Multi Pitch Ice Climbing Course In Banff / Canmore - MSAA
Banff / Canmore

Multi-Pitch Ice Climbing

Multi-Pitch Ice Climbing Course


  • Cost:
  • $749

Location: Canmore and Banff, Canadian Rockies   Duration: 2 Days   Fitness: Average   Ability: Intermediate   Prerequisites: Basic ice climbing skills   Course Code: IMLTPTCHICEBanCan

You’ve taken Intro to Ice and you’re getting comfortable. Now you want to tackle some of the seriously epic routes you’ve seen people dangling off from the Trans-Canada.

Intro to Multi-Pitch Ice in Banff and Canmore covers ice screw placements, v-threads, multipitch climb and descent, and terrain conditions assessment.

Multi-pitch climbing is a truly exhilarating experience, but you have to know what you’re doing.

Make a Booking

To make a booking please call +1 604 938 9242 or email us at

Course Information

Multi-pitch climbing is a truly exhilarating experience, but you have to know what you’re doing.

Multi-pitch ice climbing requires a specialized system. Several special considerations specific to ice must be taken into account. The complexities of multi-pitch ice deserve instruction of the same caliber found on actual guide exams.

Participants will be taught the same professional system lessons found in our Mountain Master program. This Fast Track course is also ideal for already accomplished ice climbers that wish to become highly competent at multi-pitch ice.

Be prepared for long days learning many important skills, concepts and strategies.

This critical course will take your climbing to new heights – safely and efficiently!

Day One

  • Meet at the pre-arranged meeting point
  • Meet and greet. Sign Waivers, discuss current weather, local conditions, gear check
  • Drive to field location
  • Lessons 1 – 6
  • Lunch at around noon
  • Lessons 7 – 9
  • End of day. Debrief, discuss following day, and return to Canmore
  • Evening homework: Evaluate next days Weather & CAA Avalanche Forecast. Choose an appropriate ice route using Parks Canada ATES Scale

Day Two

  • Morning Meeting: Homework review, Q & A session, day’s agenda, gear check
  • Drive to field location
  • Safety: Review current hazards and safety protocols & situational awareness
  • Climb a Multi-pitch ice route
  • Lesson 10 & 11
  • End of day.
  • Course debrief and next step recommendations
  • Course Closure and return to Canmore

Some gear can be rented from Gear Up Sports & Rentals in Canmore.


  • Warm top and bottom under layers and socks
  • Mid layer fleece top
  • Weatherproof shell jacket and pants
  • Down or synthetic insulated “puffy” jacket
  • Gaiters
  • Warm hat
  • Balaclava
  • 2 pairs of gloves, optional mittens
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen


  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Mountaineering boots
  • 2 technical ice axes
  • Crampons
  • 2 locking carabiners
  • 1 x 120cm sling
  • Autoblock belay device

Equipment – Multi-Pitch

  • 1 Abalacov Hooker
  • 1 small knife
  • 1 x 1m section of 7mm prussic
  • 5 medium ice screws
  • 4 long ice screws
  • 6 quickdraws, 60cm slings, or screamers with non-locking carabiners
  • 2 x 120cm slings

At this level we strongly recommend using your own gear.

  • Lesson 1 Environment: Leave no trace and wildlife discussion.
  • Lesson 2 Onsite safety: Current hazards, safety protocols and situational awareness.
  • Lesson 3 Equipment: Intro to multi-pitch ice specific equipment.Ice climbing warm up: Practice the MSA iceXpert ice climbing technique.
  • Lesson 4 Rappelling technique with back up prussic/fireman belay.
  • Lesson 5 Ice screw & v-thread anchors.
  • Lesson 6 Multi-pitch demo and practice.
  • Lesson 7 Participants climb a mini multi-pitch climb.
  • Lesson 8 Multi-pitch ice descent
  • Lesson 9 Ice & avalanche conditions assessment
  • Lesson 10 Multi-pitch ascent system in action
  • Lesson 11 Multi-pitch descent system in action

Transport to Field Locations

Participants in this course will meet their guide at an agreed time and location, usually a local cafe, in Canmore on the morning of the first day. From there you will be expected to have private transport to get to the course location. If you don’t have private transport we can arrange transport with the guide for an additional fee.

Accommodation in Canmore

Accommodation is not included in the course price.

Food for Backcountry Field Days

Pack plenty of high energy food and snacks as well as fluids to keep you at your best all day long. There are plenty of restaurants and supermarkets in Canmore, and if you completely forget, we may start the day at a local coffee shop so you’ll be able to grab something for lunch from there. A thermos of tea or coffee is also a great idea.

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Buddy Up!

Share the cost of the guide! Let us know which activity you would like to do and we'll do our best to find you a buddy.

Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase insurance for Trip Cancellation, Emergency Evacuation and Adventure Sports Coverage (some backcountry adventures are excluded from coverage).

Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance

This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by your provincial health plan (except ambulance/air ambulance transport). We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance.

Emergency evacuation insurance is compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All prices are quoted in Canadian dollars and are exclusive of a 5% tax (GST). Prices are subject to change. Guide gratuities are not included in fees.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA through our online payment portal. We also accept credit card payment over the phone, bank transfer and cash.

Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.

Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.

Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability.  *Does not apply to First Aid and Wilderness First Aid courses.

Late Arrival Policy

Guests arriving more than 15 minutes late for an activity forfeit 100% of the tour price. Tours leave promptly; it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to sort out gear and sign waivers.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 48 hours of start time:  Cancellation will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, no rescheduling.
  • More than 48 hours:  $25 rescheduling & refunding fee (per booking).
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.

Minors (under the age of 18 for our courses based in Alberta and 19 for those based in BC) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where the parents/legal guardian are not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well as must sign a waiver and have their parents or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.


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