If you want to gain the skills needed to “summit” an Adirondack peak in midwinter, this two-day course is a great way to do it. We begin instruction with an introduction to equipment and clothing for cold weather adventures and the essentials of trip planning and navigation. After this introduction, we’re off to learn about using crampons with a single ice axe. You will learn the basics of French and International technique and practice these skills on ice and snow close to the road. Without getting into the complexities of technical ice climbing, we’ll introduce techniques that permit an efficient and safe ascent. As we climb, we’ll work on your movement technique. Depending upon snow conditions we may also introduce techniques for using snowshoes.
The second day’s itinerary will allow you put your new skills to the test during a summit climb. We’ll practice using map, compass, and altimeter to find our way to the base of the climb and we’ll show you how a rope can be employed for protection on the more exposed sections. We’ll make sure you have an opportunity to practice routefinding skills and we’ll allow some time to absorb the view from the top (assuming we don’t arrive in a white-out!).
The crampon and ice axe skills presented are fundamental to non-technical snow and ice travel anywhere in the world. Accordingly, this course is a great way to prepare for a trek or expedition.
Although we carry and use a rope occasionally, this course is not intended to provide an introduction to technical climbing. If you are interested in technical climbing in winter, please visit the Ice Climbing section of this web site.