Learn to Lead: Ice Edition 2016

Dates & Price

  • Adventure Dates: Dec. 9 - 11, 2016
  • Adventure Rates: $650 + applicable tax, due upon registration
  • Information Package: Download Info Pack

Take yourself to the next level with the ACC

Photo by Kris IrwinHave you been been climbing ice on top rope and want to get out without leaning on your friends? Do you already lead and want to further your skills and develop new ones? Do you want to learn from the best? The Alpine Club of Canada can offer all these and more in our Learn to Lead instruction camps.

Leading can be intimidating and a bit scary. It can stall the best of climbers in the worst of spots. Learn from our guides to build and master skills to allow your confidence to push you to new limits.

Building skills from the ground up over the course of three days will allow just the right amount of time and practice to send you out on your own. New techniques will be taught everyday to allow each movement to become instinctual.

Based out of Canmore, you will have some of the worlds best ice at your door step to learn on. Depending on group size and capabilities, the last day may be a multi-pitch climb where you can apply all the skills you’ve learned and test them in a larger setting.

Slider pictures by Jeff Stewart, Kris Irwin and Mark Locki

Camp Itinerary

Climbing locations will be determined by your guide with feedback from participants.

  • Day 1 – Meet at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Company on Main Street at 8 am.
    • Car pool to climbing location and walk in
    • Develop anchor and rappelling skills
    • Learn lead ice climbing techniques
    • Photo by Kris Irwin

      Photo by Kris Irwin

      Practice placing ice screws

    • Mock Lead on top rope, placing screws
  • Day 2 – Meet at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Company on Main Street at 8 am
    • Review skills from day before
    • Mock Lead on top rope, placing screws
    • Lead some ice
  • Day 3 – Meet at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Company on Main Street at 8 am.
    • Review Skills from day before
    • Mock lead on ice, placing screws (if necessary)
    • Lead some ice (may be multi-pitch depending on group)
    • Course ends

Progression of skills each day will be dependent upon the group dynamics.

Gear, Food, Lodging


  • Full ACMG Guide throughout the camp
  • Bag lunches from Rocky Mountain Bagel Co.
  • All group gear

Participants must provide:

  • Daily transportation to/from the climbing areas (participants will be expected to use their own vehicles and carpool)
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfasts and Suppers
  • National Park Passes (if required)
  • Personal gear (see equipment list in Info Pack)

Level of Difficulty

This camp is designed for those that already ice climb and want to further their skills. Basic rope handling and belaying skills are required. This is not a learn to ice climb course. This course is available for all levels of ice climbers. Grade/difficulty of climb is not important as skill development will be the primary focus.

ACC Camp Progression

Have you got these skills mastered and looking for a new challenge? Check out the courses/camps below to keep on growing your skills in the mountains.

Brad Hurkett

Brad Hurkett

AST 1 – This is your first step in becoming officially trained in Avalanche Safety. An affordable two day course that spends one day in the class room and one day in the field. Over these days you will be innundted with information to make your time spend in the backcountry safer for you and your friends. Good decision making is the most important skill when going out.



Joe Josephson

Joe Josephson

Early Season Ice – Come dust off your muscles with the ACC’s early season Ice camp. Test yourself on ice and rock and see where you stand against last year. This camp offers 5 days of climbing from drytooling, to mixed to pure ice routes. There will be plenty of opportunity to learn new skills and tricks from our ACMG guides. What are you waiting for?



Photo by Peter Muir

Peter Muir

Crevasse Rescue – Fallen and you can’t get up? Jump into this course to expand the terrain you feel comfrotable in. No one wants to go Into the Void, so come join the ACC and learn how to save yourself and others by making the right decisions when on glaciers. If the worst is to happen, learn how to get yourself out of a chilly situation. Watch that first step!


Learn to Lead: Ice Edition Staff

  • Kris Irwin

    Kris Irwin

    Kris is an ACMG Alpine Guide. He lives in Banff with his wife Ellen, daughter Aria, and their dog Ruby.
    Kris is certified to lead all types of rock, ice, and mountain climbs. He has been climbing in the mountains at home and abroad since 2004. Although he feels most at home on the classic ice climbs in the Rockies he has also made several first ascents in Alaska in the past few years.
    Kris is one of the most active waterfall ice climbing guides in the winter and in the summer can be seen leading guests throughout the Rockies, Bugaboos and Rogers Pass.  An excellent instructor and personable guide, Kris always gets rave reviews from his guests