Create your perfect alpine ice climbing holiday! Our bespoke ice trips offer guiding services and accommodation, packaged together for a hassle free holiday. We can offer tailored versions of our standard trips in Chamonix, Cogne, La Grave and Norway just for you and your team, with your own guide, on dates of your choice. Or if you would like a fully bespoke trip to a venue of your choice, focussed on skills training, cruising some classic climbs, a long standing dream route, or any combination of activities, we can help.
Looking forPlease visit our Covid-19 Climb Information page for Covid FAQs, details of our new participation requirements, travel advice and what to expect on your trip. a scheduled trip? check our scheduled alpine ice climbing courses.
Bespoke alpine ice climbing trips are suitable for any fitness/experience level (see Fitness and Experience guidelines below). Ideally, your group should be well matched in terms of fitness and ability, so that everyone can make the most of their holiday.
As a rough guideline, these guiding ratios apply:
- Introductory level/skills based trips – 1:3 max
- Training courses/trips involving multipitch climbing – 1:2 max
- Serious/technical/time consuming objectives – 1:1
For trips of 2 or more days in length.
The main European icefall season runs from Jan to late Feb, but it’s possible to climb valley ice into March in some higher/shady venues. March/April are the best months for climbing ice/mixed in the high mountains (couloir climbing). Norway is great from Jan to April, depending on how far north you want to go (its pretty dark inside the Arctic Circle in Jan…)!
The following price inclusions/exclusions typically apply to bespoke trips, but please let us know if you have any special requirements.
Included in price
- Guides fees and all guides expenses
- Valley hotel accommodation including breakfast and evening meals
- Mountain hut accommodation (if required) including breakfast and evening meals
- Transport during the course
Excluded from price
- Lunches and drinks
- Travel to resort
- Equipment hire
We can arrange a hotel to suit your groups requirements, from 2-4* standard in most resorts.
Please get in touch to discuss your aims and objectives, and we will be happy to create an itinerary for you.
We will provide help with your travel arrangements once final plans are in place.
To view all climbing Technical and Fitness Levels, and for advice on trip preparation and training, please visit our training advice page.
Alpine Ice Kit List
Equipment can take a real hammering in winter-time, so a substantial hardshell is preferred, rather than lightweight summer waterproofs.
- Waterproof Jacket – full weight breathable model preferred
- Waterproof trousers – durable model with 3/4 or full length side zips
- Socks – warm ‘Smartwool’ type, plus thin liner socks and spares
- Gaiters – made from breathable material
- Wicking thermal baselayer tops – synthetic not cotton!
- Softshell Jacket – mid weight, wind resistant, light insulating layer (or a mid weight fleece jacket)
- 2nd fleece – or equivalent insulating mid-layer
- Belay jacket – down or synthetic insulation
- Powerstretch tights or warm mountain trousers – should fit comfortably under your waterproof trousers
- Thin inner gloves
- Warm mountain gloves – Goretex or equivalent water/windproof model
- Second pair of mountain gloves as above – one pair will often get wet
- Hat or balaclava – must fit under a helmet.
- Spare mittens – especially if you suffer from cold hands
- Water Container – at least 1 litre
- Headtorch and batteries
- Map, compass and whistle (optional, but a good idea)
- Personal medications and blister kit – zinc oxide tape, compeed, painkillers etc
- Sun Glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
- Goggles – for windy/snowy conditions
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Wallet and passport
- Alpine Club/BMC card (if you are a member) and insurance docs
- Rucsac 40-50l – to handle extra winter kit
- Rucsac – superlight 15/20l model, for taking on long multi-pitch icefall routes (optional)
- *Rigid 4 season mountaineering boots – Axe, Boot and Crampon advice
- Harness, locking karabiner and belay device
- 120cm sling and locking karabiner
- Climbing helmet
- Technical ice axe and ice hammer
- Crampons – vertically orientated front points are best, or sharp new mountaineering crampons are also fine
- Snowshoes or ski mountaineering equipment for Winter Couloirs/Norwegian ice climbing trips – please contact us for advice
Your guide will have ropes, climbing rack, first aid and survival equipment.
*Boots: These are VERY important to the success of your trip! Its best to have your own boots and break them in well before the start of the trip – see advice below.
Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website or our blog for equipment advice. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!
Backcountry UK in Otley offer an excellent mountain boot fitting service and general equipment advice.
Please see our Equipment Hire page for more details.
For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for climbing and mountaineering activities as outlined in the course itinerary. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury. Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.
Please find further details on our insurance info page.