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Winter on ice (WOI)

Winter On Ice (WOI) is an introductory course designed to introduce people to the skills required for novice ice climbing in the mountains. It is taught by volunteers from ACC Edmonton.

The course consists of 3 classroom sessions (in Edmonton) and 1 skills weekends (in the mountains) that cover:
  • ice climbing gear
  • ice climbing technique
  • walking/climbing with crampons

Classroom Sessions

  • November 9th, 16th and 23rd
  • University of Alberta and one session outdoors in the city. 
  • 7:00-9:00 PM  
Held at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA). Room 1 490 (1st floor room 490). The closest LRT station to the building is the Health Sciences Station and the closest parking is the Jubilee Car Park. The building looks like this: 

Here is a campus map and room map:

Skills Training Weekends in the Mountains

  • Your choice: December 10th-11th 2016 or February 11th-12th 2017


$90.00 in course fees, plus:
  • Hostel/hut accommodations for skills weekends: approx $30 per night.
  • You provide your own meals and transportation (carpooling) to/from the mountains.

Gear required

  • 2 ice axes suitable for ice-climbing (*)
  • crampons suitable for ice-climbing (*)
  • boots that can support the crampons you'll be using (*)
  • climbing helmet (*)
  • climbing harness
  • belay device (ATC), with locking carabiner
  • clothing suitable to spend a full winter day outside
  • backpack to carry your gear, lunch, water, and some group equipment. Minimum 25L+ pack recommended.

    (*) = This gear is available for rent at MEC Edmonton. Early reservations are highly recommended.
You are going to want to rent the ice climbing package from MEC, highlighted below:

​The package includes boots, crampons, ice axes and a helmet (helmets are mandatory during the weekend). They have weekend packages available for around 35$. Not included in the package is a harness, belay device and carabiners which you will also need for the weekend.

When trying on boots two things are important. First, lace them up tight and kick the floor a couple times. If your toe hurts kicking the floor once, it will probably hurt a lot more after kicking ice all weekend. Make sure your toe feels good after a couple kicks. Second, do a couple calf raises and make sure your back heel doesn't lift up inside the boot. Your calves will get pumped really fast if your heel is constantly lifting inside the boot. You want a boot that keeps your heel stapled to the bottom of the boot.

Spots available

  • Classroom space is unlimited.
  • Weekend spots are limited due to hostel space limits. They are available on a first-register-first-serve basis.

To register

Registration begins by emailing Steven Rockarts at Your registration is complete once payment is received by Steven.

Volunteer leaders and assistants needed!

Do you have ice-climbing skills, and want to contribute your time and skills to our mountaineering community?  Want an opportunity to practice leadership skills?  Our courses need you! 

Please contact Steven Rockarts at