Ready to try leading on ice, but want to learn safely? This 1-2 day course is for ice climbers with experience leading on rock, who want to learn about screw placement, anchor construction, retreat, lead preparation, and more.
Intermediate to advanced, significant experience ice climbing required
Ability to top-rope WI5
December to March
1-2 days; each with 6-8 hours of field time
Rock Creek & East Rosebud, Montana
Rental climbing equipment, group equipment, & instruction from a professional guide
Ice climbing boots, food, transportation, lodging, personal items, and guide gratuity
This course is built to set ice climbers up with the skills they need to start lead climbing on their own. Expect to spend time focusing on screw placement from stances, mock-leading, and reading the ice. This course is a great way for experienced ice climbers to break into lead climbing or refine their skills and move up in difficulty.
Preparation for lead climbing
Review of knots, hitches, and lead belaying
Anchor construction (v-thread, screw, & natural)
Ice screw placement
Reading the ice & forecasting conditions
Rappelling and retreating
Cleaning an anchor
This course is typically 2 days long and starts with a briefing at our office in Red Lodge; lead climbing is inherently dangerous and no participant will lead climb without the protection of a top rope on this course. Day 1 takes us to Silver Falls, where we spend the day refining movement, mastering screw placement, and understanding a variety of anchor types. Day 2 takes us to East Rosebud, where we can apply the skills from day 1 through mock leads on a variety of grades. Participants can build and use their own anchors, practice retreat, and receive direct feedback on conditions forecasting and ice "reading". The main goal of this course is to provide participants with the skills and experience needed to consider lead climbing on their own.
**Don't see a course date listed? Email our office to see if there is one coming up, or start a course of your own! Many of our courses are custom and low ratio, built to your needs.