Alaska Rock & Ice Climbing

Leadership & Guide Training Course
(12 days)

The Alaska Rock & Ice climbing course is structured to give students a solid foundation of vertical climbing skills from a professional guiding perspective. Our rock climbing location just outside of Skagway hosts everything from easy toprope climbs and difficult multi-pitch routes, to sweeping alpine faces. Difficulty levels vary from tenuous 5.10 slabs and 4th class adventure climbing to steep overhangs and splitter cracks. The endless sea of granite crags has innumerable routes of all varieties.

The Davidson Glacier spills out of the mountains just a few miles from Haines. Mulans, crevasses, seracs, and large vertical walls of ice create a playground of ice formations for exciting summertime ice climbing and technical skills development.

On the Alaska Rock & Ice climbing course you’ll learn to place ice screws in deep blue glacier ice, hone your rock footwork on a granite face, and teach your fellow students the proper way to swing an ice tool. Picture yourself making solid hand jams in an inside corner, rappelling down an ice face, or practicing your high angle rescue techniques. From setting up a hanging belay on a vertical rock face to placing ice screws on a mock lead, you’ll garner the skills to climb and lead safely in the vertical realm.

THE INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES OF IWLS are widely recognized as some of the very best in their field and have practical leadership experience from around the globe. They are well trained and have an uncommon enthusiasm for sharing their skill and knowledge, borne out of a passion for outdoor exploration.

The International Wilderness Leadership Schools’ educational model nurtures leadership development and creates an awareness of the guiding mentality that is essential for leading safe, fun adventures in the mountains. The combination of technical skills training, experiential education and practical leadership experience make the IWLS curriculum world class.

THE IWLS GENERAL CURRICULUM outlines the essential components for effective outdoor leadership. Here are a few points that the course will focus on.

  • Environmental Ethics: As adventurers in some of the most pristine environments on the planet, it is our duty to respect the natural landscape. All of our courses practice and teach Leave No Trace’® principles.
  • Weather: Will the storm arrive in the next 12 hours or the next 48? Understanding weather patterns and trends will help you plan successful trips in a wilderness setting.
  • Leadership: You’ll have the opportunity to lead the group in a variety of activities and objectives.
  • Safety and Risk Management: Safety is always the #1 consideration. As the course progresses, you’ll develop an awareness to appropriately asses risk and make safe decisions.

-Kevin Forster

IWLS ROCK AND ICE CLIMBING CURRICULUM is designed to create safe and strong technical climbers.  Below is an example of what you’ll learn:

  • Climbing Technique: Whether stemming an inside corner, jamming an off-width, or friction climbing on a blank slab, you’ll learn the techniques to climb efficiently on a variety of different features.
  • Rock Protection: Pitons, nuts, cams, hexes… learn the nuances of quality placements. You’ll have the opportunity to place protection in a variety of settings and rock quality.
  • High Angle Rescue: What happens when things go bad? We’ll practice escaping the belay and getting to the aid of an injured climber.
  • Ice Protection: Ice screws, ice pitons, v threads… learn the nuances of quality placements. You’ll have the opportunity to place protection in a variety of settings and ice quality.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL No previous experience is necessary for this course. However, with a desire to learn and an enthusiasm for adventure, you’ll develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of wilderness exploration.

CERTIFICATIONS Upon completion of the 12-day Alaska Rock & Ice course, participants may qualify for the following certifications:

12 Day Certificate of Completion
International Wilderness Leadership School

DATES & PRICES Please see our schedule for current dates and price information.