness is required; you should be able to hike or climb for 3 to 6 hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 lbs. and ascend up to 3,000 feet of vertical gain per day for consecutive days.
1. Introduction to Gear
• a short history of crampons and ice axes
• comparing different ice axes and crampons
• general gear selection for alpine ice terrain
2. Crampon and Ice Axe Techniques
• the progression of classic crampon technique - uphill, downhill, side hill
• the progression of ice axe use - uphill, downhill, side hill
• easy crampon technique circuit on glacier ice
• hard crampon technique circuit using fixed ropes on glacier ice
• ice anchor, ice bollards, V - threads
4. Movement on Crevassed Glaciers
5. Alpine Ice Climbing
• multi-pitch techniques on classic ice routes
• rappelling on classic ice routes
• retrieval of ice screws after a rappel
• moat problem solving
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.