(970) 949-9111

Beginner Ice Climbing

Beginner Ice climbing in Vail, Colorado. Snow and ice-covered peaks, ease of access and a multitude of challenge levels provides the quintessential setting for your first time on the ice. Ice climbing is an exciting experience that will both take your breath away and empower you in the same moment. It’s an adventure, an adrenaline rush and a moving meditation all in one.

This beginner ice climbing course is a great introduction to the basics of ice climbing. After an orientation, we’ll warm up with some easier climbing on low-angle ice, developing fundamental skills before moving up to steeper ice, and even intermediate ice climbing if it suits your group.

Topics may include:

  • Mountaineering basics

  • Beginner knots

  • Knowing your gear

  • Proper ice tool use

  • Crampon technique, in both French (or flat-footed) and front-pointing methods

  • Voice commands, belaying and lowering

  • Fundamental ice climbing technique

  • Rappelling

  • Glissading

Our guides will teach you everything you need to know to ascend these frozen beauties and travel efficiently in the mountains. All ages, abilities, and fitness levels are welcome. We will work with you to select routes that meet your specifics needs and skill set, whether you are a first timer or an experienced ice climber.

Outings are offered daily. A private guide and your technical ice climbing gear (ice climbing boots, crampons, ice axes, belay equipment, ropes, helmets and harnesses) are included in your outing. Some personal gear provided by recipient(s); see the gear list tab above.

Ready to sign up? To register, click the Book Now Button. You may also call (970) 949-9111 or use our contact page.

What to bring:

  • Beacon (rental available)
  • *No cotton – cotton does not wick moisture or insulate when wet.
  • Synthetic or wool long underwear bottom (thin)
  • Synthetic or wool long sleeve top (medium)
  • Mid layer top and bottom
  • Synthetic or wool socks
  • Winter jacket
  • Insulated “Puffy” Jacket
  • Snow pants
  • Warm gloves or mittens
  • Hat and neck gaiter or balaclava
  • Goggles or sunglasses
  • Small day pack
  • Water bottle
  • Food

You may also want to consider:

  • Hand warmers
  • Thermos of hot liquid
  • Gaiters
  • Extra gloves
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle insulator
  • Camera

APEX Provides:

  • Boots
  • Crampons
  • Ice Axes
  • Helmet
  • Harness (42”/44” max)