Ice Climbing Basics

From: $525

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Mar - see all dates

Total Days: 3

Activity Level: 3

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1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Ice Climbing Basics

Price:

2015

REI Member: $525

Non-member: $600

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $180

Trip Dates:

2015

  • Jan 9–11
  • Jan 16–18
  • Jan 23–25
  • Feb 6–8
  • Feb 20–22
  • Feb 27 – Mar 1
  • Mar 6–8

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 2-10

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Ice climbing

Accommodations:

Inn, 2 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Learn how to ice climb in the picturesque White Mountains of New Hampshire
  • Receive expert instruction on gear use, climbing technique, and more
  • All technical gear provided
  • Put newly-learned skills to use at a premier ice climbing location

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are home to some of the best ice climbing in North America. The long cold winters of the Northeast create ideal conditions for the formation of prime climbing ice and offer routes that appeal to both new climbers and experts alike.

Join REI on this introductory weekend in the Whites to experience the challenge and thrill of learning how to ice climb at a premier destination. We provide all the necessary technical equipment, and our exceptional guides walk us through the basics on a supportive and relaxed educational environment. Learn site awareness, ice ax and crampon use, rope systems, ice protection skills, gear selection, and much more.

Come make the most of winter by learning how to ice climb in beautiful New Hampshire!

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Enjoy a relaxing evening in Lincoln, NH.
  • Day 2 - Learn new techniques and skills for ice climbing in the field.
  • Day 3 - Practice and expand on the skills we've learned.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Enjoy a relaxing evening in Lincoln, NH.

    Your trip begins today in Lincoln, New Hampshire.  Arrive at your leisure at the hotel in Lincoln this evening.  Dinner tonight is on your own and there are many local restaurants near your hotel.  Rest well tonight before our first day of climbing instruction tomorrow.  Meals are on your own.

  • Day 2 - Learn new techniques and skills for ice climbing in the field.

    Enjoy a continental breakfast at the hotel and be ready to meet your guides in the lobby at 8:00 a.m. After a brief orientation, we caravan to the climbing area deemed best by our professional guides based on local conditions at the time.  Once we’ve arrived, we’ll begin the approach to the climbing area.  At the base of our first climbs, your guides will conduct an instructional session on site awareness, equipment use and fundamentals.  Throughout the day, expect ongoing instruction on other important considerations for ice climbing, including proper clothing, technique, ideal foods and more.  After we are through climbing, we’ll return to the hotel where you will be free to head out for dinner on your own, or we may choose to have dinner as a group at a local restaurant. Instruction and Climbing: 6 – 7 hours. Continental breakfast at hotel included; all other meals on your own.

    Note: Bring your own variety of quick foods to be eaten constantly throughout the day as snacks—high carbohydrate foods, trail mix, energy bars, energy drinks, etc.

  • Day 3 - Practice and expand on the skills we've learned.

    After a continental breakfast, check out of the hotel and meet your fellow climbers and guides in the lobby in preparation for another fun filled day on the ice. Our guides will again select a prime climbing spot to maximize and build on the skills developed by the group on Day 2. Expect a learning progression in technique along with plenty of time to practice and hone fundamental skills. We will be wrapping up our course around 4:30 in the afternoon to allow ample travel time home. If scheduling flights out, plan accordingly (for example, plan to fly out of Manchester at 7:00 pm at the earliest). Continental breakfast at hotel included; all other meals on your own.

    Note: Bring your own variety of quick foods to be eaten constantly throughout the day as snacks—high carbohydrate foods, trail mix, energy bars, energy drinks, etc.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control. This trip is operated rain or shine.

Important Information about Air Travel

Contact REI Adventures prior to purchasing your airline tickets to confirm that the trip has the minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Professional instruction and guiding; two hotel nights (based on double occupancy); all group climbing gear; group first-aid kit; technical equipment and permits.

Not Included

Transportation from your hometown to group meeting point; transportation to climbing sites (up to 25 miles each way per day); insurance of any kind; alcoholic beverages (please do not bring); meals; guide gratuities, energy foods & energy drinks, and items of a personal nature.

Closest Airport

Manchester, NH: Manchester Airport (MHT), 65 miles

Transfers

There is no reliable transfer service from any airport to our meeting place. Anticipate renting a car if flying in for this weekend getaway.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate (3) as climbing is a full body workout and physically very demanding, however, any time you are very tired or simply want to rest you can opt instead to assist other climbers or to sit and relax for a period.  You will never be forced to climb anything you don’t want to climb.  While we are at the climbing areas that we’ll use on this course, you’ll have the opportunity to try numerous routes of varying difficulty.  To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest that you engage in a regular exercise regimen beginning at least three months prior to your departure. Most important to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level.

Weather

Temperatures at the climbing areas can range from a high of 25°F to 0°F during the day. New Hampshire's winter weather can vary greatly, as with any mountainous area, and very cold conditions are a necessity for quality ice climbing. Please arrive prepared for all weather conditions, with the gear outlined for this trip.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Weekend Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and detailed pre-trip information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Ice Climbing Basics Gear List

Having the proper gear is vital to your comfort and overall enjoyment of the seminar. Attached is a gear list that has been specifically designed for this trip.   If you do not already own all of the necessary gear and are not certain if you will participate in winter climbing trips on a regular basis, please consider renting.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Group climbing gear (ropes, harnesses, helmets, hardware)
  • Technical ice axes and crampons
  • Double plastic climbing boots
  • Permits
Luggage
  • One piece of luggage for travel
  • Backpack, internal frame 35-45 liters, used on approach to climbing area—see Things to Consider, below.
Outerwear
  • Parka (MANDATORY): Either down or synthetic fill, rated to 10° F. A parka in addition to the waterproof shell jacket and other required upper-body layers. It is worn over all other layers, primarily on rest breaks and occasionally while climbing
  • Waterproof, breathable shell jacket with attached hood (ponchos not acceptable)
  • Waterproof, breathable shell pants with side zippers allowing for easy on/off over boots
Clothing
  • Heavy/expedition weight fleece jacket or soft shell (a warmth piece, worn under your waterproof layer)
  • Midweight wool or fleece jacket/sweater
  • Midweight, thermal underwear top and bottom, synthetic or wool (no cotton)
  • Soft shell pants
  • Synthetic T-shirts
  • Synthetic long-sleeve shirt
  • Hiking socks and liner socks – 2 pairs of each
Clothing Accessories
  • Neck gaiter or balaclava or facemask
  • Gaiters, mid-calf length minimum (must be oversized for double boots, recommend the next size up.)
  • Waterproof shell gloves with liners
  • Expedition mittens with liners
  • Thin glove liners
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Bandana for sun protection
  • Sunglasses with dark lenses and side glare protection
Travel Accessories
  • Spare cash for meals
  • Energy snacks and energy drinks for each day
  • Two 1-quart water bottles (no hydration packs as the tubes freeze easily)
  • Two water bottle insulators (to prevent freezing)
  • Sun block and lip balm w/high SPF
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Watch with alarm
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Ski poles, preferably adjustable
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera and accessories
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Down or fleece vest
  • Thermos and hot drink mixes
  • Ski goggles

Things to Consider

  • We recommend packing into one piece of luggage. Also bring a 35-45 liter internal frame pack, which you will use on Days 2 and 3. Your pack will hold daily lunches, water, snacks, clothing and personal climbing equipment needed throughout the day.
  • We will provide double plastic climbing boots. The rigid design of these specialized boots is a necessity for successful climbing on technical ice.
  • We recommend thin liner socks under your regular, thicker hiking socks. The liner sock should be made of a non-absorbent wicking material, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • COTTON KILLS! Once cotton clothing becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax. Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer garments should fit easily over your layers without binding or bunching up.
  • To protect your face and neck while climbing, you will want to climb with a neck gaiter, face mask or with a balaclava. If you are very concerned about wind/cold, you may wish to bring all three of these items.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresIce Climbing Basics
 
4.8

(based on 6 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Activity level (6)
  • Exceeded expectations (6)
  • Guides (6)
  • Quality equipment provided (6)
  • Well organized itinerary (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (4)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (6), Destination (4), Commitment to sustainability (3), Good value (3), I liked the itinerary (3)

      Reviewed by 6 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-6

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      5.0

      Spectacular

      By VTTitus

      from Philadelphia

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Guides
      • Quality Equipment Provided

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Ice Climbing Basics:

          Don't hesitate to do it, even if you can't find anyone else to go with, the rest of the group will be fun to!

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, Introduction To New Sport
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I've always been fascinated by ice climbing and didn't know anyone do it with. I would normally try and research on how to do it on my own to save costs, but I couldn't find much information on doing it solo. So I did with REI. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who hasn't ice climbed before in New Hampshire.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • The views! And the appreciation of the difficulty of the sport.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Though it is rated 3, and people can do it at that rating and enjoy it, but you would get more bang for your buck if you could handle a 4 or 5. For beginners, they tend to rely on a lot of upper body strength, which is technically fine, but will tire beginners out. Practice regular indoor rock climbing, some of the techniques and strengths transition really well to ice climbing.
           
          5.0

          Amazing

          By Drifter11

          from Los Angeles, CA

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          See all my reviews

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Quality Equipment Provided
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Ice Climbing Basics:

              This was the best trip I've had through REI so far. This was money well spent and I feel as though it will never be matched. As an introductory course, it was hands down the best. REI and the guide service they used have a customer for life.

              I struck gold with my group. Everyone was very enthusiastic and we spent a lot of time together even outside the climbing.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • I am avid rock climber. So what could be more challenging then rock? Ice!
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • The guides were fantastic. Our guides were amazing and professional. I walked away from this trip with not only a great experience, but knowledge for my other climbing hobbies.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • The better in-shape you are, the more fun your going to have. There will be plenty of rest between routes and you can do as much as you want. Best advice listen to the guides and use your legs. And keep eating through out the day, you'll be burning some serious calories. Have fun!
               
              5.0

              Ice Climbing? Really? Really!

              By BMcAfee

              from Franklin, TN

              About Me Experience Seeker

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Ice Climbing Basics:

                  I love new experiences. "I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list". This was a fabulous experience. I agree with everything in CDWhite's review posted prior to mine. I plan many things on my own. Going with REI was an easy choice for this trip and a good value. The trip was brilliant! Everything about it.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Equipment Instruction, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Who gets to ice climb?! I wanted to snowshoe and ski in the Bretton Woods area and saw this trip offered. It became the primary reason for the trip. What an opportunity!
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Experiencing Ice Climbing.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • GO! The equipment and clothing list is a bit overwhelming but we did use most of what we brought. You can return anything you don't use. This REI trip was a good value. Ice Climbing isn't something you can do on your own. Being in shape does make it more enjoyable.
                   
                  5.0

                  Officially Hooked

                  By cdwhite706

                  from Nashville, TN

                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                  Pros

                  • Accommodations
                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Quality Equipment Provided
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Ice Climbing Basics:

                      The trip was amazing. The area we stayed was absolutely beautiful. The hotel was clean and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. I had to stay an extra night due to flight schedules and they were able to get me situated without a problem. Our guides, Matt and Alex, were awesome. Very professional and safety conscious but were also extremely friendly which made for a very personable trip. Throughout the day both days they gave continuous instruction and were very encouraging. They made sure we had climbs that ranged from easy to moderate to challenging. Overall I can't say enough good things about this trip. Very reasonable price for the amount of climbing and instruction that you'll receive. I would recommend that everyone at least give this a shot. It was definitely worth everything.

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures
                       
                      4.0

                      What a rush!

                      By Jack aka Pete

                      from Hagerstown, MD

                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                      Site Member

                      Pros

                      • Activity Level
                      • Exceeded Expectations
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                      • Quality Equipment Provided
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Ice Climbing Basics:

                          Guides were great because they encouraged, but didn't force you to push yourself.

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                          • It was something I had never tried before.
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • Making it to the top at least once.
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • Be physically prepared for this trip, it is demanding.

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Absolutely worth it

                          By 031579

                          from Virginia

                          About Me Avid Adventurer

                          Site Member

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Exceeded Expectations
                          • Guides
                          • Quality Equipment Provided
                          • Well Organized Itinerary

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Ice Climbing Basics:

                              I took this trip in early '09 and was very impressed with the both the organization and the actual climbing. Day 1 was an excellent introduction, and Day 2 was a little more advanced. Both days we were able to climb as long as desired. The guide was fantastic, and the group was small enough for a little personal instruction. I would absolutely recommend it as an excellent introduction to ice climbing.

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • As you would expect, it can get very cold. The better prepared you are, the more enjoyable the trip.

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