Beginner Ice Climbing

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Ice Climbing For Beginners

All ages 12 and up

The setting in Vail is perfect for your first time on the ice with it’s snow and ice-covered peaks, ease of access and a multitude of challenge levels. Ice climbing for beginners 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. The idea is to develop fundamental skills before moving up to steeper ice, and even intermediate ice climbing if it suits you.

Potential Topics

  • 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.

Booking / More Info

All ages 12 and up

Ready to sign up? We look forward to working with you to select a route that suits your Beginner Ice Climbing desires. Register with the accompanying calendar, call (970) 949-9111 or use our contact page to request more info.
 
 

BEGINNER ICE CLIMBING – QUICK INFO

Enjoy all Colorado has to offer this winter with a Beginner Ice Climbing Trip.

All ages 12 and up

DATES

Available daily

DURATION

6-7 hours

COST

Max client to guide ratio 5:1

  • $178 – 5+ people
  • $198 – 4 people
  • $224 – 3 people
  • $250 – 2 people

LOCATION

Vail, CO (East Vail)
Leadville, CO (Chalk Creek)

DIFFICULTY

Easy – Difficult

Policies

See our inclusion policy for special group requests. 

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 (able to hold 32 oz)
  • Food

ALSO CONSIDER

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

APEX MOUNTAIN SCHOOL PROVIDES

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

During times of Covid-19 concern please bring:
Face mask, Hand Sanitizer, Rubber Gloves (if desired)

Andrew Kirchhoff
Andrew Kirchhoff
July 1, 2022.
My teen sons and I had an amazing time rappelling with Bob in Vail! Apex provided everything we needed and accommodated our last minute booking. Thank you Apex!!
PARTYBOMBS
PARTYBOMBS
June 29, 2022.
Myself and my family had a awesome time repelling. Thanks to Bob we had fun while staying safe. I would recommend for anyone seeking a thrilling experience.
Colin Kirchhoff
Colin Kirchhoff
June 29, 2022.
Bob was a fantastic guide! Despite never repelling before, Bob never failed to make us feel safe and confident enough to have fun. 10/10 experience. Thank you so much!
Beth Ann Rosica
Beth Ann Rosica
June 28, 2022.
We had an amazing day climbing with Bob! We had 4 kids between 13 and 15, and Bob coached all of them to the top! He was patient and encouraging and kept everyone safe! I highly recommend Apex for a climbing experience! The kids are hooked on climbing and loved the adventure!
Jack Saussy
Jack Saussy
June 27, 2022.
My family had a great day climbing with Bob. He was very knowledgeable about the routes and equipment and turned our half day of climbing into a lesson. I plan to get my own shoes and join a gym at home because of this great experience, I highly recommend Apex Mountain School!
Jamie Schmid
Jamie Schmid
February 7, 2022.
We had such a blast ice climbing with our guide Jesse! He was so helpful and motivating and never made us feel like we were terrible at climbing even though it was our first time haha and he was so patient with all my picture taking and getting great shots! Would 1,000% recommend!
Joe Mahoney
Joe Mahoney
January 18, 2022.
Took my AIARE 1 through APEX. It was hard to decide with so many options out there. Look no further, APEX is exactly what you're looking for. I walked away with the exact knowledge I was hoping to get, and more. Josh V was our instructor and is extremely knowledgeable, had great answers to all of our questions and was just great to hang out with in the backcountry. Can't recommend these guys enough.
Shannon M.
Shannon M.
December 6, 2021.
Recently took the Level 1 AIARE Course with Apex and had a great experience. All of the instructors were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about snow safety and answered all questions in great detail to ensure the students learned as much as possible in the 3 day course. It was a very hands on experience and we were even able to do lots of field work despite the low snow conditions right now. Will definitely come back for another course, and looking forward to more backcountry travel with all the new info learned!
kurt albertson
kurt albertson
November 24, 2021.
Apex Mountain School is a wonderful outdoor educational and guide service! Recently took the level one AIARE and Avalanche Rescue course through Apex. Our instructors Andy and Mike were highly professional, knowledgeable and very engaging instructors that were very passionate about snow safety and teaching others about best practices to enjoy their experiences safely in the backcountry. Would highly recommend anyone regardless of experience to take a course with Apex. Looking forward to continuing my outdoor experiences with Apex in the future via additional educational courses as well as the opportunity for private guided trips. Excellent people and a great experience!!!
Tom Watson
Tom Watson
November 23, 2021.
I took the AIARE 1 course with Apex Mountain school and it was truly an amazing experience. Andy was a outstanding instructor, he fostered a culture in the group that encouraged participation, teamwork, learning and fun! The knowledge and tools learned in the course were second to none. We were fortunate to have a small group of 5, and this allowed for a lot of questions, learn by doing, and overall really fun time. I cannot recommend Apex Mountain School enough.

ICE CLIMBING LESSONS

In winter, cascading waterfalls and trickling alpine flows freeze and form fantastically beautiful and surreal ice climbs. These short lived sculptures offer phenomenal climbing opportunities hence a chance to experience a truly unique and unforgettable adventure. These climbs range in height between 30 to 100+ feet. Given the nature of the ice, each climb forms slightly differently each year and is subject to change throughout the season which as a result offers climbers a new experience every climb. With expansive views of Colorado’s Rockies and a chance to challenge yourself in a winter wonderland, ice climbing is a great way to spend the day in the mountains.

Our guides will teach you everything you need to know in our ice climbing lessons so that you can 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 the ice climbing lesson that meet your specifics needs and skill set, whether you are a first timer or an experienced ice climber.