Ice Climbing & Mountaineering

NORTH CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE

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accredited_colorOur guides have logged hundreds of Mt. Washington ascents over the years and have guided winter ice routes all throughout the Mt. Washington valley, including areas on Cathedral in North Conway and Frankenstein Cliffs in Crawford Notch State Park. From our home base in North Conway we have quick access to some of the best, and most famous, ice climbing and mountaineering terrain in the world. Mt. Washington draws climbers from all over the world and serves as both a training ground and proving ground for winter climbing enthusiasts. Variety of terrain, easy access to challenging climbing areas, and beautiful landscapes are but a few reasons why many well known climbers now call the White Mountains their home.

Groups classes require a minimum enrollment of two people. If you are booking alone for a group class your reservation is subject to change if minimum enrollment is not reached. Group classes and climbs are perfect for those with flexible schedules. Any class or climb can be booked privately any day of the week. Private reservations are guaranteed to run. For information about private reservations please call 800-310-4504.

Private Guided Climbs

keith2-510x350Looking to master a specific skill or accomplish a particular goal or maybe you just want the guide to yourself, or on a day of your own choosing. Regardless of the reason or the size of your party, just give us a call at 800-310-4504 to set up a private climbing day tailored to your needs and schedule. Private ice climbing, mountaineering, Mt. Washington trips, and backcountry skiing available 7 days a week. READ MORE… 
Available 7 days a week. Please call 800-310-4504 to schedule a climb.

Mt. Washington Ascent

mw-680x475The tallest peak in New England is an even greater challenge in winter. Over half of the 8.2 mile round trip is above treeline where conditions can be famously harsh. Mt. Washington still holds the world record for the highest land wind speed at 231 mph and winter wind chill factor reaching a staggering -50 degrees! READ MORE…
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one day / ratio 1:4 / private trips also available

Mt. Lafayette and Franconia Ridge

mw-680x475Mt Lafayette at 5,249 feet tall can be every bit as fierce as Mt washington in the winter. An ascent of Lafayette with a possible traverse of the Franconia Ridge is a great next step for folks who have climbed Washington in the winter and are looking for their next Challenge. READ MORE…
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one day / ratio 1:4 / private trips also available

Mount Washington Observatory

700x450-mwobs-group-hike-3This unique experience combines the challenge of a winter ascent of the Northeast’s highest peak with the rare opportunity to spend the night on the summit inside the Mount Washington Observatory’s legendary mountaintop weather station. We’ll climb Mt. Washington’s eastern flank, aiming to be above treeline around noon. From there, we’ll cross the desolate landscape of the Alpine Garden, where the winds are often at their fiercest, and head up the summit cone. READ MORE... 

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two days and one night / dinner & breakfast included / max 9 spots per trip

Introduction To Winter Hiking

mw-680x475Looking to extend your three season outdoor fun but not quite sure where to begin? Come join us for our introduction to winter hiking and see why you don’t need to put your adventures on hold when the snow starts to fly. During this program we will learn how to adapt our basic hiking skills to the winter environment, learn appropriate emergency preparedness for cold environments, learn all about appropriate clothing and equipment and how to say safe and warm during your expanded four season endeavors. READ MORE…
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one day / ratio 1:6 / private classes also available

Introduction To Ice Climbing

 510x350-nc-ice-trJoin us on this course for some great climbing on both snow and ice, and you’ll come away with a full understanding of the fundamentals of winter climbing. It all starts here for people headed toward the winter pursuit of ice climbing. In this full-day course, we will outfit you with all the technical gear required to move on steep snow and ice.
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one day / ratio 1:4 / private classes also available

Intermediate Ice Climbing

mw-self-arrest If you’ve taken our Introduction to Ice Climbing course or have some previous ice climbing experience elsewhere, this full day course is for you. After reviewing the basics and getting back into the swing of things, we will then focus on specific techniques for efficient movement on steeper ice, focusing in on building more confidence allowing you to climb longer, steeper lines. From here the goal will be to cover a lot of new ground, ideally on a multi pitch route. READ MORE…
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one day / ratio 1:2 / private classes also available

Advanced Ice Climbing

keith2-510x350This 2 day course is for experienced ice climbers looking to take their climbing to the next level. The main goal of this course it to get you out front making decisions and getting ready to strike out on your own. You will work closely with our experienced instructors to learn advanced techniques for climbing, route selection, anchor building and descending. READ MORE…
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2 days / ratio 1:2 / private classes also available

Accelerated Mountaineering

mw-self-arrestThis is one of our most popular winter program, and a solid foundation for anyone headed to Mt. Rainier, Denali, or similar objectives. This course will have a mix of “classroom” and outdoor time. On day 1 we will discuss individual experience and goals and how we will tailor this course for your specific group. Day 2 will again be a mixture of classroom and outdoor time. Our classroom time will be focused on selecting objectives (mountains!!) to climb and how to go about climbing them. During day 2 we will, as a team, choose a mountaineering objective for day 3.
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three days / ratio 1:3 / private trips also available

Glacier Skills & Crevasse Rescue


mw-680x475If you aspire to climb bigger mountains out West or abroad, learning to rope up for and travel over glaciers is essential. You’ll also need to know how to extricate yourself or your partner from a crevasse. Though there are no glaciers in the Northeast, our instructors can teach you all of the latest tricks and techniques for navigating though these hazards. A portion of the day will be spent learning the basics of glacier rigging for different sized rope-teams, as well as equipment options and crevasse rescue systems. We will then set up and practice the demonstrated techniques in the field. We require technical climbing experience or participation in one or more of our mountaineering courses for this hands-on, technical program. READ MORE…
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one day / ratio 1:6 / private classes also available

About Our Courses

Introduction To Ice Climbing is a great start for anyone interested in learning more about winter climbing. This full day class combines skills used for technical ice climbing and mountaineering into one comprehensive lesson. We teach about tools used for technical winter climbing and how to use them on a variety of terrain from steep water ice to moderate angle snow slopes. This class can take place at one of two locations, Cathedral Ledge in North Conway or Frankenstein Cliffs in Crawford Notch State Park. Each morning groups meet at the Climbing School to get geared up and after a brief gear review groups head straight to the cliff to begin the day, and start climbing. If you are headed toward more serious winter mountaineering objectives, or perhaps drawn to the frozen waterfalls of the Northeast – this course will give you the knowledge and experience to tackle those goals.

A winter ascent of Mt. Washington is no easy objective. Winds can easily reach hurricane force and temperatures are often well below 0 for most of the three month winter season (January to March). Our guides log hundreds of ascents each year with groups of varying abilities, each with their own reasons for making the 8 mile round-trip climb to the summit. Groups meet promptly at 7am at the Climbing School in North Conway on the morning of the climb. From the Climbing School climbers have the opportunity to check gear and get fitted with boots, crampons and ice axe before driving to the trial head at the visitors center in Pinkham Notch. Lions head route is used for most climbs and trips last between seven and nine hours (approx 5 hours up, 3 hours down). This of course depends on a many factors including weather, trail conditions and overall pace of the group. Group climbs attract many people of all abilities. Although we request that everyone should be in above average physical shape to have a better chance at reaching the summit on a favorable day, not everyone comes prepared. Scheduled dates are reserved for those individuals who are interested in a mountain experience with a potential summit attempt. The group you are with may have an earlier “summit” than the actual top of the mountain. We book these group dates at a 4:1 ratio. If there is someone in the group that may need to go down early, the whole group will need to descend. For this reason, if you are more goal-oriented and would like to have a better chance at summiting without being at the whim of any particular group member, it is best to book privately either as a single or with friends.

Our three-day Accelerated Mountaineering course is a great starting point for those training for serious mountaineering objectives or are interested in learning the skills necessary to becoming a more skilled mountaineer. This is our most popular winter program, and a solid foundation for anyone headed to Mt. Rainier, Mt. McKinley, or similar objectives.Tack on a Glacier Skills & Crevasse Rescue course to further enhance your mountaineering knowledge base.