Push your ice climbing skills to a whole new level in some of Canada’s most breathtaking ice climbing spots! Work on more advanced climbing movements and techniques and experience a boost of confidence upon conquering some amazing frozen structures. Discover the quality ice in the Bow Valley, Kananaskis, and Ghost River area and immerse yourself in Canada’s jaw-dropping scenery all around you.
Day 1: Advanced climbing movements
On the first day of this exciting adventure, you’ll meet up with your guide at a predetermined location and the guide will talk you through some of the topics you’ll cover. Head to various ice climbing locations around Bow Valley, Kananaskis, and the Ghost River and work on advanced ice climbing movements and progress your climbing grade and confidence in the process on Alberta’s finest ice structures. Learn about building ice screw anchors and how to place screws while leading routes.
Day 2: Consolidating knowledge from the previous day
You’ll once again head to different ice climbing spots in Alberta to consolidate your knowledge from Day 1. The Ghost River Valley has loads of frozen waterfalls for all grades. Have your experienced guide show you the more advanced ice climbing movements and techniques and conquer some epic icy formations. You’ll continue learning about building ice screw anchors and how to place screws while leading routes.
Day 3: Classic multi-pitch route in Bow Valley
On the last day of this adventure, you’ll head to Bow Valley in order to scale one of the many classic multi-pitch routes and this will introduce and review multi-pitch rappelling, a much needed skill for big climbs and mountains. After your enticing adventure in the magical Rockies has finished, you’ll walk away a much more competent ice climber.
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 Canadian Rockies, Alberta, please refer to the COVID-19 travel guidelines for Alberta.
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:
- An experienced, local ACMG / IFMGA Mountain guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- 3 or 4 days of ice climbing instruction and practice depending on your chosen itinerary
- Use of group technical gear
- For the 4-Day Advanced adventure: 3 nights’ accommodation in shared rooms at mountain hostels
- Accomodations for the 3-Day Intermediate adventure
- Personal climbing equipment (can be rented from your guiding service)
- Meals and snacks
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.
In order to participate in these adventures, you need to have some prior ice climbing experience under your belt. For intermediate to advanced climbers, the Canadian Rockies have 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 climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer. If this is your first time on ice, join a guide for a day of Intro to Ice Climbing.
Technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service for the Intermediate Ice Climbing Adventure, except for boots. Personal climbing gear can be rented from your guiding service. If you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Climbing harness
- Mountaineering boots
- 2 technical ice climbing tools (for intermediate and advanced ascents)
- Crampons (12 point, must fit your boots)
- Ice ax
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40-55L bag)
- Warm hat/toque
- Neck tube/balaclava
- Waterproof mountaineering gloves or wool/fleece mitts/gloves
- Waterproof over mitts (two pairs)
- Lightweight winter ice climbing gloves (tight fit)
- Outer waterproof jacket with hood
- Heavyweight fleece or insulated down jacket with hood
- Medium-weight fleece sweater
- Wool or fleece long sleeve shirt
- Shoeller material, wool/nylon blend or fleece pants
- Waterproof knee-length gaiters (that will fit over large boots)
- Polypro, wool, capilene or fleece long top and bottom underwear
- Wool/blend socks (clean socks for each day)
- Sleeping bag for the hostels (for the Advanced Ice Climbing Adventure)
- 1-liter water bottle
- Thermos with a warm beverage
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Toiletries (sunscreen, lip balm, toilet paper, etc.)
- Headlamp with fresh batteries
- Pocket knife
- Blister kit
- Trekking or ski poles
- 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 prices:
- For these adventures, the usual guest to guide ratio is 6:1 (2:1 for multi pitch climbs).
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
- If joining alone, you’ll be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience.
Ice climbing days in the Canadian Rockies 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 14 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
- Children and minors younger than 14 aren’t allowed to participate in this tour.
If your group has ice climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
To get to the Canadian Rockies, most people fly into Calgary International Airport 1.5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus.
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.
Secure your spot for next year with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!
For regular dates, a 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies, and deposits are no longer refundable. The remaining 70% of the amount is paid the latest 3 months (90 days) prior the departure.
- Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure any time in case the dates don’t suit you.
- Once the dates for 2024 are set, you can confirm your booking by the end of this year by paying another 20% of the total amount.
- The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.
- Once the trip has been confirmed, the regular cancellation policy applies.
In the event that the minimum number of people to confirm the adventure is not reached, your guide can cancel the departure at most 2 months before the start of the trip. Please note the adventures for 2024 are expected to reach the minimum number of people soon, and the likelihood of trip not happening is very low.
In case you need to cancel the adventure, the following cancellation costs would be incurred:
All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure.
- The deposit is non-refundable once the trip has been confirmed
- 70% of the adventure price is refundable if canceled 59 days or more before departure, once the trip has been confirmed
- 50% of the adventure price is refundable if canceled 30-59 days before departure
- 25% of the adventure price is refundable if canceled 16-29 days before departure
- 0% of the price of the trip if it is canceled 15 days before departure.