Ice, Alpine & Mountaineering

These programs are offered daily throughout northwestern Connecticut, the White Mountains of NH, Catskills and Adirondack mountains in New York. We will occasionally take trips to western areas, so please contact us for more information.
Please see our individual menu pages for more complete offerings.

101-Beginner Ice Climbing

Learn to walk and climb in crampons , and employ a number of techniques for everything from slabs to steep vertical ice. The swing of the ice axe takes some practice to become efficient. We’ll use the best modern equipment and tools available. You will learn how to combat the cold weather, stay warm and dry. Ice climbing is addictive, and is an exciting way to spend a winter’s day.

201-Intermediate and Advanced Ice and Mixed Climbing

Steep ice climbing techniques are practiced, and a multi pitch climb or two will provide a capstone to your learning. You will also get a taste of how the ropes, ice screws and other protection provide security on more complex terrain. This program is offered through out north western Connecticut , southern New England, Crawford Notch State Park in the White Mountains of NH, Catskills and Adirondack mountains in New York. We will occasionally take trips to western areas including Colorado—please inquire.

301-Steep Ice and Alpine Climbing Objectives

White Mountain Objectives:

  • Mt Willard via Cinema Gully and Hitchcock Gully, Willey’s Slide, Silver Cascade, Flume Cascade, Shoestring Gully,etc.
  • Cannon Mountain’s famed Black Dike or Fafnir
  • Technical routes in Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington are among the best anywhere. Cold, windy, exposed, long climbs will test your mettle. These all include some ice climbing (some more than others) and travel over steep snow. Pinnacle Gully, O’Dell’s Gully, Damnation Gully, North Gully, Yale Gully, South Gully, and Central Gully are the classics there.
  • Non technical summit climbs of Mount Washington via Lion’s Head and Ammonusuc Ravine, ice axe and crampon use are required for travel. We’ll see how long climbs are broken down into sections and discuss land navigation tools and techniques. Experience the most challenging conditions of any mountain range in the world!
  • Presidential Range Traverses in 2 or 3 days.
  • Adirondack Objectives:
  • Mt Colden’s Trap Dike is an all time classic moderate. 600 feet of technical climbing lead to 1000 feet of exposed snow climbing. On a nice day, this is a hard climb to beat. It ends right on the summit of Mt. Colden above Avalanche Pass.
  • Gothic’s North Face, the eastern Norwand. Snow and ice plaster this face later in the season to provide a fantastic journey up to a great summit.
  • Non technical ascents of Mt Marcy and Algonquin Peak are also available.

3 Day Comprehensive Mountaineering Program

Colden Summit via Trap DikeOur high speed 3 Day Comprehensive Mountaineering program is a fine way to train for ascents in the Cascades, Alaska and for the european Alps. It is also a fine program for those climbers looking to further their general mountaineering skills. Day 1 will find us gearing up, and heading off for some skills training. We will learn how to use crampons, ice axe, ice tools, rope basics, and more. Day 2 we will practice our skill set and climb a multi-pitch training climb (like Willey’s Slide or Hitchcock or Shoestring Gully). We call it a training climb so we can use and develop the skills from the previous day in more complex terrain. On Day 3 we will attempt to climb Mt Washington by a technical route.  A mountain overnight in a tent or a high mountain hut can be arranged for a small additional fee.

Joel, Harry and Bruno descending Lion's Head

Many of these objectives require approaches involving  sometimes long hikes over rough terrain.  Certain alpine approaches can last up to 3 or 4 hours.  Plan to carry a 20-30 lb. pack.