Top three reasons to ice climb in the Wasatch Mountains
Feel a rush of euphoria upon completing your climbs on solid ice
From beginner-friendly to advanced routes—this area has it all
Soak up the dramatic views of canyons while honing your ice climbing skills
When people think of Utah in the context of outdoor recreation, the first thing that pops into their mind are its great hiking spots, premier rock climbing locations and the jaw-dropping sandstone formations. However, with Utah’s temperatures gradually dipping below freezing, the spectacular Wasatch Mountains and the surrounding canyons yield a wide variety of magnificent ice climbing routes ideal for beginners and expert ice climbers alike. Some of the best areas include Provo and Maple Canyons as well as Joe’s Valley, the hidden gem far away from crowds. Let an expert guide show you the ropes of ice climbing or help you sharpen your already existing skills on Utah’s quality ice and walk away a more confident and competent ice climber. Find out more about the best climbing in Utah from Cody Bradford, AMGA Certified Rock Guide and 57hours Ambassador.
December through March
Salt Lake City, UT, is about 45 minutes to 3 hours away from various locations
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your day
Introduction to Ice Climbing
Discover the exciting sport of ice climbing and tackle amazing basic routes in the scenic Wasatch Mountains area! Learn the latest ice climbing techniques and technical skills and stay safe on the ice. Grasp the fundamentals and feel the rush after completing your climb. Learn all you need with a professional guide by your side and take in the majestic views of the canyons you’ll be climbing in!
Intermediate Ice Climbing Adventure
Become a safer and more confident climber in Utah’s stunning Wasatch Mountains and its surrounding canyons. This course is ideal if you’ve already got some experience under your belt and have a solid grasp of ice climbing movement, anchoring, lowering and rappelling. Move beyond single-pitch climbs, learn steep ice techniques, and practice how to place protection—all under the watchful eye of your expert guide!
Advanced Ice Climbing Adventure
Put your ice climbing skills to the test and take them to a whole new level on this enticing adventure suited for advanced ice climbers. Visit the Wasatch Mountains area including Maple Canyon and Joe’s Valley and learn the strategies needed to successfully and safely lead single- or multi-pitch climb. Explore and find out more about route finding, both macro and micro. Practice mock leading, anchoring, and various transitions, all with the help of your friendly and professional guide.
Meet your guides
Red River AdventuresRed River Adventures
Red River Adventures
The Backcountry ProsThe Backcountry Pros
The Backcountry Pros
What an adventure! This was the real deal. Three of my friends and myself set off for the intro to ice class at the Stairway to Heaven in Provo with The Backcountry Pros. I thought it was going to be pretty mellow and mostly experience, mostly learning basic maneuvers. After a great coaching session we were given the opportunity to jump right into it. The waterfalls we were climbing were so much fun and quite a challenge. It made for one of the most adventurous outings we’ve ever done. Our guides knew exactly how to keep us safe and made it an incredibly enjoyable experience. I will go back next year more than once. What a fun sport that I’m excited to get into.
Carl has operated this company for over 15 years. Carl himself guided us on an ice climbing tour on Jan. 1st, the New year’s day. It was super cold, but Carl brought every equipment we needed, including extra parkas and gloves, which kept us warm all day long. It was our first time doing any type of climbing. Carl made it just perfect, he tried to make learning easier and smoother. It was definitely a great experience to have ice climbing with Red River Adventures. We would like to come back in the future.
The Red River guys were great. Clear, concise instructions to maintain safety during an activity that is, certainly, inherently a bit dangerous. I appreciate their humor and the excellent playlist on the way to the climbing site.
The most fun, energetic and entertaining crew out there, book with them!
Things to know
Covid measures in the Wasatch Mountains area
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 the Wasatch Mountains area, UT, please refer to the Utah Travel Guidance Government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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
- A full day of ice climbing
- All technical ice climbing (harness, helmet, ice tools and crampons)
What’s not included:
- Personal clothing and equipment
- Meals and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
For the Intro to Ice Climbing, 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.
Intermediate and Advanced courses require previous experience on ice and knowledge of fundamental and more advanced techniques that you can upgrade with the help of a guide.
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 ice climbed before?
The Wasatch Mountains area has plenty of options for beginner ice climbers. Whether you’ve never ice climbed before or are transitioning from the rocks to ice structures, 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, and most importantly, have fun!
For intermediate to advanced ice climbers, the Wasatch Mountains area 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.
What about required equipment?
All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service, except for the boots. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Ice tools
Here’s a list of the equipment you should:
- Three pairs of gloves
- Hat that fits under the helmet
- Down coat or synthetic puffy coat
- Wind and waterproof soft shell jacket with hood
- Waterproof pants
- Coat or other warm under layers
- Wool or polyester base layer
- Down-fill vest or fleece jacket mid-layer
- Synthetic or wool underwear and socks
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 30-40L bag)
- Water bottle
- Thermos with a warm beverage
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Warmers and toe warmers
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Ski goggles
- 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 group size for these courses are usually between 1–3 people with one guide.
- Costs per person decrease as the group grows for these courses, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
Ice climbing days in the Wasatch Mountains area 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 as young as 8 may be permitted to ice 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 the Wasatch Mountains, most people fly into Salt Lake City International Airport 45 minutes to 3 hours away from various ice climbing locations around the Wasatch Mountains. From there, you can rent a car, get a taxi or take a train or trams.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.