More Ways To Enjoy Ice Than Simply Skating
One exciting way to experience the wonders of the Canadian Rocky Mountains is Banff Ice Climbing. It may seem daunting at first, but with the expert guidance of Yamnuska Mountain Adventures (the premier Canadian Rockies ice climbing guide company and ice climbing school) you’ll be comfortably scaling frozen waterfalls in no time. With over 30 years experience in ice climbing, and having hosted thousands of climbers from around the world, our partners at Yamnuska know the Rockies’ ice climbing routes better than anyone.
Experience the highest quality ice climbing around with guides that climb every day, with unmatched skill, who practically live on the face. They have up-to-date ice route and avalanche conditions and will ensure your trip is both safe and fun. With industry-leading safety systems, if you and your guide climb in or pass through avalanche terrain, they’ll give you a transceiver and teach you how to use it. The Yam Ice Exchange, a network of information sharing between the guides, promotes route and condition discussions so everyone remains in the loop and fully aware.
The Yamnuska Ice Climbing Team is top-notch and includes some of the best ice climbers, guides, and instructors anywhere in the world. Enthusiastic and extremely talented, each guide holds full climbing certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and from other International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) countries. As will be readily apparent upon the first outing, your safety and enjoyment are paramount to them – in addition to being expert ice climbers, the friendly guides are trained to meet the highest standards of customer service – so you have an awesome time experiencing the best ice climbing on the planet.
- Daily Ice Climbing Instruction: Whenever you want throughout the winter in Banff, Canmore and Kananaskis
- Canadian Rockies Basic Ice: Weekend course for beginners and rock climbers in Banff, Canmore and Kananaskis
- Canadian Rockies Ice Evolution: 5-day course for beginners and rock climbers in Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis, Lake Louise, the Ghost and Field, BC.
- Private Ice Climbing Programs: On demand for individuals, families and groups. We climb in Banff, Canmore, Jasper, Yoho, Lake Louise, the Ghost and Kananaskis. Close to Calgary.
- Guided Ice Climbs: Available for beginner and expert ice climbers upon request.
Intermediate & Advanced Programs
- Advanced Ice Systems: Weekend ice climbing course in the Canadian Rockies focuses on technical protection and gear skills for leading and multi-pitch ice climbing.
- Canadian Rockies Hot Ice: Canada’s premier 5-day multi-pitch ice climbing program. Climb the Rockies Ice classics so you can challenge yourself and have a blast.
- Canadian Rockies Mixed Climbing: This technical ice and mixed course combines the best of both worlds! Rock and Ice! Oh ya!
- Guided Ice Climbs: If it has ice on it, we can climb it. Bring your ‘To Do’ List.
- Private Ice Climbing Instruction: For the intermediate or expert ice climber, tune up your climbing skills with one of Yamnuska’s senior ice climbing guides.
Ice Climbing Grades
Ice climbing grades are the ranking of the pitch and unique to ice. Most beginners or novice level climbers start on Grades 2 and 3. If you get the knack for it (as most people do), many ice climbers can progress quickly and become an intermediate ice climber, usually quite comfortable on Grade 4. Generally speaking, Grade 5 and up is recommended for more advanced ice climbers – this is where it gets gnarly, and where you might just set your goals.
WI 1 - Completely flat, basically ice-skating (no routes are labeled WI 1)
WI 2 - Low-angle ice or very short pitches up to 80 degrees.
WI 3 - Sustained pitches up to 80 degree ice with good resting places. Requires skills for placing protection.
WI 4 - Sustained pitches of vertical or off vertical ice
WI 5 - Long pitches of vertical ice requiring good protection placement.
WI 6 - Full pitches of dead vertical ice. Featured or requiring awkward stances and movement.
WI 7 - Full pitch of thin vertical or overhanging ice. Requires exceptional skill.
WI 8 - Hardest climbs, for the real legends.
Come experience Banff Ice Climbing for yourself!
Call our friendly destination experts at 1-888-313-6161 and ask any questions you may have about Banff Ice Climbing or the whole area in general! Look into our Banff Property Guide and see if there’s something perfect for you. Then begin booking your Banff vacation today. Check out our current deals and specials and see just how spectacular this winter vacation can be.