We have unfortunately had to cancel this winter course. Please check again for this offering next year and enjoy your winter. If you would like to hire Sean privately please contact him at sean@seanisaac.com- The ACC Adventures Team

Camp Highlights

  • Led by ice and mixed legend (and ACMG guide) Sean Isaac
  • Learn in arguably the world's #1 ice climbing destination
  • Develop skills with personalized coaching and hands-on teaching 
  • 2 of the 5 days will be multipitch climbs in 2:1 ratios

Dates & price

  •  Nov 30-Dec 4, 2020
  •  $895 per person

Get Your Season Off to the Best Possible Start with Ice and Mixed Climbing Legend Sean Isaac

Wanting to push your ice climbing to the next level this year? Or gain the confidence to tackle bigger objectives independently? This early season ice camp aims to put you on the best possible footing for the season ahead with five days of personalized instruction and hands-on coaching from Sean and his team of assistant guides.

While many climbers retreat indoors for the winter, early December in the Rockies is a time of low avalanche hazard, easy travel and giddy excitement as the classic ice lines come into condition. Our Clubhouse's location in Canmore, AB allows you to take full advantage of this sitting on the doorstep of some of the best (and most reliable) ice climbing in the world.

Alongside core ice climbing skills, we aim to customize this course to each individual. Sean will be available to teach anything from dry-tooling techniques to efficient rope work and a talented team of assistant guides will join you on days four and five to facilitate multi-pitch ice routes.

Join us this winter for a week of learning, development and plenty of enjoyable ice climbing!

Camp Objectives

Learning Objectives

Core skills you can expect to develop on this camp include: 
  • Ice and mixed movement skills
  • Steep ice techniques
  • Ice screw placements and stances
  • Resting positions
  • Lead climbing strategy and tactics
  • Dry-tooling techniques
  • Hazard awareness and route selection
  • Anchors
  • V-threads
  • Rapelling techniques
  • Multi-pitch systems

Climbing Objectives

Canmore is a world-class destination for ice and mixed climbing. Depending on what forms, regions that you may have a chance to sample include: 
  • Ranger Creek - R & D, Chalice and the Blade, Lone Ranger
  • Kidd Falls
  • King Creek
  • Wedge Smear 
  • Evan Thomas Creek
  • Haffner Creek - various pure ice, mixed and dry tooling, single-pitch routes
  • Bear Spirit
  • Cascade Mountain - Rogans, Cascade, Urs
  • Ghost Wilderness Area - Hidden Dragon/Joker, Anorexia Nervosa, Valley of the Birds, GBU, This House of Sky
Please note that one the multipitch days the guides will choose areas based on conditions as well as climbs with large belay platforms to allow for physical distancing and avoid contact with other parties. Face masks (buffs recommended) will be required at all belay stations.
Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 
  • Climbing areas will change daily and are determined by the guide(s) with the consideration of input from participants.
    • Day 1: Meet your group and Sean at the ACC Canmore Clubhouse at 7:00 am. We'll begin the course at a more relaxed venue where you can review basic skills and techniques and ease back into your ice climbing rhythm. This day we will focus on ice movement skills, hazard awareness, ice screw placements and anchors.
    • Day 2: Try your skills at a new crag. Be it ice or mixed climbing, we'll step up the intensity of the learning and the physical challenge with a particular focus on coaching steep ice technique, resting positions, screw placement stances, leading strategies, V-threads. We'll shift the skills focus onto multi-pitch systems and rappelling techniques ahead of the next two days
    • Day 3: Extra guides will join the group for a multi-pitch excursion day. Break into pairs and determine a suitable objective with your guide. 
    • Day 4: Another multi-pitch day with your 2:1 client-to-guide ratios. Time to push it on steeper ice, a mixed line or even a dry tooling route.
    • Day 5This your final day alone with Sean. Once again you'll check out a new climbing destination. Maybe challenge yourself here with a lead climb or a harder line on the rock or ice. Leave all you’ve got on the ice as you finish the ACC’s Early Season Ice Camp, debrief, and head home. 
Is this Camp For Me?

While there are plenty of teaching opportunities during the week, this camp is designed for people with at least basic rope handling skills and some experience climbing waterfall ice. If you consider yourself any level of “intermediate” ice climber, and you have a strong desire to take your game to the next level, this camp was designed with you in mind.

If you have more limited ice climbing experience, contact us to find out whether this camp or our entry-level Intro to Ice Climbing course is more appropriate for you.

Food, Accommodation and Guiding


Food is not provided on this camp. So please bring along a packed lunch and some snacks for each day. 


As this course is offered out of Canmore, we welcome all participants to stay at the beautiful ACC Clubhouse and enjoy the remote atmosphere that surrounds our location. Located on a high bench overlooking the Three Sisters, Ha Ling and Mount Rundle, it's the perfect place to relax in the evenings after your climbing. You can reserve your room for the nights of the course by calling our reservations team on 403 678 3200.

For full details on the Canmore Clubhouse accommodation click here.


Our guide for this course is ice and mixed climbing legend Sean Isaac. Sean is an ACMG alpine guide and one of the most recognizable names in the Canadian ice and mixed climbing scene. Sean wrote our new ice climbing handbook and training program for ACC trip leaders (his third publication) and we are confident there's no better mentor to help you get your ice climbing to where you want it to be. On days 3 and 4 he will be joined by two local apprentice guides for 2:1 ratio multipitch days.

  • “Sean Isaac is a fantastic guide and ran a great program. He is very positive and safety minded, and provided excellent coaching. encouragement and feedback. I loved the curriculum, 2 days of skills work, 2 days of multi-pitch (with extra guides), and one day of dry-tooling / mixed climbing! Sean was able to use his assessment of our individual skill levels and knowledge of the climbing areas to set us up with new challenges every day. This was definitely my favorite program to date!”

    "I'm so thankful that the ACC makes it possible to learn from talented and experienced climbers like Sean, especially at such a competitive price. Hopefully I'll become a more skilled and safe climber thanks to the instruction I received on this course!"
- 2019/20 Early Season Ice Participant -

Adventure Map

More information

  Email us
   403 678 3200 ext. 213

   Gear list

Organizing Fantastic ACC Adventures For Over 100 Years

  • Local Knowledge - based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers, guides and porters
  • Dedicated resources - full-time office staff, ACMG guides and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit - any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community

Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
Cancellation Policy
We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

Travel Insurance


  • 5 days guiding and instruction by ACMG alpine guide Sean Isaac
  • 2 days with additional assistant guides (2:1 participant-to-guide ratio) to facilitate multi-pitch climbing 
  • All group gear including ropes, top-rope anchoring equipment etc.
  • ACC Ice Climbing Leader Instructional Handbook

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from field locations (participants are expected to carpool)
  • Accommodation is available at the ACC Clubhouse for an additional $30 per night
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

Your Guides


Sean is an ACMG Alpine Guide, based out of Canmore AB. His passion for climbing is infectious and he has already helped many people improve their technique and push their grade. Sean is one of the leaders of the mixed climbing revolution in the Canadian Rockies and is the author of two books: How to Climb: Mixed Climbing, and Mixed Climbs in the Canadian Rockies.

Credited with first ascents in the too-many-to-count range on ice, mixed and alpine routes, Sean has taken his talents on the road and has done alpine expeditions and big wall climbing internationally in Peru, Patagonia, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Baffin Island. As a professional photographer he has captured many of his exploits for all to enjoy and his mixed climbing talents have been featured in the movies Higher Ground and Beyond Gravity. Sean is also the editor of the ACC’s Canadian Alpine Journal (CAJ).