Ice Climbing Routes Every Rock Climber Should Try

Ice Climbing Routes Every Rock Climber Should Try

Are you a rock climber looking to take your skills to new heights? Look no further than ice climbing. In this article, we will explore some of the most exhilarating ice climbing routes that every rock climber should add to their bucket list. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, these challenging and awe-inspiring routes will push your limits and provide a truly unforgettable experience. So lace up your crampons and get ready to conquer some of the most breathtaking ice walls in the world.

Ice Climbing Routes in North America

When it comes to ice climbing, North America offers some of the most stunning and challenging routes in the world. From frozen waterfalls to icy cliffs, there are countless options for rock climbers looking to test their skills on the ice.

Ouray Ice Park in Colorado

Located in the picturesque town of Ouray, Colorado, Ouray Ice Park is a world-renowned ice climbing destination. With over 200 ice and mixed climbing routes of varying difficulty levels, it’s the perfect place for beginners and experienced climbers alike. The park is easily accessible and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, making it a must-visit for any ice climbing enthusiast.

Cascade Canyon in New Hampshire

For those looking to explore ice climbing on the East Coast, Cascade Canyon in New Hampshire is a top choice. The canyon features a variety of ice climbing routes, from easy to challenging, set against the backdrop of the White Mountains. With its close proximity to popular rock climbing spots like Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge, Cascade Canyon is a great option for climbers looking to mix up their winter adventures.

Banff National Park in Canada

Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, is a mecca for ice climbers from around the world. The park boasts a wide range of ice climbing routes, from beginner-friendly to expert-level, set amidst breathtaking mountain scenery. Popular spots like Johnston Canyon and Lake Louise offer a mix of single-pitch and multi-pitch routes, making Banff National Park a must-visit destination for any rock climber seeking a true winter adventure.

Ice Climbing Routes in Europe

Rjukan in Norway

Rjukan is a popular destination for ice climbers due to its abundance of frozen waterfalls and ice routes. The area offers a variety of routes suitable for all levels of climbers, from beginners to experts. One of the most famous routes in Rjukan is the "Rjukanfossen," a challenging multi-pitch climb that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Ecrins National Park in France

Ecrins National Park is another top spot for ice climbing in Europe. Located in the French Alps, the park boasts a range of ice routes that cater to climbers of all abilities. One of the highlights of ice climbing in Ecrins National Park is the "Cascades du Fournel," a series of frozen waterfalls that provide a thrilling and scenic climbing experience.

Stubai Valley in Austria

Stubai Valley in Austria is a must-visit destination for ice climbers. The valley offers a diverse range of ice routes, from easy to challenging, making it suitable for climbers of all skill levels. One of the most popular routes in Stubai Valley is the "Grawa Wasserfall," a stunning icefall that provides a thrilling and rewarding climbing experience.

Ice Climbing Routes in Asia

When it comes to ice climbing, Asia offers some of the most challenging and breathtaking routes in the world. From frozen waterfalls to icy glaciers, there is no shortage of thrilling climbs to test your skills. Here are three must-try ice climbing routes in Asia:

Chadar Trek in India

Located in the remote region of Ladakh, the Chadar Trek is a unique and exhilarating ice climbing experience. The trek takes you along the frozen Zanskar River, where you’ll navigate icy cliffs and narrow gorges. The extreme cold and rugged terrain make this route a true test of endurance, but the stunning views of the Himalayas make it all worth it.

Kandersteg in Switzerland

Known as the ice climbing capital of Switzerland, Kandersteg offers a variety of challenging routes for climbers of all levels. From beginner-friendly icefalls to steep, technical climbs, there is something for everyone in this picturesque alpine village. The stunning scenery of the Swiss Alps provides a breathtaking backdrop for your ice climbing adventure.

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

While Mount Kilimanjaro is best known for its iconic trekking routes, it also offers a unique ice climbing experience on its glaciers. The challenging conditions and high altitude make this a demanding climb, but the reward of reaching the summit of Africa’s highest peak is an experience like no other. Ice climbers looking for a truly unforgettable adventure should consider adding Mount Kilimanjaro to their bucket list.

Embark on these ice climbing adventures in Asia and push your limits on some of the most spectacular frozen landscapes in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned climber looking for a new challenge or a beginner eager to try something different, these routes are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.


In conclusion, ice climbing offers a unique and thrilling challenge for rock climbers looking to test their skills in a different environment. The routes mentioned in this article are just a few examples of the many incredible ice climbing opportunities available around the world. Whether you’re a beginner looking to try ice climbing for the first time or an experienced climber seeking new challenges, these routes offer something for everyone. So grab your ice tools, crampons, and rope, and start planning your next adventure on the ice!