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Ice Climbing & Winter Adventures
During the winter months the Adirondacks become one of the most popular locations in the country for winter outdoor activities as the entire area becomes a frozen playground.

Our ice climbing program is based out of the Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation in Brant Lake, NY, just a few miles north of the Lake George village. We climb at numerous sites within the High Peaks and Eastern Regions of the Adirondack Park.

The focus is on learning the fundamental concepts and techniques of ice climbing and building a solid foundation for further development. Basic climbing skills and etiquette will be introduced and reinforced. Specific ice climbing techniques will be taught and explored while using a top rope set up at any number of popular locations.

Ice tools and equipment will be provided. No prior climbing experience is necessary.

Participants must be 14 years of age or older.  Group size limited to 10 persons including adult leaders. 

Summit Base will supply all specialized equipment for the activities including boots, crampons, ice axes and helmets.  Participants must provide the required personal gear.

Fees & Registration
2016 Fee: $2,100 for up to 10 persons maximum for Westchester-Putnam Council units and $2,400 for units outside Westchester-Putnam Council.

A $200 non-refundable deposit (applied to your total fee) is due with your application.
An additional $1,000 non-refundable payment is due by December 1st.
Balance of payment is due two weeks prior to activity weekend.

Optional Program Fees
Sunday winter program at Read is included in the overall price. Please inform us of any interest in programs at GORE Mountain or Garnet Hill Nordic Center for an additional cost.

2016 Program Dates

Weekend Dates

January 8-10 - Troop 414 Manhattan

January 29-31 - Troop 174 Yorktown

February 12-15 - Winter Expedition - Hawk Mountain Council

February 26-28 - Troop 18 Briarcliff

March 4-6 - Troop - 154 Goldens Bridge

Information last updated: 11/5/2015 8:49:19 AM

Please contact us if your group is interested in the program and all available weekend dates are full.  Cancellations may free up a weekend.


Personal Gear List for Ice Climbing
  • Boots.  The climbing will be done with special boots but winter boots are recommended in case boot swaps are necessary at the climb site.  An inventory of everyone's boot size will be needed in advance of the weekend.
  • 1-2 sets of synthetic non-cotton mid-heavy weight long underwear and undershirt
  • Waterproof pants and jacket. 
  • Gaiters worn over the bottom of waterproof pants and boots. The crampons worn on the feet are very sharp.  Beginning climbers have been known to slice their pants, especially baggy versions. 
  • Socks 1-2 pr. (Heavy wool/synthetic and light synthetic liner)
  • Fleece or wool sweater
  • Wool or fleece hat (which will fit under a helmet)
  • Sunglasses
  • 2 pairs of winter gloves (to allow for dry warm hands)
  • Ski goggles for extreme conditions.
  • Face covering for extreme conditions.
  • Small backpack (recommended)
  • Insulated water bottle (recommended)


Essentially, plan for gear similar to that required for a cold day of skiing.  The ice climbing sites are located at exposed locations.  Be sure to bring proper clothing.  Review upcoming weather forecasts for the area; it can be very cold in the Adirondack Park throughout the winter months.

The farmhouse accommodations are in a warm house-like setting with two large bedrooms with bunk beds. Sleeping bags, sheets, pillows, towels and all personal items are not provided. So please plan accordingly.

Camp Read is 45 minutes north of Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) located at exit 15 off I-87 in Saratoga, NY for any last minute purchases, which is open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. A gear store in the Westchester county (NY) area is American Terrain in White Plains. We will also have limited inventory available at our camp trading post.

The Camp Read chefs provide Saturday and Sunday breakfast and Saturday night dinner. Breakfast and dinner are at the Camp Read farmhouse and log cabin. Lunch is the responsibility of the group with convenience stores and restaurants within 10 minutes of most climb sites. This makes for a nice break and opportunity to warm up.

Travel Directions
The ice-climbing program is based from the Read Scout Reservation located at 1377 Palisades Road, Brant Lake, NY 12815, about 1 to 1.5 hours north of Albany, NY.

From lower New York State proceed to Albany using the Taconic State Parkway or the NYS Thruway (I-87).

If using the Taconic: From the end of the Taconic following I-90 west into Albany (exit B1 off the Thruway to follow I-90) then to I-787 N then to Route 7 West to I-87 North, (the Northway).

From Albany continue on I-87 North (the Northway) to Exit 25, 65 miles north of Albany. There are two good rest areas (neither with food) on the Northway: one in Clifton Park at about mile marker 13 and one just before exit 17 at mile marker 40.7. Best opportunity for food is at exit 15. With several fast food or sit down options. Last fast food is a good Subway at Exit 18 (mile marker 45) and a McDonalds at exit 23. Last (cheap) gas is at exit 19, gas is also at exit 23 and 25 (mile marker 72).

Take exit 25, Brant Lake, NY and make a right onto Route 8 towards Brant Lake. On Route 8, approximately 7.3 miles from the Northway, take a left onto Palisades Road at the sign directing you to camp. This is the second time Palisades Rd will intersect Route 8. The Camp Read entrance will be 1 mile on the right off of Palisades Road.

Please try to arrive prior to 9 p.m. on Friday.


Program Schedule
Friday night: arrive at Camp Read. Check in at Read Manager Residence at the camp entrance. Drive to farmhouse for outfitting and sleep for the night.

Saturday morning: Wake at 6am and gear up for a day of ice climbing. 6:45am breakfast at the farmhouse. Leave Read to head out to the climb site by 7:30 a.m. Arrive at climb site by 9am.

Saturday: climb 9am-11:30am, leave the climb site with time available to drive to have lunch. Afternoon climbing is approximately from 1pm-3pm.

Saturday evening: return to the Read farmhouse around 5pm. Shower and free time until dinner. Dinner at the Buckskin Log Cabin at 6:30pm. Trading post open for sales after meal. Free time & desert back at the farmhouse after dinner.

Sunday morning: 7am breakfast at the farmhouse. Winter activities 8am-12pm.

Sunday lunch: various stops on the way home.

Weather conditions may require changes in this schedule.

Other Useful Information
Brant Lake has cell phone coverage by mostly Verizon carriers only. There is however, limited Internet service at the farmhouse. Most ice climb locations do not have cell phone coverage

The climb sites are located in areas where the parking can be poor, especially after a snowfall.  While four wheel drive vehicles are not a requirement it is recommended that vehicles be considered that can park in (and get out of) several inches of plowed snow without issue.


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