Where to Learn Ice Climbing in New Hampshire

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You’ve hiked in New Hampshire; you’ve skied in New Hampshire. You might have mountain biked up the White Mountains or snowboarded down them. But what about snow and ice climbing in New Hampshire?

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled activity that makes you feel like a badass — but one that is easy enough to learn with the right guide — perhaps this is the year you try snow and ice climbing in the White Mountains!

Pulling yourself up a frozen waterfall might sound terrifying, but it’s incredibly fun. You get all the benefits of climbing with a little dose of adrenaline. Push your limits and achieve goals that you never thought possible – it is no surprise so many New Englanders have fallen in love with the activity.

So how do you get started with ice climbing in New Hampshire? There are several companies in the White Mountains that provide lessons for people of all fitness levels.

You can learn ice climbing as a beginner, if you’d like, then take more and more advanced classes. You can learn about snow climbing and cold weather hiking, join some guided hikes, maybe learn some mountaineering skills.

Before you know it, you’ll be summiting Mount Washington in the winter! How’s THAT for a bucket list experience?

Here are some top-rated places to learn ice climbing, snow climbing, and winter hiking in New Hampshire.

Ice climbing in Franconia Notch, NH, via LML Captures on Shutterstock

North East Mountaineering, Bartlett, NH

Are you just starting out in snow climbing? North East Mountaineering in Bartlett might be the company for you. The company specializes in guided mountain adventures for beginners and first-timers. Having a trusted guide who knows what beginners struggle with can make all the difference.

Ice climbers can choose between four types of classes — Introduction to Ice, Guided Ice (1 day), Ice Accelerated (2 days), or Ice in Depth (3 days). The introduction tour is a full-day course that will teach you the fundamentals. Prices depend on how many people are participating and equipment rental is extra.

North East Mountaineering offers rental gear is available for those who need it, which is perfect for people who are trying climbing out to see how they like it.

Additionally, Northeast Mountaineerings offers affordable bunkhouse lodging for people coming from afar, as well as professional photography services. It’s everything you need for your icy adventure!

North Ridge Mountain Guides, Bethlehem, NH

Are you interested in a guided winter expedition in New Hampshire? You should take a look at North Ridge Mountain Guides in Bethlehem. Whether you wish to join guided ascents of Mount Washington or other snow climbing adventures, they’ve got a lot to offer. All of their lead guides are certified Wilderness First Responders, which is always a plus when you’re in the White Mountains.

North Ridge Mountain Guides offers adventures for both beginners and seasoned climbers. If you wish to test your abilities, join the Alpine Gully climbs. You can choose between conquering Mt. Webster, Mt. Willard, Mt. Washington’s Huntington Ravine, Frankenstein Cliff, or Willey’s Slide. All badass New Hampshire accomplishments!

Keep in mind that all technical gear is included in the price. However, clothes and personal equipment are your responsibility. Those who wish to rent mountaineering boots and gaiters can do so on site, but you’ll need to provide your own winter clothing.

Read More: Best Things to Do in Lincoln, NH

Hiking Mount Washington in the snow, via Shutterstock.

Cathedral Mountain Guides, North Conway, NH

North Conway is one of our favorite winter getaways in New Hampshire — in part because you can do everything from skiing to skating to sleigh rides. Why not up the adrenaline and add some ice and snow climbing to your trip? Cathedral Mountain Guides in North Conway has plenty of options for you!

Whether you wish to explore bucket list-worthy routes or simply get an introduction to ice flows, Cathedral Mountain Guides has a variety of mountains to conquer. Mount Webster, Mount Willard, Frankenstein, and Cannon Cliff are just a few places where they offer trips, along with their namesake, Cathedral Ledge.

Cathedral Mountain Guides are happy to offer personal programs designed specifically for your needs and desires. Because we all know some people are looking for a fun day outdoors, and others are looking to master a skill. Booking a tour is your first step. Rates start at $375 for 1 person but there are discounts for multiple people.

Read More: Best Things to Do in North Conway, NH

Eastern Mountain Sports Schools, North Conway, NH

One of the oldest climbing schools in the area, Eastern Mountain Sports Schools in North Conway is known for their impeccable service. They offer everything from customized private lessons, tours for families and groups, as well as adaptive programs for travelers with different abilities.

Although there are many programs to choose from, their most popular ones are Winter Climbing 101, Accelerated Mountaineering, and the Ascent of Mt. Washington. No experience? No problem. They’ll find the right beginner program for you. When choosing Eastern Mountain Sports Schools, you don’t have to worry about anything – the equipment is also provided for all programs with no extra cost. Prices start at $175.

But ice climbing is not the only activity here — and winter isn’t their only season. Have fun kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, and more, because if we know anything at New Hampshire Way, it’s that the White Mountains are a 12-months-of-the-year destination!

Ice climbing at the Flume Gorge, via Shutterstock.

Synott Mountain Guides, Intervale, NH

From basic ice climbing to advanced expeditions, Synott Mountain Guides have got you covered. Learn ice climbing from the best ones in the industry. Explore ice climbing and snow climbing at Cathedral Ledge, Huntington Ravine, and even Lake Willoughby.

Those who crave a bit of challenge can achieve new goals by tackling more difficult routes such as The Quartet Ice Hose, Dropline, or the Last Gentleman. Whatever you might pick, you’ll be guided in how to read objective hazards and navigate through challenging situations.

An advantage of Synott Mountain Guides is the fact all technical equipment is included in the cost. During summer, there are a variety of different activities available such as rock climbing and hiking. We highly suggest taking the special course on self-rescue. It is always better to be safe than sorry! Rates depend on the number of people but a private class for one person is $375.

Ready to try snow and ice climbing in New Hampshire?

Whether you are a seasoned ice climber or just looking to try the exciting activity for the first time, New Hampshire is a great place to practice your skills safely. We guarantee you will love the White Mountains as much as we do.

So throw on your base layers and pick out a hot chocolate spot for after — you’re going ice climbing, baby! We hope you have a great time!

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