Climb Details

Cost:
Length:
Difficulty:
Type:

$395*
2 day(s)
Level 1 difficulty 
Ice Climbing


* +3% land use surcharge

Availability

Please call for program dates.

Upcoming Climbs

 

"Thanks again, I had a blast!"

— Linda G. | Read More Testimonials

RMI's Intro to Ice spends two days introducing the skills and techniques of ice climbing in the heart of the Colorado's San Juan Mountains. Highlights include:

  • Experience the thrill of climbing frozen waterfalls using crampons and ice tools.
  • Learn all the skills necessary to confidently belay and lower climbers.
  • Learn ice climbing techniques under the guidance of an experienced RMI guide on routes up to Water Ice 4.

Ice Climbing

The Intro to Ice Climbing course is ideal for first time ice climbers. The course takes place in Colorado's San Juan Mountains, home to some of the best ice climbing in the United States. Our two-day course teaches participants how to become proficient ice climbers in a short period of time. By the end of this course you will be familiar with setting up a top rope climbing system, be able to confidently belay a climbing partner, and be able to climb Grade 3-4 ice climbs. Our guides work with you over these two days with the goals of creating a confident and safe climber.

The course begins on low angled terrain and ventures onto steeper terrain as climbers' comfort levels increase. Instruction focuses on standard ice climbing equipment and its use, proper technique (body positioning, footwork, tool placement), and belaying and rappelling for ice climbers.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

The Mountain Guides at RMI have a reputation as top guides in the United States. RMI Guides participated in some of America's first ventures into the far reaches of the Himalaya. Years of expedition guiding and climbing around the world have built a core of consummate professional guides.

Our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers, known for their leadership as well as their character. They possess the compassion, enthusiasm and ability to empower others and inspire them forward. Such qualities may only be found in people at the top of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides still remember their own first steps into the mountains, and enjoy helping other climbers reach new heights.

belayingIce Climbing in Ouray

Our exceptional focus to detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures make our courses truly memorable.

SAFETY

RMI strives to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides focuses on leading fun and successful course without compromising safety. Each course includes careful pre-trip planning, daily weather forecasts, avalanche forecasts, and diligent attention to detail. All RMI Guides are highly trained in remote medicine and rescue skills and carry comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio communication equipment throughout the trip. Regardless of the objective or the destination, safety remains RMI’s top priority.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

Introduction to Colorado Ice Equipment List

Whittaker Mountaineering

The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering. This offer excludes sale items. For internet orders, please use the discount code RMI2014.


Pack & Bag Guides' Pick

Equipment Check Box

DAY PACK: A 55+ liter pack is the recommended size for this climb.


Technical Gear

RMI provides, in affiliation with San Juan Mountain Guides (SJMG), the following personal equipment: harness, helmet, ice tools, crampons, ice boots, and belay/rappel device.  If you already own these items please feel free to bring them with you to the course.


Head Guides' Pick

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WARM HAT: Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.


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BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA: One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.


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GLACIER GLASSES: You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.


Hands

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.


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HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVE: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.


Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.


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LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Quarter zip styles will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.


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RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL): A jacket made of rain-proof material with an attached hood.  We recommend a thinner lightweight jacket rather than a heavier insulated jacket.


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INSULATED PARKA with HOOD:Down or synthetic filled, it should fit over all of your clothing layers but does not need to be expedition weight.


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SPORTS BRA: We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.


Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.


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CLIMBING PANT: Soft-shell climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them in combination with the base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.


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RAIN PANT (HARD SHELL): A waterproof pant with 3/4 side zippers (sometimes called 7/8 or full side zips) are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons.


Feet Guides' Pick

ICE CLIMBING BOOTS: RMI provides, in affiliation with San Juan Mountain Guides (SJMG), ice climbing boots.  Crampon compatible, insulated leather boots are the footwear of choice for ice climbing. Plastic boots can work as well.  If you already own this item please feel free to bring them with you to the course.


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GAITERS: We recommend a knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing.


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2 PAIR OF SOCKS: Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc), should work just fine for this climb.


Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick

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LIP BALM: We recommend SPF 15 or higher.


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SUNSCREEN: We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.


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MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.


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2 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required.


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2 INSULATED WATER BOTTLE COVERS: These help prevent freezing. It should completely cover the bottle.


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Optional Items

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THERMOS: One-half liter capacity, maximum.


Pre-Trip Checklist

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Purchase travel insurance.


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Return the Registration Packet to the RMI Office.


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Arrange Lodging in Ouray.


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Purchase airplane tickets.


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Arrange Transportation to Ouray.


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Reserve rental equipment.


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Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides, in affiliation with San Juan Mountain Guides (SJMG), the following personal equipment: harness, helmet, ice tools, crampons, ice climbing boots, and belay/rappel device. If you already own these items please feel free to bring them with you to the course.

Every guide on your program will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Guides have cell phones for emergency contact.