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Learn to ice climb with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures in Canmore. Alta. (Darryl Leniuk for The Globe and Mail)
Learn to ice climb with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures in Canmore. Alta. (Darryl Leniuk for The Globe and Mail)

Try this! Ice climbing Add to ...

What's the deal?

Strap on crampons, grab a rope and some ice axes, and climb a frozen waterfall.

Where's it at?

With its roots in 19th-century mountaineering, ice climbing has evolved considerably since the days of chopping steps to climb an icy slope. In the 1930s, Laurent Grivel designed front-pointing crampons; then in 1966, Yvon Chouinard, founder of the Patagonia clothing line, developed the first reverse-curve ice picks, which enabled climbers to grab vertical ice.

More related to this story

Head to Canmore, in the Alberta Rockies, to be at the centre of the ice-climbing universe today. Book a Basic Ice Climbing course by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and learn the fundamentals of body position, equipment use and safety techniques at the beginner-friendly Junkyard ice wall near town. The next day, you'll head to one of more than 1,000 ice routes within a two-hour drive of Canmore, and climb your first frozen waterfall. More advanced climbers may want to test their mettle on the Weeping Wall, a 180-metre veil of ice considered one of the premier ice climbs in the world.

Who's it for?

Those who like winter, waterfalls and climbing.

Yamnuska's two-day Basic Ice Climbing course costs $295 (includes equipment). yamnuska.com

Quebec's Mont Tremblant offers a half-day, beginner ice-climbing course for $79. tremblant.ca

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