Top three reasons to go ice climbing in New Hampshire
Take in breathtaking views of the massive cliffs covered with solid ice
Feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins on various climbs
The frozen cliffs are home to both beginner-friendly and more challenging routes
Does ice climbing on dramatic cliffs teeming with thick ice and offering stupendous views sound tempting? If so, you should definitely head to New Hampshire and get a sense of adventure on its majestic frozen walls. No matter if you’re a newcomer to the highly-engaging sport of ice climbing or a seasoned veteran, the various lines these icy structures offer will guarantee unforgettable moments. Some of the best gems include Crawford Notch, Huntington Ravine and Cannon Cliff, but the area is packed with breathtaking locations boasting both low-angle and steep ice cragging routes. The massive frozen cliffs in New Hampshire truly come to life during the winter months, so join an expert guide and come see for yourself why the area is so popular among adventure seekers!
December through April
Portland, ME, is under 2 hours away
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your days
Intro to Ice Climbing With a Private Guide
Challenge yourself and give ice climbing a go on some of the most stunning frozen cliffs in New Hampshire. Learn how to successfully ascend an icy wall and stay safe while conquering various routes and having tons of fun in the process. Join your expert guide who’ll show you the ropes of ice climbing and fall in love with this adrenaline-fueled activity!
A Full Day of Ice Climbing for Intermediate to Advanced Climbers
Step up your ice climbing game on New Hampshire’s ice-cliffs and acquire new skills with the help of an expert guide! If you have prior ice climbing experience and know how to follow a leader, belay, rappel and tie specific knots, immerse yourself in some of the best climbing on frozen structures and reach a whole new level of expertise! Let your guide organize an ideal adventure according to your abilities and enjoy a day on the cliffs.
2-Day Ice Climbing Adventure for All Skill Levels
Discover the joy of ice climbing with the help of your professional guide and learn how to ascend the frozen structures that New Hampshire has to offer. Learn the proper climbing techniques and how to belay and move on to the multi-pitch routes once you get the hang of the basics. Your guide will tailor a perfect ice climbing adventure for you. This thrilling 2-day adventure is ideal for anyone wishing to gain an insight into what ice climbing is all about!
3-Day Ice Climbing Adventure for All Skill Levels
Discover the thrill of ice climbing and spend three days learning about this highly-engaging and adrenaline-inducing sport. Let your experienced guide teach you all about the various techniques, belaying, communication, and much more so that by Day 3 you can follow them on a multi-pitch climb. Seize the opportunity to master the fundamentals of ice climbing and become more confident on New Hampshire’s frozen cliffs—all with the help of an expert guide.
During your adventure, your guide will teach you all about:
- Ice climbing equipment and techniques
- Body movements and posture
- Proper techniques for swinging and utilizing ice tools
- Proper belaying techniques for top rope sites and following a leader
- Ice protection and cleaning to follow
If you are new to ice climbing, your guide will make sure to go slow and help you learn all the basics one step at a time before moving on to the more complicated techniques and movements. If you already have some experience on ice, your guide will evaluate your skills and make suggestions on how to improve and upgrade them. You will face bigger challenges and get a hang of some more complicated movements and techniques. Your guide will always make sure to take you on an ice route that best fits your skill and comfort level.
Meet your guide
AMGA Certified Guides
Stop sitting on the couch wishing you could be adventurous and go! My husband and I did the Introduction to Ice-Climbing and it was not only action-packed, but it is challenging enough that you leave with the endorphins of being on the mountain in winter AND the satisfaction of feeling like you accomplished something. I have a disability that renders my left leg and foot all but useless, which is not a small problem in ice-climbing. Peter, our guide, was patient and steadfast in teaching techniques, providing tips, and suggesting real time modifications that allowed me and every other person in our group to make it to the top. I would book this excursion a million times over and plan to do waterfall rappelling with NEM after the thaw.
Northeast Mountaineering is legit. We went ice climbing with them recently and the whole experience was significantly more than I expected. Prior to this trip I’ve only been ice climbing one time and my friend has never even been to a rock gym. These guys had us on gnarly climbs on day two. I didn’t even realize ice climbers did this stuff, never mind rookies. Our guide, Coby, lead-climbed a few pitches in North Conway. The experience definitely pushed me. Best of all, we felt safe the whole time. The guides were very experienced, knowledgeable, and great teachers. Definitely a trip I will never forget. Corey even stopped by on day 2, hanging from the top of Penguin to take professional pictures of the climb. Can’t say enough good things about this company and their people. I recommend checking them out and gaining from their experience.
Went and did the intro to ice climbing with a small group and a guide. It was a bitter cold day and after a challenging hike through the snow I got very cold. The guide was very accommodating, bringing along an extra parka and sharing his hot chocolate. This made the day a great at experience with fun climbs and good people. We stayed in the bunk house that night and it’s very affordable and nice enough for a group stay area.
We did a two day ice climbing trip with these guys in March and had an awesome time. We were beginners so we did one day of intro and one day of summiting a local mountain that involved some ice climbing and some hiking. The guides are excellent, friendly, very knowledgeable, reliable, and professional. The gear was good as well, high quality and in good shape- not always the case with rental gear at some places. They made sure everyone was well informed and comfortable, and tooks us to some good spots to climb. We were in a small group for the intro course and it was just two of us with one guide for the second day. The bunkhouse is cool because everyone stays there together and hangs out- it’s very basic accommodations as long as you are good with that, but worth the cheap price and suitable for a couple nights. Bring your own food, and it’s good to have your own basic gear (jacket, gloves, etc.) but they have the climbing-specific stuff. I’d definitely come back, and I’m sure their other trips are good as well.
Spent two days climbing with Mark at NEM and loved it! Great bunkhouse to gear up and sleep. Great location near many climbs. Very safety orientated and learned a lot about the sport of ice climbing. We would definitely recommend NEM and Mark!
Things to know
Covid measures in New Hampshire
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in New Hampshire, please refer to the New Hampshire COVID-19 Response Website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- One to three days of ice climbing depending on your chosen itinerary
What’s not included:
- Technical climbing equipment (can be rented from your guiding service)
- Transportation before, during and after the adventure
- Meals and snacks
- Pro-photo packages for Intro to Ice Climbing
How fit do I need to be?
If you can climb a ladder, you’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Ice climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up ice formations using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.
What if I’ve never climbed before?
New Hampshire has plenty of options for beginner climbers. Whether you’ve never climbed before or are transitioning from the rocks to ice climbing, your guide will customize the day to suit your skill level and objectives. With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the ice formations, and most importantly, have fun!
For intermediate to advanced climbers, New Hampshire has loads of routes to spend the day on. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while ice climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.
Note: For climbs in Huntington Ravine and Cannon Cliff, your guide requires that you have climbed with them before and are proficient at following WI4. These routes can be climbed during the 3-day Ice Climbing Adventure and Full Day of Ice Climbing for Intermediate to Advanced Climbers.
What about required equipment?
All technical climbing equipment is available for rent from your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Crampons (10-12 point)
- Ice Axes
- Mountaineering boots
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Pack with a waist strap large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 30-40L bag)
- Wool or synthetic warm hat
- Ball hat/sun hat — optional
- Lightweight fleece gloves
- Wind/water resistant insulated medium-weight mountain gloves
- Wind/water resistant heavy insulated mittens
- Long sleeve wool or synthetic base layer top
- Light insulating fleece layer/soft shell top
- Wind and waterproof hard shell jacket with a hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Insulated parka
- Synthetic climbing pants (for most adventures snow pants will suffice)
- Wind and waterproof hard shell pants
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- Knee-length pair of gaiters
- Buff/neck gaiter
- Water bottle (2L of water)
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Camera — optional
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- The usual guest to guide ratio for Intro to Ice Climbing is 4:1.
- The usual guest to guide ratio for the multi-day adventures and a Full Day of Ice Climbing For Ice Climbers with Previous Experience is 2:1.
- Costs per person decrease as the group grows for all the adventures, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
Ice climbing days in New Hampshire can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has ice climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to your meeting location in New Hampshire, most people fly into Portland International Jetport in Maine 1.5 hours from The Bunkhouse at Northeast Mountaineering in Glen, NH. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus and a taxi.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, you’ll meet your guide at the Bunkhouse at Northeast Mountaineering in Glen. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.