White Mountains Ice Climbing Basics

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 2-10
Activity level
Starting from
$849 for REI Members
$949 for non-members
Departures Jan 2021-Mar 2021

Spend two days ice climbing in the stunning, snow-covered White Mountains.

New Hampshire?s soaring White Mountains are home to some of the best ice climbing in North America. The area?s famously long, cold winters create ideal conditions for the formation of prime climbing ice. Both new climbers and experts will find themselves amidst challenging and exhilarating routes, breathtaking scenery and excellent company.

Our introductory weekend in the White Mountains gives us a chance to learn or practice ice climbing at a premiere destination. All the necessary technical equipment is provided, so we can focus on gaining skills and enjoying climbing. Our exceptional guides walk us through the basics in a supportive, knowledgeable and relaxed environment. Learn site awareness, ice axe and crampon use, rope systems, ice protection skills, gear selection and much more.

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


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.

  • Ice climbing

What's Included

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


Inn, 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

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.

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.� We often get asked if all items appearing on this list are really required.�Our guides assert that climbers must arrive prepared as indicated, but please keep in mind that not all gear will be required for all departures. The weather and terrain conditions in New Hampshire at the time of your arrival will dictate what clothing and equipment you will be required to carry to the climbs and what (if anything) can be left behind.�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.

What to pack

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.