Beginner Ice Climbing

Experience an exciting winter activity with Vail Ice Climbing with Apex.


  • Available daily


6-7 hours


  • Vail, CO (East Vail)
  • Leadville, CO (Chalk Creek)
  • Lake City, CO


  • Per person, per day, per guide. Max ratio 1:5.
  • $166 (5p)
  • $184 (4)
  • $194 (3)
  • $235 (2)
  • $470 (1)
  • See our 'Ice Climb - Groups' page for large parties.


One of Five

Experience Level

Beginner to Advanced

Beginner Ice climbing in Vail, Colorado. Snow and ice-covered peaks, ease of access and a multitude of challenge levels provides the perfect recipe for frozen ice waterfalls and 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.

Over the years, Apex has welcomed thousands of individuals, families and groups to the Colorado Mountains, many of them beginners. Come see why clients from Breckenridge and beyond choose Apex for their introduction to the sport of ice climbing.

This beginner Vail, Colorado ice climbing course is a great beginner 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 ice climbing clients range from 8 to 76 years old, and range in ability from beginner to advanced.  A private guide, and all the technical ice climbing gear you will need (ice tools, crampons, ice climbing boots, belay equipment, ropes, helmets and harnesses) are included.

Private ice climbing courses are offered daily, or select one of our beginner ice climbing, open enrollment courses listed at the top of the page. Our beginner private ice courses may also be customized to fit your goals. If you have something different in mind, let us know what you want the trip to look like and we’ll accommodate!

Choose #1 recommended Apex. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Advanced reservations are recommended, not required. Some personal gear provided by recipient(s); see the gear list tab.

Ready to sign up? To register, click the Book It tab above. 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
  • Hot liquid
  • Gaiters
  • Extra gloves
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle insulator
  • Camera

APEX Provides:

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

Participant Forms:

If you wish to complete your participant forms in advance, download and print out the pdf below. Complete both pages for each participant, and give to your guide at the beginning of your trip.

participant Forms

Click the button below to view our terms, conditions and cancellation policy.