8 Best Places to Go Ice Climbing in the World
Ice climbing is a challenging but accessible sport which is possible during the coldest winter months in the Alps. In this article, we're talking about the best ice climbing destinations in the world.
Ice climbing probably is the Mad Hatter among all extreme sports; anyone who’s tried it will surely vouch for this statement. Just imagine, this sport involves scaling a vertical cliff covered in slippery ice with nothing more than a couple of axes and a pair of crampons and all of this is to be done in the biting cold.
Not many would be game for a monstrosity like ice climbing, but there are a few out-of-this-world people out there who get their kicks from it. With those people in mind, here’s a list of the most amazing places to go ice climbing in the World.
Still in the United States but a bit harder to reach for most American climbers, Valdez, Alaska is located on the northeast side of Prince William Sound. Valdez is the site of dozens of climbing walls and frozen waterfalls. The Keystone Canyon is perhaps the area’s best-known ice-climbing site. The Canyon is loved for its quality, length and accessibility. Keystone’s most popular walls are Keystone Greensteps and Bridalveil Falls. Other climbs can be found in Mineral Creek, Solomon Gulch, Hole in the Wall Canyon, Bear Creek and Sheep Creek. There is a 17-mile wall on the north side of the highway leaving Valdez, and a 19-mile wall west of the highway.
The Alps, Switzerland
It should come as no surprise that one of the world’s best areas for ice climbing is the Swiss Alps. The Alps are full of ski resorts and ice climbing walls, many of which cater heavily to tourists. If you’re a newbie looking for expert guidance, there are a number of ice-climbing locations where experienced climbers will teach you how to scale frozen waterfalls up treacherous mountainsides. One of the premier sites is Kandersteg, which is home to a number of famous routes, primarily in in the mid to higher grades. Kandersteg hosts an annual ice climbing festival as well as a week-long course for experiences climbers.
Tahquitz Rock, California
In Socal near the town of Idyllwild, this massive rock has a 1,000 foot face that has been extremely popular with climbers for decades. Where the Yosemite Decimal grading system was developed. Sometimes called Lily Rock.
The Rocky Mountains, Canada
Canada is a big, big place with ample ice-climbing opportunities. For one the most satisfying ice-climbing experiences in North America, head to the Canadian Rockies. Famous routes include the Terminator Wall, the Weeping Wall, Ghost River and Cascade Falls. The Canadian Rockies offer breathtaking views of sparkling winter landscapes and the chance to encounter moose and elk. For guided programs, visited Banff National Park in Canmore, Alberta. Here you can participate in ice climbing, rock climbing, hiking, backpacking and skiing programs regardless of your level of experience.
Rjukan, a collection of frozen over waterfalls, offers some incredible climbing that attracts people from all over the globe. From the Krokan ice climb, to the Gorge, there are many gorgeous, world famous climbs that vary in difficulty and length.
Banff National Park in Canmore is a great place to learn and practice your ice climbing skills. Then beyond Canmore, explore all that The Rocky Mountains have to offer. With famous routes like the Terminator Wall, Ghost River, and Cascade Falls, these epic mountains are a ice climber’s dream.
Although the limestone crags on the island of Kalymnos have only been being climbed for the past decade or so, it is already one of the best known spots along the Aegean Sea. There are more than 800 routes, the majority being mid-level grades.
The vertical limestone crags that rise directly out of the Andaman Sea are some of the finest tropical climbs in the world. Check out Rai Ley Beach for several world class routes.