WOI+ Ice Climbing Mentorship Program

Winter On Ice Plus (WOI+)

“Winter on Ice Plus” (WOI+) is a new mentorship program designed for ice climbers who have had some beginner training and want to make the transition to more challenging ice and mixed climbing routes. Most importantly, this program is intended for those that are keen to be on the "sharp end" of both climbing routes and coordinating trips with the ACC. You must have previous ice climbing experience and a strong desire to further develop your climbing.

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The program consists of bimonthly indoor training sessions and a minimum of five (5) mountain trips (Nov-Mar) with program mentors. Mentorship is provided by experienced Edmonton Section volunteers who will share techniques and practices to help you take your climbing experience to the next level. Topics will include:

  • Anchors and anchor consideration when ice climbing.
  • Ice route planning and group management at crags.
  • Ice and mixed climbing technique.  
  • Hazard identification and terrain management practices in avalanche terrain.
  • Training and goal setting for ice and mixed climbing.
  • Trip planning and administration.

Participants will also be asked to self-organize or support an Edmonton Section trip to gain experience coordinating ACC trips.

Participant Expectations

Commitment. Becoming a better ice climber is heavily dependent on milage. A minimum of one weekend a month is required of the participant as are two group climbing gym sessions per month. Additional weekends will be made available at the discretion of the trip coordinators.

Aside from the obvious and enjoyable physical nature of ice climbing the approaches are typically long and have the added challenges of snow, cold, and shorter daylight hours. With that in mind a higher than “off the couch” level of fitness is required. This extends to the climbing itself which can best be described as pump management. Gym sessions should be directed at getting pumped and staying in that state. Participants that do not regularly visit the climbing gym are strongly advised to do so. It will result in getting the most out of your weekend and pay dividends when the climbing gets real.

The trip leaders will be available for weekly running and climbing sessions.


Participants will be responsible for their own accommodation arrangements, gear rentals, gym fees, and transportation logistics. There is no cost outside of the aforementioned. Here is a link to the HI website for their wilderness season pass.

How To Apply

Please complete the application form FOUND HERE before November 1st, 2017. A total of six (6) participants will be accepted and notified by November 2, 2017. A kickoff meeting in town will be scheduled for early November.

Required Gear

Participants will be expected to supply all of their personal ice climbing gear,  and avalanche safety gear. A detailed list of gear requirements will be discussed at the kick-off meeting and will include the following general items:

  • T-Rated Ice axes
  • Technical Crampons
  • Insulated fully rigid mountaineering boots
  • Helmet
  • Harness and belay device
  • P.A.S.
  • 2-3 Ice Screws, 5-6 carabiners (locking and non-locking) and 7mm cord.
  • Abalakov Tool
  • Backpack, ~35 to 45 L
  • Avy gear for routes with exposure

Contact for More Info

Applicants are encouraged to contact

Sean Willis segundowillis@gmail.com


Steven Rockarts stevenrockarts@gmail.com with any questions about the program, including gear, costs, course content, participant expectations, or other details.

Program Limitations

The program does not seek to replace the ice climbing safety, avalanche safety and technical training offered by ACMG/IFMGA instructors. Rather, this program is based on a mentorship model involving the transfer of knowledge between mentors and participants.

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