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Ice Climbing
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 newly based out of the High Peaks Cyclery Guides House in the Olympic Village of Lake Placid. We climb at numerous sites within the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks.

The focus is on learning the fundamental concepts and techniques of ice climbing and building a solid foundation for further development. Basic climbing skills will be introduced and reinforced: belaying, rappelling and general climbing etiquette. 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 required personal gear per list below.

Fees & Registration
2015 Fee: $2,400 for up to 10 persons for Westchester-Putnam Council unit.  $2,700 for units outside Westchester-Putnam Council. 

Fees subject to change as arrangements are finalized.

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.

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


Ice Climbing Flyer and Registration Form


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 Bergelyene or silk long underwear and undershirt
  • 1-2 sets of heavy/mid-weight insulating 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
  • Winter gloves or mittens (preferred)
  • Ski goggles for extreme conditions.
  • Face covering for extreme conditions.


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 Lake Placid area especially in January.    

The guide house accommodations are in a warm house-like setting with several large bedrooms with bunk-beds. Bed linens and blankets are provided, sleeping bags are not permitted. Towels are also provided. See Guide House information at the High Peaks Cyclery site for more information.

High Peaks Cyclery is right next door for any last minute purchases and there is an Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) store in Lake Placid 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.

The Summit Base program chef, Dan Winkler, provide Saturday and Sunday breakfast and Saturday night dinner. Breakfast and dinner are at the guide house. Lunch is on your own with convenience stores and restaurants within 10 minutes of most climb sites.

Travel Directions
The ice climbing program is based from the High Peaks Guide House in Lake Placid, NY, about 2 1/2 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 Rt 7 West to I-87 North, (the Northway). 
  • From Albany continue on I-87 North (the Northway) to Exit 30, mile marker 102 (miles from 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 30 at mile marker 100.  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).
  • At exit 30 from the Northway (mile marker 104) turn left onto Rt 73.  This 30-mile section of road is one of the most scenic in the Adirondacks but can be quite challenging in winter conditions as you ascend and descend through two mountain passes.  Continue on Rt. 73 through Keene Valley and then through Keene (both of these towns have radar activated strobe speed control signs at their town limits).  The section after Keene at the top of the hill (Cascade Lakes) can be covered with wind blown snow at times along with a strong wind.  One of the climb sites is in this area.
  • Rt. 73 will then drop slowly into Lake Placid.   Passing the ski jumps on the left and then the fair grounds on the right continue into town to the traffic light intersection of route 86/main street Lake Placid. Go left on to route 86 North and head up the hill to the next traffic light. The driveway is on the right just before the the traffic light at the High Peaks Cyclery Shop. It is a two story green house next to Hight Peaks Cyclery. Park in the driveway. High Peaks Cylery 2733 Main St Lake Placid - NY - 12946 Phone (518) 523-3764

High Peaks Cyclery
2733 Main St
Lake Placid - NY - 12946
Phone (518) 523-3764

The Guide House phone number should only be used in case of travel difficulties.  It should not be used as a contact number for guests.  The Summit Base coordinator will provide groups with the coordinator's cell phone number.

Please try to arrive prior to 10 p.m. on Friday.

View Larger Map


Program Schedule
Friday night: arrive at the guide house
Saturday morning: breakfast at the guide house. Head out to the climb site by 9 a.m.
Saturday lunch: at the climb site with time available to drive to a convenience store.
Saturday evening: return to the guide house around 3:30 p.m.  Dinner at the guide house.  Free time after dinner.
Sunday morning: breakfast at the guide house.  Pack all gear and head out to the climb site by 9 a.m.
Sunday lunch: various stops on the way home.
Weather conditions may require changes in this schedule.

Other Useful Information
Lake Placid has cell phone coverage by most major carriers.  However, there is little or no coverage from Exit 30 on the Northway until Lake Placid.  Most ice climb locations do not have cell phone coverage.

Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and 1980 Olympics and remains an Olympic training center.  Visit the Lake Placid Olympic Region site for winter training events.   The Empire State Games typically occur in late February.

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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