Camp Highlights

  • An introduction to lead ice climbing
  • Explore arguably the world's #1 ice climbing destination
  • Develop skills with personalized coaching and a custom handbook
  • ACC Clubhouse accommodation available for a small additional fee

Dates & Price

  •  January 15-16th, 2022
  •  $395 + Tax / person

Learn to Lead Ice Climb

Are you already comfortable ice climbing but lack the confidence to start leading routes independently?  No matter your background, our Learn to Lead course will teach you the required skills. Many experienced climbers will tell you that when it comes to  safety, it is important to get into the right habits from day 1. Taking this Learn to Lead course will ensure just that. Get professional orientation to the spectacular ice climbing in the Bow Valley and kick off your lead-climbing career right this summer with the ACC! 

If you're coming from outside the Bow Valley, why not top off your experience with a stay at our beautiful Canmore Clubhouse hostel accommodation which is available to participants for a small additional fee. Please check with our front desk team directly for availability and bookings - 403.678.3200 ext. 0

Please note that due to the serious nature of lead ice climbing, not all participants will be lead climbing during the course. Safely leading ice take multiple seasons and your guide will work with you developing these skills during this two day course.

Camp Objectives

Learning Objectives


Core skills you can expect to develop on this camp include: 
  • Selection and use of ice climbing equipment such as crampons and tools
  • Introduction to effective ice climbing clothing and layering systems 
  • Efficient ice movement technique
  • Ice screw placements and stances
  • Hazard awareness and route selection
  • Ice anchors
  • V-threads
  • Trip preparation and planning, with a focus on lead climbing

Climbing Objectives

Canmore is a world-class destination for ice climbing. Depending on what forms, regions that you may have a chance to sample include: 
  • King Creek
  • Wedge Smear 
  • Evan Thomas Creek
  • Haffner Creek
  • Bear Spirit
  • Johnston Canyon
  • Junkyards (Grassi Lake)
Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 
  •  
  • Each day will begin with meeting your guide, Maarten, at the trailhead or designated meeting area close to the crag. Climbing areas will change daily and are determined by the guide(s) with the consideration of input from participants. Location will be in/around Canmore, Kananaskis or Banff National Park.
    •  
    • Day 1Meet at 7:00am MST. We'll begin the course by quickly reviewing basic skills such as belaying and fitting crampons before swiftly moving on to the course learning objectives, starting with skills like hazard awareness, tool selection and efficient movement. Each day you will be coached on how to safely lead climb. 
    • Day 2: Today we'll step up the intensity of the learning and physical challenge with an option to try slightly steeper lines. The more advanced learning objectives will also be covered including skills like: resting positions and trip planning.
Is this Camp For Me?
Advanced Beginner - Intermediate

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.

You will need to provide your own personal equipment e.g. boots, crampons, tools etc. but don't worry if you haven't purchased these yet. Gear Up in Canmore can rent you everything you need and ACC members get a 10% discount!
Food, Accommodation and Guiding

Food

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

Accommodation

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 during online registration. If you need additional nights please call our reservations team on 403 678 3200.

For full details on the Canmore Clubhouse accommodation click here.

Guiding

Maarten was born and raised in The Netherlands, allowing him to explore Europe through backpacking and bike touring. At the age of 18, he moved to Ontario with his family to enjoy Canada’s natural wonders and embark on a new adventure. Since moving to the Bow Valley in 2013, Maarten has been working through the ACMG program towards his IFMGA Mountain Guide certification. He is currently certified as an ACMG Alpine Guide and enjoys guiding rock climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing throughout Alberta and British Columbia. Maarten lives in Exshaw in the Bow Valley with his wife Lin and their cat Am. For recreation, he has pursued alpine, ice and mixed climbing throughout North America, usually going for long walks to seek out new climbs. His travels have taken him beyond Alberta and British Columbia, to Quebec, Alaska, Morocco and Iceland. During his latest expedition, their team spent 6 weeks in the Mount Logan area, eventually summiting via the East Ridge.

The ACC hires guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Visit the ACMG website to learn more about what they do!

  • "To me the guides stood out as the best thing. It was my first time using hired guides and I wasn’t sure how relaxed I would be with them. It was like having a very experienced friend hanging out and having fun safely.”
- 2018/19 ACC Ice CAMP Participants -

Common Course destinations

MORE INFORMATION

Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues, have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

  Email us
  403 678 3200 ext. 213


Course Documents

Gear List   
ACC Liability Waiver (En)   
ACC Liability Waiver (Fr)  
Covid Health and Exposure Declaration     
ACC Model Release   

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


INCLUDED WITH YOUR CAMP FEE

  • 2 days guiding and instruction by ACMG alpine guides at maximum 8:1 ratios
  • All group gear including ropes, top-rope anchoring equipment etc.
  • ACC Ice Climbing Leader 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 fee
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see 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

Your Guides

Maarten Van Haeren

Maarten was born and raised in The Netherlands, allowing him to explore Europe through backpacking and bike touring. At the age of 18, he moved to Ontario with his family to enjoy Canada’s natural wonders and embark on a new adventure. Since moving to the Bow Valley in 2013, Maarten has been working through the ACMG program towards his IFMGA Mountain Guide certification. He is currently certified as an Apprentice Alpine Guide and enjoys guiding ice climbing throughout Alberta and British Columbia. Maarten lives in Exshaw in the Bow Valley with his wife Lin and their cat Am. He has pursued ice and mixed climbing throughout North America, usually going for long walks to seek out new climbs. His travels have taken him beyond Alberta and British Columbia, to Quebec, Alaska, Morocco and Iceland.