So, you can plan for the epic adventure in Jasper National Park in four days. It seems amazing to ride a helicopter, goes for snowshoeing, rock climbing, ice climbing, and snowboarding. It is an awesome experience, especially if you come here in April. The locals even love April. It is the turn of the season so that you can enjoy both cold weather and warm weather activities. Once you have prepared your trip, the ice climbing is the main activity you must do.
It is all about ice formations. Icefalls, cliffs, rocks covered in ice, and a frozen waterfall. We are talking about these things. When it comes to the types of climbing, it is divided into two options:
Alpine ice – It is the mountainous environments and commonly part of the attempt to reach the peak of a mountain. The ice is frozen and it is the part of the long trek.
Water ice – Commonly, it is on a cliff or beneath other water flows that you have to climb and to deal with the technical challenge.
It is possible for beginners to do water icing. There is an unmade waterfall in Jasper that offers beautiful viewpoints. Not surprise that the area is so popular among the locals.
Ice Climbing In Jasper National Park
Winter is the best season to visit Jasper National Park. It is the most favorite site for all ice climbers. There are many different spots available to climb with various levels. Typically, the best time to visit is between December and March. But, it is okay to visit early in November to April.
Since the late April is the favorite season for the locals, why don’t plan to visit Jasper in this time? You can ice climb and then rock climb all in a day. If you do not like the cold, the weather is going to become warm there. Even though the options are more limited, still, the location is great for newcomers.
In the late April, visiting Maligne Canyon as your initial plan will not work since the ice is starting to melt there. Therefore, it is good to head to the Edge of the World.
Best Places To Ice Climb In Jasper National Park
- Maligne Canyon
- Edge of the World, Jasper National Park
- Tangle Falls Creek
- Panther Falls
- Weeping Wall
Ice Climbing Terminology & Grades
We strongly recommend you to go with a hired guide or well-experienced friend if you never do ice climbing before. We recommend you with Rockaboo Mountain Adventures that will help you set up the anchor and teach you all you need to know like terminology and grades. These two things are important as the basics before doing ice climb.
For example, to climb Jasper, you will need W12 or low-angled 60-degree and climb with one ax. You also need to learn W13 with 6 to 70-degree ice with the occasional near-vertical ice up to 4 meters. You can do a 2 and a 3 and you will reach the top.
What To Pack And What To Wear
Going with a guide means that they can provide you with all technical gear. You only need to bring your clothes and harness and use all gear from your guide.
- Sunglasses – This is important to avoid keeping the ice out of your eyes when you are on the wall. Ice can get blind on a sunny day.
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof pants
- Waterproof gloves – Use thinner and non-waterproof gloves to feel better. Still, use waterproof gloves even if you are climbing in the regular season.
- Insulated layers – Depends on the conditions to climb. Warm weather in April makes you need a waterproof shell.
- Warm Hat or Balaclava
- Waterproof boots
- Backpack – waterproof is good
- Mountaineering boots – Waterproof and fully insulated boots
- Crampons – Wear these over your boot. It is great to dig your feet into the wall
- Ice Axe – 50-65 cm of long axes to ascend the wall. Choose the lighter and easier to carry.
- Climbing Harness – Use it for rock climbing so it can secure you to the rope while you are climbing and belaying.
- Climbing Helmet – Keep a helmet on at all times, climbing o not. Chunks of ice can fall off the wall and tumble down. Rock climbing makes you able to tell if the rocks come loose but you cannot do this in ice climbing.
- Belay Device – There are different types of devices for belaying and abseiling. We recommend using the grigri at ATC for more security
- Carabiners – There are some types of carabiners to create anchors and attach ropes at the various points.
It depends on the situation and the weather. Keep in mind that climbing back up with all your gear can be the extra challenge especially if you lower the gear down before climbing back up.
- Lowerpro backpack – Take it as the great option for outdoor adventures. You can secure it when you want to climb. You can even leave it on your hip to access your gear when you need. A rain fly makes you able to put it down in the snow.
- Canon 5D Mark III – With 16 to 35 mm lens makes able to capture the sheer of the waterfall. This site offers a nice spot that makes you so close to the waterfall. Use 100 mm or 70 to 200 mm to close up shots for the climber.
Snack & Drinks
You are out for at least half a day and therefore, keep your energy up and stay hydrated with some snacks and drinks.
- Lunch – Bring sandwiches can be soggy. Bring something that can hold up and put any sauces on the side.
- Snacks – Kind Bars and Stingers are perfect for outdoor activity.
- Water – You will need plenty of water. SoftBottle is great that you can even roll it up once you are done. Hydroflask is what you need to keep your drink insulated.
Extra Tips For Ice Climbing
Book your guide and tell them about your skill level. The guide will facilitate you with all the technical gear. Don’t forget to check the weather before you go. It can be miserable to come there during freezing temperatures. Don’t forget to pack layers. Sitting around makes you feel colder and once you start climbing, you can feel warm.
If you rock climb, forget about all the techniques you know. Ice climbing is totally different. Rock climbing means you have to stay close to the wall, but ice climbing is about sticking your butt out away from the wall.