Banff, Alberta

Brian crunches the numbers on the Rockies
finest, The Professor Falls (WI5).
Photo: Chris Wright

Icefields Parkway, Alberta

Brian finds it plenty steep despite the
sun on the Rockies' ultra-classic
Murchison Falls.
Photo: Chris Wright

Crag of Doom, Central Oregon

You don't need ice for mixed climbing
- or at least not for drytooling. Chris
on his own Arterial Spurt (M8), Crag
of Doom, Central Oregon.
Photo: Nate Gerhardt

Field, British Columbia

Terry finds the solid sticks on the "beer
climb" classic Guinness Gully (WI4).
Photo: Chris Wright

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Danny Uhlmann on the crux of his and
Chris's new route, Morning Bread (WI5 M5 1200'),
one of many of the Magic Islands' hidden secrets.
Photo: Chris Wright

Ouray, Colorado

Chris on the first ascent of Ha Dov, M8
on the Bear Falls Wall.
Photo: Karsten Delap

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Ice climbing is one of the essential elements of mountaincraft. Good thing it’s fun too.

Ice climbing is one of the most fun things you’ll ever do. There is a common misconception that mountaineering is a reasonable endeavor, whereas ice and rock climbing are extreme. In my opinion, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Climbing mountains often involves long days, early starts, nights in a tent, and some degree of suffering and/or character-building. Though ice climbing may sound cold, and certainly there’s no denying that the ice is frozen, with the right equipment and conditions winter climbing is a pleasure.

Now!Climbing offers trips every year to two of the world’s great ice centers: Ouray, Colorado and The Canadian Rockies. For those new to climbing ice, we’ll work on the basics, from footwork to proper body positioning and efficient movement, and most climbers will find that after a day of work, climbing ice feels fun and natural. After a few days, fit and motivated climbers can find themselves climbing at a level that will surprise themselves most of all. Most climbers agree that once the initial trepidation about attacking a frozen waterfall with medieval tools is overcome, ice climbing can actually feel easier and more natural than any other type of climbing. Whereas rock climbing is often a series of physical puzzles involving small hand and footholds and intricate and often strenuous sequences, ice climbing with modern tools and crampons is all about technique. Similarly to rock, it can be its own goal, or it can be training for bigger things. Lessons learned on the waterfalls or scratching at the crag pay innumerable returns in the high mountains. Whether you’re looking to learn basic ice or modern mixed technique, or go big on Colorado or Rockies classics, we’ve got you covered.