Ice Skills Week

The ultimate course for those who are psyched to become skilled & safe ice climbers! The week will be led by CRAG’s head guide J. Mills, who has over 20 years of experience teaching ice climbing and is one of Canada’s top ice climbers. (more…) Very small group sizes (max 4) allow for instruction that matches your skill and ambition level and provides a highly enjoyable week for all.

Advanced ice climbing skills course


  • Dec 16-20th, 2024 (4 spots left)
  • Jan 18-22nd, 2025 (4 spots left)
  • Feb 3-7th, 2025 (4 spots left)
  • Mar 1-5th, 2025 (4 spots left)

COST: $1245 + GST per person

Max Group Size: 4

Prerequisites: At least a few days of previous ice climbing experience and basic climbing skills such as belaying & rappelling. Those with less ice experience but lots of enthusiasm can take our Intermediate Ice Course and/or arrange a couple of custom days prior to the course to get up to speed. If you are unsure about your readiness for this course please just send us an e-mail and we can help you decide. 

Meeting Place & Time: Canmore at 7:00am

Book your spot: Please contact us at to get signed up!  You can join as an individual or as a group of up to 4 people.  A non-refundable deposit of $450 + GST is required to book your spot with the remainder due 4 weeks prior to the start of the course.  Invoices will be provided with options for etransfer, credit card and PayPal. Reading and completing a Waiver form is required to participate in all courses or trips.  A copy of the Waiver will be provided to you before booking and can also be downloaded here: CRAG Waiver Form.  Before booking you must acknowledge that you have read & agree to the Waiver form.  

Ice climbing lessons in the Canadian Rockies
Group ice climbing class near Banff


Due to variable ice conditions, weather and participant’s goals, it is impossible to provide an exact agenda. However, the week will likely look something like this and will be sure to include as much climbing as you can handle!

Day 1 – We will start with a full day of climbing at one of the local single pitch crags. This allows us to focus on movement techniques and start learning some new skills while getting to know each other!

Day 2 – Mixed climbing day! We will spend the day at a drytooling crag with lots of routes of varying difficulties. Mixed climbing is a fun part of the sport and is an excellent way to improve many of your ice climbing skills such as swapping hands on the axes, relaxing your grip, precision footwork, balance and much more. Most participants notice a significant improvement in their ice climbing technique after this day! There will also be the opportunity to do some leading for anyone who is feeling ready.

Day 3 – Lead climbing skills! We will head to a different single pitch area and spend the day learning and practicing lead climbing skills. Initially there are a number of drills we will do on top-rope in order to safely practice the skills required for leading. Deciding to lead is a personal decision and you will not be pressured to do anything you are uncomfortable with. However, if you are keen to lead and are looking solid we will get you leading as soon as you are ready! Practicing the lead climbing skills will also make you more efficient at top-roping and following on ice.

Day 4 – Multipitch climbing skills! As we climb all day we will work on anchor building, belaying from above, multipitch rapelling, rope handling, half rope techniques and other skills for multipitch ice climbing. Those who are ready to do some leading will have more opportunities to do so and those who don’t will still have lots of turns to take charge with the other skills.

Day 5 – Steep ice & mixed climbing! For our final day, everyone will have the chance to push their technical abilities on a number of steep ice and mixed climbs at yet another world class ice climbing venue! This will also be your chance to review the other skills learned throughout the week and to climb until you can no longer lift your ice axes!

Gear List

All technical equipment is provided free of charge except for boots. However, if you have any of your own climbing gear, feel free to use it! Rental and purchase information for boots, as well as other logistics info, can be found here. If you are unable to locate any of these items or have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time for assistance.

  • Ice Climbing Boots – can easily be rented in Canmore at GearUp Sports
  • Small Pack (about 30 litres)
  • Crampons – provided
  • Ice axes – provided
  • Harness – provided
  • Helmet – provided
  • Belay Device – provided
  • Sweater/Fleece
  • Winter Jacket or Goretex/Softshell Jacket
  • Winter Pants or Goretex/Softshell Pants
  • Long Underwear
  • Gloves (2 pairs)
  • Toque
  • Water Bottle/Thermos
  • Lunch
Learn to climb steep ice on an ice skills course