Our Intro to Ice course is designed for beginners and combines equipment orientation, lecture and discussion sessions, demonstrations and exhibitions, hands on practice with multiple climbs, instructor feedback and coaching, and final group debriefs to create a course experience where every student will understand what ice climbing is all about.
This beginner ice course provides an introductory experience to any student that wants to experience climbing waterfall ice for the first time. In the winter months, our beautiful rock climbs are often covered in snow, and we’d fold up our climbing ambitions until spring if it weren’t for ribbons of ice that crawl down the walls, the waterfalls that freeze into gothic fortresses, and the climbs that open up new venues and new terrain.
As a solitary experience, ice climbing is rewarding and aesthetic. As an addition to a climber’s proficiencies, ice climbing provides a whole world of new experiences and challenges. An alpinist must eventually acquire waterfall ice and “mixed” climbing skills if she wants to explore technical mountaineering in all seasons. It’s unavoidable, so you might as well get started with Colorado Mountain School.
8:00 – Risk management, cold weather issues, first aid considerations,
avalanche issues, dehydration talk, wind and sunburn, emergency procedures.
8:15 – Gear overview, types of ice climbing gear, anatomy of ice tools and crampons.
8:30 – Drive to trailhead and approach ice climbing venue.
9:30 – Ice climbing movement, proper technique for swinging ice tools and kicking in crampons, climb identification.
10:00 – Belaying and lowering.
10:30 – Ice climbing lesson and practice.
2:45 – Ice anchor demonstration.
3:00 – Begin travel back to office.
4:00 – Debriefs and fond farewells.
Colorado Mountain School
341 Moraine Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517
If you require lodging at our Estes Park Adventure Hostel, please make your reservations online in advance. Beds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Our hostel features 16 beds in 3 rooms, bathrooms, showers, a full kitchen with appliances, dishes and utensils, wi-fi, ping-pong table, and a lounge area. Please be considerate of others lodgers during your stay.
All of our courses can be run as custom outings. If you’re interested in a course, but it doesn’t fit into your schedule, please check out our custom guiding options.
All Upcoming Dates and Locations:
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CMS Guest –
“My first course with CMS was an ice course with guide Wes Fowler. My experience with the organization has been outstanding and they are incredibly professional and passionate people. I have since done numerous follow up days ice climbing with Wes- I don’t have enough good things to say about him. Incredibly professional, exceptional communicator, knowledgeable, and most importantly an outstanding instructor and generally just an all around great person. I email him, probably more than he likes… but he responds promptly and with a tremendous amount of information to any questions I have. Myself and several of my friends will continue to count on him for pretty much any kind of instruction needed now and in the future.”
voraharit (verified owner) –
I have always wanted to go Ice Climbing and finally decided to do it through the CMC. Very efficient in the paperwork and straight forward on the gear required for the first trip. Rental gear was in great shape. The guide/ instructor (Mia) was superb; excellent in teaching the fundamentals while providing the guidance required to keep improving on technique throughout the day. The student to guide ratio was spectacular. It was a perfect day. Thank you.
brianck148 (verified owner) –
Awesome intro class with excellent hands on instruction. Great climbs and review of gear. Thanks Jesse and Wes!
Sophie Milam (verified owner) –
Great course! Our guide Dylan was amazing. Beautiful hike in the snow to get to a quiet ice climbing spot. We got lots of hands on experience for our first time out. Really great intro.