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Beginner Ice Climbing around Bellingham, Wa
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David Carson

Locale: Gulf Coast
Beginner Ice Climbing around Bellingham, Wa on 01/02/2014 06:26:45 MST Print View

Im moving to Bellingham this summer from Alabama and will be there for a few years. I am really interested in trying ice climbing. I was wondering if anyone from the area could recommend a beginner ice climbing course. And by beginner I mean I don't have anything and have only seen an ice axe in pictures. Seems legit right?!! I lived in Alaska for several years and did a lot of hiking while up there so it shouldn't be a complete weather shock. Thanks in advance.

Ryan Bressler
(ryanbressler) - F
Re: Beginner Ice Climbing around Bellingham, Wa on 01/02/2014 09:25:33 MST Print View

No experience with their courses but the American Alpine Institute is in bellingham and offers a number of courses. The Mountaineers and Washington Alpine Club may also have something if you don't mind the club format. You could also consider taking the course int the rockies at one of the ice parks/fests. Washington doesn't have the most reliable water fall ice though people climb seracs on the glaciers at places like Mount Baker when they are melted out in the fall.

Richard Fischel
plan a trip to the ouray ice park in co. on 01/02/2014 10:49:15 MST Print View

i havn't taken a class there, but a couple of people i've net have and thay had a great time. there are a number of diffrent schools/guide services that use the park.

in regards to the pnw, you might have better luck posting this question and poking around at there are guide services that run classes on both the coleman headwall on baker, and the adams glacier on adams.

good luck -

Edited by RICKO on 01/02/2014 11:00:16 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Beginner Ice Climbing around Bellingham, Wa on 01/02/2014 11:24:50 MST Print View

There is a great small gear shop in Bellingham called Backcountry Essentials that may have good info. If you visit, make sure to go upstairs and check out the used bargains.

Bellingham does have an REI store too, BTW.

The Mountaineers in Seattle would be an excellent resource. Second Ascent in Seattle sells ice climbing gear and may have some info as well.

If you are going to WWU, the outdoor rec center rents gear, so tap that resource.

Also see and and for hiking trail info.

David Carson

Locale: Gulf Coast
Re: Beginner Ice Climbing around Bellingham, Wa on 01/02/2014 13:34:07 MST Print View

Man, you guys are awesome! Appreciate all the great info.

Mitchell Rossman

Locale: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Ice Climbing in the Cascades on 01/03/2014 08:00:30 MST Print View

As noted above, the ice climbing classes typically are in the summer on places like Baker.

In the winter, most of the NW guiding services offer classes in Ouray, CO. There is nothing like Ouray in the US, with 1 1/2 miles of groomed ice climbs up Box Canyon.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Beginner Ice Climbing around Bellingham, Wa on 01/06/2014 20:36:12 MST Print View

In the fall, the Coleman glacier on Baker attracts lots of beginning ice climbers. There are tons of crevasses to drop into. The glacier ice isn't great but it's good for learning.

Your best bet for local ice is to head north to Lillooet BC for waterfall ice. Even there, it can get warm and wet.

Most people just suck it up and drive to Montana or Wyoming.

You CAN chase ice around Washington, but it's tough. Not a lot of options for beginners, but you can do it if you are willing to go exactly when conditions are good. Cascade Climbers would be your best resource for finding what areas are in.

Mitchell Rossman

Locale: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Beginner Ice Climbing . . . on 01/09/2014 19:24:58 MST Print View

This is off topic, but the best blog on the subject is Cold Thistle.

Dane is based out of Seattle.