Cool Climbs: The 7 Best Ice Climbing Spots Around the World from Cool Climbs: The 7 Best Ice Climbing Spots Around the World

Cool Climbs: The 7 Best Ice Climbing Spots Around the World

Cool Climbs: The 7 Best Ice Climbing Spots Around the World


Wintertime can bring some harsh, unbearable weather. But, when the weather comes, some incredible things come along with it. Snow sits atop trees and mountains, glistening as the sun hits. And water freezes in creative icle shapes in smaller and bigger formations.

The big ice formations, that occur around waterfalls, cliffs, and rock slabs are some of the most incredible sights to be seen in the wintertime. But, these ice formations are more than just pretty spectacles to appreciate from afar.

To some, when winter hits, and water freezes over, a playground is made. Ice climbers find the best places in the world to climb those epic ice formations. It can be dangerous, and alpine ice is somewhat unpredictable. But, to reach the top of an ice fall is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Whether you are a new to ice climbing, and want to try out for the first time this winter, or you’re a seasoned veteran to the sport, these ice climbing spots offer a cool experience for every level.

Ouray, Colorado

Flickr/Laurel F

Home to the Ouray Ice Park, the man made ice climbing venue offers more than 200 named ice and mixed climbs. The park is free and open to the public. There are also plenty opportunities for beginner climbers to hire guide and instructional services. Or check out the biggest Ice Festival in North America, happening January 8th-11th, 2015.

Rjukan, Norway

Flickr/Gillian and Nigel Pigott

Rjukan, a collection of frozen over waterfalls, offers some incredible climbing that attracts people from all over the globe. From the Krokan ice climb, to the Gorge, there are many gorgeous, world famous climbs that vary in difficulty and length.

Canmore, Alberta


Banff National Park in Canmore is a great place to learn and practice your ice climbing skills. Then beyond Canmore, explore all that The Rocky Mountains have to offer. With famous routes like the Terminator Wall, Ghost River, and Cascade Falls, these epic mountains are a ice climber’s dream.

Frankenstein Cliffs, New Hampshire

Flickr/Robbie Shade

New Hampshire tends to be a tourist destination in the wintertime for its family-friendly ski mountains and beautiful New England winters. But, it is also home to some incredible ice climbing routes. Frankenstein attracts those who want to develop their skills on the shorter routes, or take on the icy classics.

Kandersteg, Switzerland

Flickr/Ulrik Hasemann

As one of the most famous ice climbing spots in the world, the falls of Kandersteg offer climbs for beginners to professionals. From the Allmenalp waterfall to the Sunnbüel area, courses are equipped with all aspects of a memorable and stunning ice climb.

Valdez, Alaska

Flickr/Eugene Kogan

Valdez has a long history of sought out ice climbing. Since the 1970s, world-class climbers have come to visit the multi-pitch blue ice in Keystone Canyon. Other climbs include the Mineral Creek, Solomon Gulch, Hole in the Wall, Sheep Creek, and more. Climbers are always setting new routes or exploring the famed classic climbs.

Helmcken Falls, British Columbia


Helmcken Falls is definitely not for the faint of heart. This ice cave holds some of the steepest ice climbing in the world including a 100 ft deep ice hole. Few people have completed ascent, and other professional climbers are working on a new routes.