6 Awesome Ice Climbing Destinations Around the World
A top of the rung extreme sport, ice climbing has a significant number of devoted enthusiasts. In this article, we've share the 6 best ice climbing destinations in the world.
Ice climbing is a sport that requires strength, agility, and a great deal of skill. It also helps to have nerves of steel and plenty of a lack of fear. After all, we are talking about climbing up a frozen waterfall, or other source of ice, using only climbing axes and crampons. It can be a demanding and rewarding activity that usually takes place in a beautiful outdoor setting. Below is a list of the 6 best climbing destinations compiled from all styles of climbing.
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 Cas
The leading ice-climbing site in Northern Europe, Rjukan, Norway only just reached notoriety within the past couple decades. Prior to the 1990s, there existed little literature on Rjukan’s ice-climbing opportunities.The publishing of climbing guides was pivotal in bringing Rjukan to public consciousness. Now, Rjukan is divided into 6 distinct climbing areas with dozens of high-quality walls. Freezing Arctic winds make for a long climbing season that ranges from late October to late March. Due to short days and extreme weather conditions, it is recommended to avoid climbing in December and January when possible. February and early March provide more favorable conditions.
Valdez has a long history of sought out ice climbing. Since the 1970s, world-class climbers have come to visit the multi-pitch blue ice in Keystone Canyon. Other climbs include the Mineral Creek, Solomon Gulch, Hole in the Wall, Sheep Creek, and more. Climbers are always setting new routes or exploring the famed classic climbs.
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.
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.
The best ice climbing destination in North America, and perhaps the entire world, is in Ouray, Colorado. Located in the San Juan mountains, Ouray is lauded for being a great place for both beginners and advanced climbers alike. With over 200 routes to choose from, the local Ice Park is easily one of the most accessible climbing areas in the U.S. It is so good in fact, that it annually hosts one of the best ice climbing competitions on the planet.