Imagine ascending a frozen waterfall, swinging an ice tool into a bulge of blue ice, then placing your ice crampon onto a delicate shelf in a curtain of chandelier ice...
For beginners: ice climbing is a unique and fun experience with an Aspen Expeditions guide; using technical ice tools and crampons to climb frozen waterfalls on a safe top-rope can be a real thrill! Minutes from downtown Aspen, along the Rio Grande Trail, is an ideal area for the first time ice climber. We will introduce you to two-tool ice climbing techniques. You will spend the day gaining a basic understanding of safety measures, tool placement, body positioning, belaying, and proper lowering techniques.
For the more experienced climber: consider a guided day of ice climbing in Redstone. Deep in the heart of the Rockies, the small Victorian town of Redstone, Colorado lies beneath soaring sandstone cliffs. Ample snowfall and year-round waterfalls that freeze solid from November through March make the hamlet an ice and mixed climber's get away with abundant routes. From WI 2 to WI 5, and M2 to M10, rim to canyon, most have easy access and are just minutes from the car.
Classic Routes of Redstone include Avacado Gully - WI 3+ M3, Redstone Pillar - WI 3+, Marble Falls - WI 4, The Drool - WI5, and the long and rambling Dancing in the Moonlight - WI3. We also guide moderate to steep ice curtains in Rifle, CO.
Our AMGA trained/certified mountain guides are experience alpinists that guide both ice and mixed-ice climbing routes; please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.
Duration: Full Day Tour - Approx. 8:30 am - 3:30 pm | Short Day Tour - Approx. 8:30 - 12:30 pm
Location: The guide will be in touch with you the day before to determine your meeting place.
Maximum Guide Ratio: 4:1
Fitness Level: All tours are custom and suited for your physical ability and needs.
Includes: AMGA trained/certified mountain guide, use of all technical ice climbing equipment including boots, ice crampons, harness, helmet, ice tools, ropes, etc.
Not included: lunch/snack food.
Prep- Your guide will contact you the day before at the voice number you give us to discuss appropriate terrain for you and to confirm a meeting place and start time.
You will be provided with all the technical ice climbing equipment necessary (boots, crampons, harness, helmet). We can arrange to set you up the morning of at 8:30 am at Aspen Highlands shop or the night before between 3:00-5:30 pm.
The Day - Meet your guide at our shop or at a pre-determined location. You and your party will climb frozen waterfall ice. (lunch/snacks are not included)
Socks: Wool or synthetic ski socks
Base layers: Synthetic, wool or silk bottom, underwear and top
Mid Layer: Synthetic or wool zip shirt
Hard Shell or Softshell pants: A pair with side vents are best.
Insulated vest or jacket: down or synthetic.
Hard or Soft shell jacket: waterproof and breathable, no or little insulation.
Gloves: a pair of heavy gloves and a pair of medium weight gloves
Hats: one with brim, one for warmth
Neck Gaiter or Balaclava: optional, but nice to have
- Water bottle
Small thermos (Optional)
Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
Toiletries, Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs
- Camera or Smartphone
- Lunch/Snack food
Participants will travel through the winter backcountry. Come dressed appropriately with warm layers for moderate physical exertion in cool and wintry weather and good winter walking boots.
THE FIRST STEP
It is suggested that you maintain a good level of physical fitness. Maintain and build heart and lung endurance with cardiovascular activities such as swimming, cycling, running and hiking. Hike up hill, up stairs or do squats to prepare your legs for mountain travel.
THE NEXT STEP
Follow a day of ice climbing with another day of ice climbing.
AE requires a full credit card or cash/check payment to hold your reservation. If you choose to cancel within 7 days of a scheduled trip, you will be charged full price. Within 7-14 days of your trip, we would be happy to work out a date to reschedule. If you choose to cancel 2 weeks or more (3 weeks or more for multi-day trips of 5+ people) prior to your scheduled trip, you will receive a full refund. If your guide decides that weather makes your scheduled trip a no-go, we will work with you to reschedule, give you a credit, or refund your trip. Travel Guard insurance is available via our website homepage.
Please note: AEW's number one priority is your safety. Many conditions affect our guides' decisions in the mountains, including client fitness and comfort, weather conditions and route conditions. There are inherent hazards in mountain travel such as inclement weather, avalanches, rock fall, ice fall that our guides manage yet cannot eliminate. The combination of our guides' formal training and wealth of experience assures that their sound decision create an enjoyable and safe mountain experience. Aspen Expeditions reserves the right to turn around or change routes without refunds or credits under any conditions.