Utah Ice Climbing

Grab your ice axes and head to the heart of Utah's Wasatch Mountains for world-class ice-climbing in the wild West.

Trip Photos

  • Rappelling down a WI 4 route in Provo Canyon, Utah Rappelling down a WI 4 route in Provo Canyon, Utah
  • Climbing the lower WI3 tour of the "Fang" in Provo Canyon Climbing the lower WI3 tour of the "Fang" in Provo Canyon
  • Following WI4 in Utah Following WI4 in Utah

Trip Notes

Location: Utah
Meeting Point: Salt Lake City, UT
Destination: Provo Canyon
Duration: 1, 3, 5 days
Price: $210, $640, $1050 (+ tax, in USD)
Activity Type: Rock/Ice
Season: January, February, December
Guide to Guest Ratio: 1 to 3
Difficulty Level: 4 out of 5
Paperwork Required: Registration, Health Form, Liability Waiver

Related Trips:

Trip Description

Hone your climbing skills in Utah’s most idyllic ice-climbing terrain – with an alpine backdrop featured world-wide.

No previous experience is necessary. These courses are designed to give participants a hands-on introduction to ice climbing. Building solid climbing skills and confident climbers is the main focus.

The one and three day programs provide an excellent introduction to ice climbing, while the five day trip will expand on the primary skills to include anchors, belaying, rope management, knots, protection systems, rappelling, and crampon and ice axe technique. These programs are designed to give participants solid climbing skills and judgment in a safe and fun environment. Our low instructor to student ratio allows us the flexibility to accommodate individual goals and expectations.

ALTA: Alta Ski Resort is located in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. Alta was established as a mining town at the turn of the century and still retains the rustic character from its colorful past. Today Alta boasts some of the finest skiing on the planet, incredible mountain terrain for sports like rock and ice climbing, great accommodations, super restaurants and a lively atmosphere. Our climbing courses start and end here.

SALT LAKE CITY: With easy access via commercial flights, several ski resorts within a short drive and a city filled with places to explore, you won’t lack for things to do before/after your trip.

GETTING TO THE MOUNTAINS: Alta can be reached via airport shuttle or we can arrange to pick you up.

THE MOUNTAINS: The Wasatch Mountains offer exceptional climbing opportunities. The clean granite makes for world class rock climbing and the cold nighttime temps and sunny days make for superb ice and snow climbing. With summits over 12,000 feet, the Wasatch Mountains offer adventure for all abilities.

OUR GUIDES: Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School Inc. instructors and guides are professionals. They are special individuals who have a passion for being in the mountain environment. They have a wealth of experience from guiding throughout Utah, Alaska and the world, and they genuinely enjoy sharing their knowledge. Their skill and positive attitudes help our guests to have the best possible experience during their trip. Your safety and enjoyment are their primary goals.

Below is a sample itinerary based on a 5 day trip:

Day 0: Arrive in Alta for a pre-trip orientation in the evening (typically 6:00PM). Lodging and meals on your own.

Day 1: We’ll drive down to Provo Canyon, and spend the day covering the basics of ice climbing. After a day on the ice, we’ll head to a nearby camping area to set up our basecamp.

Days 2-4: We’ll spend each day exploring various features on the ice walls and getting as much time climbing as possible. Guides will be available to offer instruction and work on your climbing technique.  Guides are adept at matching the technical challenges to your ability. Depending on conditions, we may focus our climbing in the morning hours, with some down time in the later afternoons as the temperature warms up.

Day 5: We’ll break camp and make the most of the last day on the ice.  We will hike out and return us to town.

What is the camping like? Are there any facilities?
We’ll establish a base camp close to the our climbing site, from there it could be a short drive, and a 30-45 min hike each day to access the ice. In an effort to preserve the pristine environment we’ll pack out our solid waste.

How much climbing will we do each day?
The desires of the group largely control how much climbing is done. We will typically set out in the morning and stay up at the ice wall all day, taking our lunch with us. In between climbing, optional trekking to explore other parts of the mountains and unique formations in the ice may be possible.  Temperatures and conditions may dictate our timing on the ice for safety reasons.

What type of food will we eat on the trip? Can you handle special dietary needs?
Although we use NO freeze-dried or pre-prepared meals, you can expect to each eat meals with bases such as rice, pasta, and other grains on a nightly basis. Fresh vegetables are served on most days, and canned and smoked meats and fish add a great source of protein. Meals will be very similar to what you would cook at home, and we definitely aim to please with interesting and varied menus and good presentation. We are also happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences.

Do I need previous climbing experience for this trip?
No previous climbing experience is required, but some basic conditioning and training is strongly recommended. We can suggest a training plan and conditioning tips to help make a successful and rewarding trip. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns over fitness levels needed for our trips.

How difficult will this trip be? What physical fitness level do I need for this trip?
Physical conditioning before your trip will increase your enjoyment. You must be prepared to help carry personal and group gear during the hike in and on our way out from the glacier. The terrain leading up to the ice is rocky, uneven and may be slippery – footwear with high ankle support is required. If you don’t normally follow a fitness or exercise regime, we recommend beginning one now. Incorporate activities that build up arm and core strength and flexibility. In climbing, it is more important to be have good overall stamina and be flexible rather than a strong upper body.

Trip Documents:
  • Equipment List – Overview of personal clothing and equipment that you’ll need for this trip.
  • Rental Gear List – List of camping and climbing gear, as well as personal items available for rent
  • Registration Form  – Outlines policies, and essential information.  One required per participant.
  • Health Form – This form enables our guides to have accurate health information in the event of an emergency.
  • Land Based Activity Waiver  – One required per participant. Guests under the age of 18 may go on one form.
  • Travel Info – Helpful information on how to get to/from Alta, Utah.

Price: $210, $640, $1050 (+ tax, in USD)
2020 Dates: Dec 1 - Mar 1 (dependent on conditions)
2021 Dates: Dec 1 - Mar 1 (dependent on conditions)

What is included in the trip price:
  • Ice climbing gear – group camping equipment, tents, stoves, ropes, etc…
  • Expedition food – all food while out in the field
  • Transportation during trip – travel to our launch area, to/from lodging in Alta
  • Professional guides – Our guides have extensive knowledge of the area and a passion for climbing in wild places.
Guests are responsible for the following:
  • Personal clothing & equipment – review the equipment list included under “Documents”
  • Food & Lodging in town – there are excellent lodging options in both Alta and Salt Lake City.
  • Trip insurance – we highly recommend trip insurance for all of our programs.
  • Airfare – review the “Travel Information” under “Documents” for more details.
  • Reviewing trip policies – please reference our policies page for policies regarding payment, cancellations, refunds and guest responsibilities.
  • Gratuities
To Book your adventure, follow the steps below:
  1. Please call to confirm availability at 1-800-766-3396 or fill out an online form to request more information via this link:
  2. Place a $250 deposit to reserve your spot: this can be place over the phone by credit card, check in the mail, or through our payment gateway.
  3. Once you’ve reserved your spot, you’ll receive a welcome packet with all the necessary registration forms and trip information.
  4. We kindly ask that you submit all of the necessary trip registration information at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Feel free to call or email anytime if you have questions about your upcoming trip. Our team is excited to help you prepare for your adventure!

Guest Comments:

[J]ust wanted to say……….AWESOME!!………… What you do for people kicks ass! Thanks for the incredible experience and memories. We’re getting our pictures developed this week… if something comes out good we’ll send you one for your office wall! If you’re down this way, definitely look us up.
- Susan