Ice-climbing – Foundation

Whats included in the price: Mentoring, accommodation (shared room), technical equipment (axes and crampons) and transport during the course. Not included is boots, clothing, food or travel to and from the course and insurance.

About the course

The course is heavily focused on the participants gaining confidence in ice climbing. We, therefore, spend a lot of time looking at technique, movement and listening to our participant’s needs with a view that they will be inspired and confident by the end of the course.

The course will be run on single pitch and multi pitch terrain in and around Valdres and Hemsedal.

Jamie´s comment:

We mentor our participants, building their confidence, listening to there  expectations and assist them in reaching their goals. Usually, a participant would top rope up to 50 routes before starting to lead climb.  In winter, especially ice climbing  the old adage “the leader never falls” is still very apt.

Once technique and confidence are honed we can move on to lead climbing and multi-pitch climbs at a level that suits the participants.

We keep our groups small with the focus on good communication and a good learning environment.

Course objectives:

  • Movement on ice/technique
  • Use of crampons
  • Use of axes
  • Climbing with axes and crampons
  • Climbing without axes (just crampons)
  • Placing of ice protection (Ice screws) / snow protection (snow anchors)
  • Making bomb proof ice belays
  • Making bomb proof ice abseils, with and without ice screws
  • Single pitch climbing/top roping and abseil
  • Multi-pitch climbing/ abseiling
  • Route choice and assessing ice quality
  • Basics on avalanches avoidance

Course Outline:

  • Day 1 – Leaning the basics about ice formation and how to identify good ice for placing the axes and crampons . Getting a solid foundation in the best ergonomic body position for movement on ice. Look at ice screw placements and there applications. V-threads; making them and there applications.
  • Day 2 – Focus on movement on ice and honing in on technique. Placing ice screws while seconding.
  • Day 3 – Avalanche day- Giving the arms a rest, with a look at avalanche awareness. Getting a sense of snow and search and rescue.
  • Day 4 – Multi-pitch day or lead day depending on participants preference.
  • Day 5 – Back to top roping to see the weeks progression. We often return to the same crag as day one so you can see your progression.

Combine it with other courses

This course can be combined with others to form part of our Alpine mentoring program.




Some climbing experience is required to get the most out of this course. The ability to tolerate cold for extended periods is essential.


The Mountain Cottage is include in the price.

Flights, train and getting there

From the Oslo Gardermoen Airport, you can take the “flytoget”  which is an express train to Oslo central station.  From there it is a short walk to the bus station.  You can take the Valdres Express bus  From Oslo central to Fagernes Skysstasjon which is about 20min from my house.  The bus is comfortable, has free wifi and takes about 3 hours.  I like taking the bus to Oslo as I can look out the window and see all the waterfalls and dream about ice climbing 🙂
Nearly all participants on previous courses have travelled by the above method, and they have described it as straightforward and easy.

Equipment hire

If you need to rent equipment, that is no problem, just let us known in advance. You will receive a list of required items upon booking.