Ice Climbing Course

Ice Climbing Course information and booking

  • Duration
    5 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
    Entry level Mountaineering or Exploratory Treks
For dates & times, click here

Schedule Details

  • 5 day trip
  • 5 days ice climbing
  • 4 nights camping


  • Spectacular helicopter access to base camp
  • A warm and comfortable base camp setting with enough rooms for dining and instruction
  • Steep ice weeps and free standing pillars – enough for the strongest ice climber
  • Expert instruction from NZ’s leading NZMGA qualified guides
  • A stunning exit out over Alta saddle to quickly mingle with the skier masses on the nearby Remarkables ski field
  • Specialist equipment available for hire if needed
  • Price includes ground transport, helicopter access and 4 nights accommodation
  • Guide ratio 1:4

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Learn to climb steep ice on our specialised ice climbing courses. This five day course focuses on developing lead climbing skills based at a top level ice climbing venue - Wye Creek, near Queenstown. We base the course from our Expedition Base Camp tent so you are right at the ice when you wake up each morning. We start the course (weather permitting) with a helicopter flight into one of New Zealand's best ice climbing areas. Our Base Camp tent is large enough to fit all the participants at once, so we have an all weather venue for cooking and theory sessions. We estimate that by staying actually at the climbs, you add another 3 hours ice climbing time to each day. You'll be impressed by what you have achieved at the end of the week!

What's included

  • Guide fees and hut fees
  • All meals and snack foods whilst on the trip
  • Group equipment such as ropes, tents and stoves
  • Ground transport ex wanaka
  • Course manual (a climber’s guide to nz mountaineering techniques, by guy cotter and mark sedon)
  • Department of conservation fees (ca/155/gui)
  • Aircraft access and egress
  • Technical climbing equipment and nz alpine club membership are included in the summer scheduled courses
  • Nz goods and servies tax (gst)


Day 1 Queenstown to Remarkables Range
Each day of the tour will be a mix of actually climbing, learning new skills and then getting to test them out! Although only 5 days you’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn and what you’ll get to climb during the tour. By basing ourselves right at ice we reckon that you will get in around an extra 3 hours of climbing each day then if you were having to travel in each day! We spend as much time in the mountains as possible actually climbing routes whilst developing skills. Initially we concentrate on developing and reinforcing skills in a contained environment and then we move on to more challenging routes during the course. The emphasis of the course will be on the longer and steeper ice routes involving fairly long days where your guides will progressively introduce a wide range of skills and techniques. Weather plays a major factor in any mountain experience and the New Zealand’s Southern Alps get their share. We intend to run the course according to schedule however as we at the whim of the weather we often have to adjust our program accordingly. This in itself is an important lesson for the group in versatility and objective selection based on the present and forecast conditions. So the following itinerary is just to give you a rough idea of what to expect - but basically, it will be as much ice climbing as we can fit into 5 days! The course begins at 9.00 am on day one at the Heliworks Hanger, Queenstown Airport, Tex Smith Lane, Queenstown. Following introductions, your guide will present the course syllabus outlining how the week will operate. We discuss, then organise, our personal and group equipment (bring all your gear with you, including those items you are not sure whether to include or not). Equipment pertinent to the course will be discussed and you can get all the advice you need concerning equipment from the guides. Rental equipment will be fitted at this time and final purchases can be made. We then load up the helicopter for our flight into the Remarkables Range, directly to the ice climbing area. Leaving our gear in the base camp tent, we’re off climbing!
Day 2 Ice climbing
Get up, get dressed, have coffee, have breakfast, find ice axe, crampons, boots. Walk to bottom of the ice, realise you have left the rope behind! Walk back to tent, get missing rope, back at the ice, try to remember how the tie-on works (rabbit comes out the hole, around the back of the tree and…..) Rest of day, spent climbing!
Day 3 Ice climbing
Get up, get dressed, have coffee, have breakfast, find ice axe, crampons, boots. Walk to bottom of the ice, realise you have left your helmet behind! ( Damn – now do I really need it? ) - Yep. Walk back to tent, get helmet, back to the ice. Harness on, roped up – Damn again – now I gotta pee…….
Day 4 Ice climbing
Get up, get dressed, have coffee, have breakfast, find ice axe, crampons, boots. Walk to bottom of the ice, realise you have left your partner behind! Run back to the tent, scream at your rope mate, drag him /her up to the ice, remember the rope and helmet and….. Rest of day spent climbing.
Day 5 Remarkables Range - Queenstown
Get up, get dressed, have coffee, have breakfast, find ice axe, crampons, boots. Walk to bottom of the ice, realise that today you are actually departing for down valley! The route out generally will be up! Wade or ski up the steep slopes to the upper basin above the ice weeps and then onto Alta saddle, where below you hundreds of skiers are enjoying a great season. If skiing with a pack on is your thing, the rest is a breeze. If not – you can always carry your skies! Of course the other way out is a second flight, so talk with your guide!