Ice Climbing


All climbing programs in West Hartford are booked by private arrangement only.  Are you looking to master a specific skill or accomplish a particular goal?  Or maybe you just want the guide to yourself, on a day of your own choosing.  Regardless of the reason or the size of your party, give us a call at 845-668-2030 to set up a private climbing day tailored to your needs and schedule.  Please note that our winter programs are reserved for those age 18 and older.

Below is a sample itinerary for our basic ice climbing and mountaineering course.  As each program is customized, you do not have to follow any particular itinerary for your climbing day.  For a more comprehensive lineup of courses, or to join a group lesson, check out our Climbing School locations in North Conway, NH; and New Paltz (Gunks), NY.

Ice Climbing 101
Join 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 pursuits of ice climbing or winter mountaineering.  In this full-day course, we will outfit you with all the gear required to move on steep snow and moderate-angled ice.

Boots, crampons, and ice axes will become your primary tools, as well as ropes and related equipment that allow us to climb securely.  Efficient movement with crampons and ice axes forms the backbone of security for the mountaineer.  We will practice self-arrest techniques and, as we move onto steeper terrain, the ropes and climbing harnesses come out so that we can move with confidence as the angle increases.  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.


West Hartford ice climbing lessons are booked by private arrangement only.  Please give us a call at 845-668-2030 to set up your very own climbing day.  For large, organized groups, please call for rates.  Climbing is available 7 days a week.

1 person $325
2 people $225 each
3 people $195 each
4 or more people $170 each


Climbers meet promptly at 9:00am at a location TBD.  In the morning you will meet your guide and get outfitted with climbing gear for the day.  The whole day will be spent outside, so please dress appropriately for the weather.  You should also bring enough food and water for the entire day and a pack to carry items to the cliff.  Programs usually wrap up by 4:30pm.

Included/Not Included

Climbers will be outfitted with all technical equipment for the day.  You are welcome to bring your own gear, but it will be subject to a safety inspection by your guide.  Equipment provided includes mountaineering boots, crampons, mountaineering axe, ice tools, harness, helmet, and climbing hardware.  Climbers will be expected to arrive dressed appropriately for the weather and provide their own water, lunches, and snacks for the day.  See our gear list for a complete list of items you will be responsible for bringing.  Meals, lodging, and transportation are not included.

Cancellation Policy

Payment is due in full at the time of booking to secure your reservation.  Events run rain or shine.  Eastern Mountain Sports Schools reserves the right to cancel or reschedule events for low participation, weather, or safety concerns at any time.  We will try to give as much advance notice as possible, but may not always be able to give much advance warning, especially for weather cancellations.

Cancellations or schedule changes more than 14 days prior to the program start date will be fully refunded or credited with no penalty.  Cancellations from 8 to 14 days from the program start date will not be refunded, but changes to reservations may be granted based on availability.  Cancellations or reservation changes within 7 days will not be refunded and you will not be allowed to reschedule or carry over deposits to future events (NO MATTER THE REASON FOR THE CANCELLATION).  Please mark the last day to cancel on your calendar after making your reservation.

Cancellations due to weather are determined only by EMS Schools and the guides – we will not make a weather cancellation at a guest’s behest.  Please note that forecasts change frequently and are rarely accurate more than a day or so out.  If it is determined a program needs to be canceled based on weather, we will call and/or email you prior to your reservation.  This may not always be far in advance of your reservation, so we suggest purchasing travel insurance if you are coming from afar.  If we do not reach out to you, your program will run as scheduled.  A full refund or rescheduling option will be available for those canceled due to weather.

Please remember that if you are joining a pre-scheduled group lesson, your reservation will be pending sufficient enrollment.  If the minimum number of participants is not met, we will offer you the option of upgrading to a private lesson, or we will reschedule or refund you.  NOTE:  If you do not arrive on time for a group lesson, we reserve the right to start without you and you will not be rescheduled or refunded.

We highly recommend looking into travel insurance if you are at all concerned that life events may get in the way of your ability to come out with us.  If you have any questions, please call 845-668-2030.  We would be more than happy to review our cancellation policy with you.



Gear List


Eastern Mountain Sports Schools