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Ice climbing in Ontario

Ontario's Premier Climbing Adventure Company since 2000

Ice Climbing in Muskoka + Haliburton Highlands

Liv Outside has been the leader in Ice Climbing experiences in Southern Ontario since 2000. Introducing many to the sport over the past 20+ years, our Intro Program was designed for the beginner who wants their first experience to offer quality instruction and great thrills. We bet it won’t be your last!

Experience the thrill of climbing 75 vertical feet of beautiful chandelier ice clinging to the granite cliffs nestled in the hardwood forests of the Haliburton Highlands. A long-time hot-spot for Ontario Ice Climbing, our area offers consistently great ice conditions and some of the best routes for beginner to intermediate climbers.

Our programs use only the latest in equipment, incredible natural environment of Muskoka and are lead by the areas most experienced guides. This adventure is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while challenging yourself to this thrilling activity. Connect with your family, friends or co-workers, and join us for an adventure of the vertical kind.

ice climbing

2024 Conditions Update (Jan 17th, 2024)

With winter rain in late December followed by new snowfall and a swift return to cold temperatures here in January we are on track for great Ice Climbing conditions this season. The routes are currently building and expect to be ideal by early February when we start our first adventures. Typical temps in Muskoka for the past week have been below -8c to lows of -15 which makes for ideal growth and solid development of the lake ice in the region.

FAQ - please read before you book ice climbing adventure

Ice Climbing Adventure
Introduce yourself to the challenge and thrill of Ice Climbing in the natural beauty of the Muskoka Lakes and Halliburton with Southern Ontario longest running Ice Climbing School.  Our program is located less than an hour from Bracebridge on one of Muskoka's best climbing areas. You will experience the adventure of hiking through our winter landscape to ascend 5 routes on up to 3 of the best natural Ice Falls in Ontario. Our experienced Guides will instruct you on various climbing techniques while utilizing the latest in Ice Climbing equipment. Join us for a fun and exciting day outdoors, and see why this sport is so addictive.

Location
We use a few great locations in the Muskoka area and because we are local we know which areas offer the best conditions, plus in most cases we are ready to go well before you arrive for your day of climbing. One of our favourites is Kushog Lake.

Where are you guys located?
We are located in Bracebridge, right in the heart of Muskoka. The area is well known as a cottage escape and is one of the finest recreational areas for the outdoor enthusiast. Our area receives the largest average amount of snow in Ontario and great conditions are always guaranteed from as early as mid December to as late as mid April.

How do I get there?
Our store is located at 271 Ecclestone Drive in Bracebridge, Ontario.  See Map to our Location. Our climbing trips are located around the Muskoka area within an average 30-45 minute drive from our store. When you have been notified which site you will be climbing at view the map link associated to the site and follow google directions.

Where can we stay and where do we eat?
There are many good places to stay and dine around Bracebridge close to our store.  For food we have our favourites, including Wabora for Sushi, Bo’s Thai, and the Old Station for regular fare. Download (link) our area map here or pick up a printed copy at Riverside Inn or at the shop.

Bracebridge Accomodations <http://www.bracebridge.com/accommodation.html

Bracebridge Dining http://www.bracebridge.com/dining_restaurants.html

I have never ice climbed before in my life. Can I take this course?
Absolutely! Introduction to ice climbing courses are specifically designed for individuals with little to no prior experience in ice climbing. These courses cater to beginners, providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and guidance to safely and confidently engage in this thrilling winter sport.

Who should take an intermediate course ?
Intermediate ice climbing is a course designed for those who have taken our Intro course or feel they are fit and capable enough to take on a more difficult challenge. It is ideal for those who have done indoor or outdoor climbing and would like to try it outdoor on frozen waterfalls for the first time. Some of our clients come out every year  or this course even if they have climbed before because they like to know that our top-notch instructors set the routes they are climbing and we provide all the best gear.

What if I arrive Late?
If you arrive late please contact your guide with the mobile phone# provided and arrangements can be made to assist you in joining the group. Due to the nature of this activity if you are more than a ½ hour late the group cannot wait for your arrival and you will miss out on your adventure.

How many people are in the course?
In order to ensure clients get as much instruction time as possible we maintain a Guide to Client ratio of a Maximum 1 Guide to 4 clients. Most adventures are 6 to 8 participants.

What equipment is provided?
All Technical Climbing gear is provided including Ice Axes, Ice boots, Crampons, Harnesses, Helmets, Belay Devices, ropes etc. We only use the newest gear available and believe this offers you the best modern Ice Climbing experience.  If you have any of your own equipment you would like to use please feel free and advise our staff when you are booking. We now offer rentals of gaiters and mitts. Please Inquire.

What are we required to bring?
We recommend layered clothing that is weatherproof and breathable. Include warm mitts as well as a pair of thinner gloves for climbing, proper headwear which will fit underneath helmets and 2 pairs of socks. We also recommend snow gaiters and sunglasses on sunny days. Our store offers a great selection of proper clothing and equipment. Everything you may need is available at a 10% discount to clients. If you would like to do some shopping you may order online or by phone and we can bring it to the site or better yet arrive the day before your climb to do some shopping in store and our experienced staff can provide the best advice.

Are there washrooms?
Please plan for no washroom facilities available. You may want to make a pit-stop before you arrive. Your Guide will carry some TP for any call of nature.

Should I bring a lunch?
For this trip we recommend that you bring a Medium sized pack with a lunch and energy snacks and at least 2L of water. We recommend a thermos of hot liquids to help keep warm.

How long does the course last?
Please check start and end time in the information bookled sent to you prior to the course.

How difficult are the climbs?
Ice climbing is rated on a WI scale, (Water Ice).  It starts at WI 1 (Ice Walking) and progresses all the way to the top end of the scale at WI 7+ (Professional).  Our Intermediate course will spend the day climbing WI3 to WI4. See our Intro course for easier grade climbing.

I am scared of heights. Can I do this course?
Some people have a natural fear of heights and they have found the course thrilling because of that exciting fear. You probably know yourself well and if ice climbing intrigues you, we welcome you.

I am a big guy. Will the ropes hold me?
The ropes are designed so that they can hold your truck. Unless you are as heavy as a truck, there should not be a problem. Our equipment is regularly checked between climbing days and our ropes are renewed on a regular basis.

What if I don't have a strong upper body?
Ice climbing is a combination of using your feet as well as your arms. These climbs are rated from medium to challenging so they are more vertical and will require more from your upper body. We recommend you start with our Intro course before giving this adventure a try.

How high are the frozen Icefalls?
The frozen Icefalls range from 70 feet to 90 feet.For the Intro Course we climb routes of 60 to 70 feet.

What if I get hurt or have an injury?
While fairly uncommon during these activities our guides are trained in wilderness first aid and carry a medical kit at all times. In the event of an injury you are our first priority. Steps will be taken to ensure you are safely cared for and transported should you need further attention.

Can I get a copy of the photos and video the instructor took?
The photos taken by the instructors are uploaded to our  page for you to access after your climb. We will send you an invite to view your photos once we have put them up. If you would prefer to not have your images uploaded or photos taken please let your guide know. Liv reserves the right during any of it’s courses to take images for it’s marketing purposes.

Can I organize my own group?
Yes! We gladly accept personal and corporate groups and offer discounts for group bookings. We can offer any date that works with your schedule. Email or call us for details.

Do you have gift certificates?
Yes, we can provide gift certificates for our courses. We also have a special holiday gift certificates for our ice courses. In order for these to arrive on time for the holidays please request prior to December 7

What Equipment do you Offer?
Our store offer a wide range of climbing equipment and outdoor apparel. We have everything to get you started on your own climbing pursuits and guarantee the best pricing on gear and apparel for our clients. We also offer equipment for rental to get you started.

I would love to become involved in Climbing. Can I learn with your guides?
Yes! We love to see our clients take climbing from an adventure to a regular passion and if you would like to help out with our courses you can learn rope set ups, help new climbers and become an assistant guide as well as get some more climbing in. Contact us after your climbing day and we’ll let you know how to apply.

THE EXPERIENCE

  • Meet your guides for 10:30 where you are fitted with your gear
  • Warm up with a 15-20 minute hike to the ice climbing routes
  • Your guides will go over equipment, techniques, safety and skills
  • Challenge 4 routes throughout the day while your guides assist you
  • The adventure wraps up at 3:30 for the return hike
  • We rate this as a medium to high level of activity

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • Ice Climbing Equipment (Helmet, Harness, Ice Tools, Mountaineering Boots with Crampons)
  • Guided by Experienced Climbing Instructors
  • Programming by Southern Ontario’s Longest Operating Ice Climbing Provider
  • We guarantee the best climbing location and conditions in Southern Ontario

WHAT TO BRING

  • Winter Apparel
  • Leg Gaiters (Available for rent)
  • Insulated Mitts & Gloves
  • Sunglasses or Ski Goggles
  • Insulated Jacket
  • Plenty of energy snacks, 1L of water
  • Thermos of hot beverage
  • POV camera

Preparing for your Ice Climbing Adventure with Liv Outside

Choose from our 2024 Ice Climbing Adventures

INTRO TO ICE CLIMBING day

Our introduction to ice climbing day adventure is designed to provide new participants with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to safely and confidently engage in this exhilarating winter sport.

This Experience will have you challenging 4 different climbing routes as you develop your skills throughout the day and is focussed on the first time participant. Liv Outside is a leader in these adventures and have been guiding and tailoring this course since 2000 to ensure you receive the best day Ice Climbing adventure in Ontario!

Our Ice Climbing trips operate with a Guide to Client ratio of 1 to 4, which is the lowest in Ontario. This means more hands on instruction for you and more opportunity to climb more often all while being outfitted with the highest quality and latest equipment available.

We guarantee the best Ice Conditions, equipment and safety in Southern Ontario.

 

Pricing :

$225 one person booking
$215 per person for 2-3 bookings
$199 per person for 4 and more bookings 

 

 

Includes Climbing equipment (helmet, harness, boots, crampons and tools), location parking, guides and instruction.

Intro to Ice Climbing

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INTERMEDIATE ICE CLIMBING Day

 

During the ice climbing season our area routes continue to grow and peak around the March break. This brings you the opportunity to enjoy some steeper and more challenging routes during the typically warm and sunny days of March. We call this Hero Ice! and use these weekends to offer our intermediate courses. This adventure is limited to 8 climbers per session and is ideal if you have already enjoyed our Intro to Ice Climbing experience and want to try the next level or if you are already a rock climber or someone just looking for the higher level of challenge on your first adventure.

Our Intermediate Climbing day warms you up on Caramel Coating a WI3 graded climb with many different routes options. Here you will learn some more advanced climbing techniques and put them to practice for the next bigger challenge. Your afternoon will be spent on Blue Pillar (WI4), a incredible 90ft pillar of ice and one of Ontario’s best ice climbs. Each ice fall can be climbed many different ways and is sure to offer you a very full day on the ice and hopefully leave you with an appetite for more of this dynamic sport......unfortunately to wait till next year.

Pricing :

$225 one person booking
$215 per person for 2-3 bookings
$199 per person for 4 and more bookings 

 

IceClimbingIntermediate

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PRIVATE GROUP Climbing Day

Experience with your own private group! (Weekdays only)

Private groups can select level of difficulty and can request other areas when available.

A larger private group can book out a weekend date though most of our groups are reserved for mid-week days. Small group requests can often be taken with less notice. Larger groups looking to reserve a course may need a minimum of 4 weeks as we require more guides and coordination. Larger groups may also opt for a lower Guide to client ratio if a lower rate is required.

Our Courses typically run with a Guide to Client ratio of 1 to 4, which is the lowest in Ontario. This means more hands on instruction for you and more opportunity to climb more often.

Pricing for Private Groups

2 people: $325 pp
3 people: $275 pp
4 or more (8 max): $225 pp

 

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Ice Climbing -Private Group
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