Ice Climbing & Mountaineering


Our guides have logged hundreds of Mt. Washington ascents over the years and have guided winter ice routes all throughout the Mt. Washington valley, including areas on Cathedral in North Conway and Frankenstein Cliffs in Crawford Notch State Park. From our home base in North Conway we have quick access to some of the best, and most famous ice climbing and mountaineering terrain in the world. Mt. Washington draws climbers from all over the world and serves as both a training ground and proving ground for winter climbing enthusiasts. Variety of terrain, easy access to challenging climbing areas, and beautiful landscapes are but a few reason why many well known climbers now call the White Mountains their home.

Note: Groups classes require a minimum enrollment of two people. If you are booking alone for a group class your reservation is subject to change if minimum enrollment is not reached. Group classes and climbs are perfect for those with flexible schedules. Any class or climb can be booked privately any day of the week. Private reservations are guaranteed to run. For information about private reservations please call 800-310-4504.

Select a Course

Course Length Cost (pp) Skill Level Dates
Private Climbing one day + click for rates basic to adv. 7 days a week
Mt. Washington Ascent one day $150 basic/ fitness* click for dates
Winter Climbing 101 one day $150 basic click for dates
Ice Climbing Fast Track two days $280 basic click for dates
Accelerated Mountaineering three days $420 basic/ fitness* click for dates
Mount Washington Observatory two days $495 basic/ fitness* click for dates
Ice Climbing 201 one day $150 intermediate click for dates
Mountaineering 201 one day $150 intermediate click for dates
Ice Climbing 202 one day $150 intermediate click for dates
Glacier Skills & Crevasse Rescue one day $150 advanced click for dates
Advanced Winter Climbing one day + click for rates advanced 7 days a week

*= these programs are physically demanding and require participants to be in good health and have a good level of fitness.

Popular Courses

Winter Climbing 101 is a great start for anyone interested in learning more about winter climbing. This full day class combines skills used for technical ice climbing and mountaineering into one comprehensive lesson. We teach about tools used for technical winter climbing and how to use them on a variety of terrain from steep water ice to moderate angle snow slopes. This class can take place at one of two locations, Cathedral Ledge in North Conway or Frankenstein Cliffs in Crawford Notch State Park. Each morning groups meet at the Climbing School to get geared up and after a brief gear review groups head straight to the cliff to begin the day, and start climbing. If you are headed toward more serious winter mountaineering objectives, or perhaps drawn to the frozen waterfalls of the Northeast – this course will give you the knowledge and experience to tackle those goals.

A winter ascent of Mt. Washington is no easy objective. Winds can easily reach hurricane force and temperatures are often well below 0 for most of the three month winter season (January to March). Our guides log hundreds of ascents each year with groups of varying abilities, each with their own reasons for making the 8 mile round-trip climb to the summit. Groups meet promptly at 7am at the Climbing School in North Conway on the morning of the climb. From the Climbing School climbers have the opportunity to check gear and get fitted with boots, crampons and ice axe before driving to the trial head at the visitors center in Pinkham Notch. Lions head route is used for most climbs and trips last between seven and nine hours (approx 5 hours up, 3 hours down). This of course depends on a many factors including weather, trail conditions and overall pace of the group. Group climbs attract many people of all abilities. Although we request that everyone should be in above average physical shape to have a better chance at reaching the summit on a favorable day, not everyone comes prepared. Scheduled dates are reserved for those individuals who are interested in a mountain experience with a potential summit attempt. The group you are with may have an earlier “summit” than the actual top of the mountain. We book these group dates at a 4:1 ratio. If there is someone in the group that may need to go down early, the whole group will need to descend. For this reason, if you are more goal-oriented and would like to have a better chance at summiting without being at the whim of any particular group member, it is best to book privately either as a single or with friends.

Our three-day Accelerated Mountaineering course is a great starting point for those training for serious mountaineering objectives or are interested in learning the skills necessary to becoming a more skilled mountaineer. This is our most popular winter program, and a solid foundation for anyone headed to Mt. Rainier, Mt. McKinley, or similar objectives. Accelerated Mountaineering combines three of our most popular winter programs- Winter Climbing 101, Mountaineering 201, and a winter ascent of Mt. Washington into one comprehensive three day course. Tack on a Glacier Skills & Crevasse Rescue course to further enhance your mountaineering knowledge base.