Climbing Lessons

Selecting a guide is probably the most important decision you are going to make when it comes to climbing. A good service will make sure you have the proper equipment and clothing so you can enjoy the days climbing.

Unfortunately anyone with a spare set of boots, and ice tools can hang up a shingle proclaiming they are a guide service. The American Mountain Guides Association provides certification for guides and checking for this is a good way to determine if you have hired a weekend warrior or a serious climber.

The size of the group should also be considered. The smaller the group the more attention you get and the closer to your skill level the guide can make the climb. Most services offer group climbs of 3 clients per guide for $100 to $125 per day. Any more than 4 climbers in a group is just silly and you have probably made an error in your selection for a guide service. With 4 climbers a 30 minute pitch takes 2 hours for all the climbers to do a pitch, with 5 it takes 2 and 1/2, that's about enough daylight for 3 good ptiches!

For $125 to $150 you can get a semi-private lesson, only 2 climbers and a guide, This is a much more specialized lesson. The guide can tailor the day more to meet your needs, My brother and I took a semi-private lesson from the IME guide service and Brad White managed to make the day challenging for me, a climber with some experience, and Rick who was on the ice for the first time.

Private lessons are available from most services for anywhere from $165 to $200 or more a day. This of course is great! You don't have to spend any time waiting for somebody who is slower than you or keeping up with somebody who is more experienced.

Multi-day trips are also available from most services for a widely varied price range. Although some of these are designed to take you from novice to the top of Mount Washington in 3 to 5 days, if you are not in good physical shape to begin with you are going to be too tired to enjoy yourself.

The ice cube pirates do not necessarily endorse the guide services listed below. You should do you own investigation as to whether or not the service is certified or qualified,

We have used both the IMCS and EMS climbing schools and have come back alive and happy with the days climbing. Mark Chauvin's reputation in New England and the fact that all his guides are AMGA certified make him a good choice as well.

New England

Bartlet Adventures
Chauvin Guides International
Eastern Mountain Sports
International Mountain Climbing School
Jay Philbrick, Climbing Guide
Maine Guides


Ouray Ice Park


American Mountain Guides Association


Alpine Ascents International

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