Ice Climbing & Mountaineering

The Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School is the oldest climbing school in the East, and has been offering technical climbing instruction since 1968. Our winter climbing programs range from basic single day ice climbing and mountaineering instruction to technical multi-day mountaineering workshops on the Presidential Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. If you are training for a climb of Mt. Rainier (14,410ft), or simply want to give ice climbing a try, we’e got a full line up of programs that will challenge and inspire you.

Select a Location

Each climbing location offers a slightly different lineup of classes. Please select a location to view programs in your area.
North Conway, NH
New Paltz (Gunks), NY
Lake Placid, NY
Connecticut


Southern slope of Mt. Washington

Featured Programs

Our most popular winter climbing programs include Winter Climbing 101, Accelerated Mountaineering and the classic winter ascent of Mt. Washington (6,288ft) in New Hampshire. These programs require no previous ice climbing or mountaineering experience and all technical climbing equipment is provided at no extra cost. Equipment provided for all programs includes plastic mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes, harness, helmet, and all climbing hardware. Equipment is checked by your EMS guides and replaced when needed on a regular basis to ensure you are using the most up to date gear for your climbing lesson.

Training for Bigger Climbs

Training with the EMS Climbing School will give you a the necessary skills to embark on any technical climbing adventure. Each season we are joined by climbers traveling to snow covered peaks all over the world including Mt. Rainier (14,410ft) in Washington, Mt. McKinley (20,320ft) in Alaska’s Denali National Park, and the Matterhorn (14,692ft) on the border between Switzerland and Italy in the Alps. Most of these climbers are from the east coast and are looking for a cost effective way to learn necessary technical ice climbing and mountaineering skills before their trip. The mountains of the Northeast are not the tallest, but they do provide easy access to some of the most extreme winter conditions in the world.

Climbing is available seven days a week by private arrangement, or you can join a scheduled class on select dates. Gift Certificates for climbing lessons and guided trips are also available.

Before you begin…

Climbing reservations are broken down into two types. Private and Group Classes. Group classes require a minimum enrollment of two participants. If you are booking as a single for any group class your reservation will be subject to change up until the last day if we can not match you.

Private classes are completely customizable and guaranteed to run once your reservation is complete. Any climbing class can be made into a private class. Many of our climbers choose to go privately as an alternative to joining a class because they have a limited schedule or they want peace of mind that the day they register for will not be dependent on us matching them with another climber. If you want the most personalized attention, the ability to go at your own pace, and a lot of climbing; private lessons and guided climbs are the way to go. To speak with someone about your private climbing day please call 800-310-4504.

Group classes are great for those 15 and older looking to try out climbing in a group environment. These classes are generally less expensive than private classes, but are subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment is not met. If you have a flexible schedule and don’t mind being matched with other climbers, joining a class is a great option. Class dates can be found online and reservations can be made online 24 hours a day.