Backcountry Ski & Ice Climbing Adventure
This course is designed for the new climber yearning to try outdoor ice climbing but with the desire for a bit more adventure. Our opinion: if you want an adventure, let’s do it right. No other Ontario ice climbing program will provide you with the real climbing experience better than this. We combine the expedition aspect of skiing into more remote climbs that offer an epic wilderness experience with a dynamic ice climbing challenge.
Our program is located less than an hour from Bracebridge in one of Muskoka’s best climbing areas. You will learn to backcountry ski, tie into the ropes, belay other climbers, and be instructed on various climbing techniques. Although we recommend participating in our Intro to Ice Climbing or Intermediate Ice Climbing adventures prior to this climb, it is not required. The only prerequisite is the desire and attitude to challenge one’s self for a full day in the outdoors!
We offer only the best in modern equipment, environment and instruction. This is a great way to connect with family, friends or co-workers, and is also a great team-building or leadership-development activity. So whether for personal/group development or just to have fun, join us for an adventure of the vertical kind.
BACKCOUNTRY SKI & CLIMB – OFF-SITE ADVENTURE
|WHAT TO BRING||
|PREREQUISITE||No experience required|
See our “HOW TO DRESS FOR WINTER ADVENTURE” here.
This Adventure operates regularly on weekends throughout the season or by group booking on any day between early January and late March. You may request to join an existing class offered on Saturdays and Sundays or request a date and time at any point through the winter season for your private group. We recommend early reservations for Weekend Courses.
Group of 4: $225.00 per person
Private Group of 2–3: $275.00 per person
Private Group of 4+: $195.00 per person
BOOK YOUR TOUR
|Group Size||Min. 4 Max. 8|
9:30 AM: MEET UP
9:45 AM: SET UP
10:00 AM: HIKE
10:15 AM: INSTRUCTION
10:30 AM: CLIMB #1
12:30 PM: INSTRUCTION
12:45 PM: CLIMB #2
3:30 PM: PACK UP
4:00 PM: FINISH
We use a few great locations in the Muskoka area and because we are local we know which areas offer the best conditions. One of our favourites is Kushog Lake.
Kushog Lake offers many great climbs of varying difficulty. It is our best area to have you learn your techniques on easier grade ice in preparation for the more difficult challenges. Our first climbs of the day are at Blue Boy (WI2-2+). Once we have climbed Blue Boy(WI2-2+) we will make our way to Caramel Coating (WI3). See our Intermediate course if you have previous climbing experience and would like a bigger challenge. Each ice-fall here can be climbed many different ways and is sure to offer you a full day of excitment and a great appetite for an after-climb social at one of the local restaurants.
Ice Climbing FAQ’s
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. We recommend the Riverside in which is located close to our store on the Muskoka River and offers a great location to try our onsite snowshoe trails. They offer a special rate for our customers. You can reach them at 1-800-461-4474 and mention MO when your reserve. 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 Accommodations: discovermuskoka.ca/where-to-stay/
Bracebridge Dining: discovermuskoka.ca/dining/
I have never ice climbed before in my life. Can I take this course?
The Back Country Ski and Ice Climb Adventure is designed for beginners, although we recommend taking our Intro or Intermediate courses first. Participants should be 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.
What should I do if I am lost?
Prevention is the best advice. Bring a copy of our map along with an Ontario road map or map of the area to make sure that you know exactly where you are going. You will be provided with our mobile phone # with your map if you need additional directions.
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?
This course starts at 10 AM and returns by 4PM.
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 Flikr 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. MO 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 7th.
What Equipment do you Offer?
Our store offers 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.
REQUEST AN ADVENTURE
This tour operates by group booking. Request a date and time for your group anytime through the winter season. We recommend early reservations for Weekends.