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“Grey limestone or ruddy granite, ice of the gully or the serac, blown snow or snowy cornice, smell of rock, scent of flowers, delicate saxifrage or sub-Himalayan forest, starlight or storms, sun-scorched terrace, unreal frontiers, friendship between two beings for better or for worse - to these do we belong.” - Gaston Rébuffat.

Ice Climbing
Ice Climbing
Ice Climbing
Ice Climbing

 Ice climbing is a relatively new sport in India and is confined to the snow bound regions of the Himalayas. Simply put, it means roped and protected climbing of inclined ice formations like frozen waterfalls, icefalls, glaciers and rock cliffs covered with ice. Different equipment is used depending on the kind of ice to be climbed. On flat ice we can use any good trekking boots that can strap on crampons when required; on angular slopes an ice axe is essential as are good mountaineering boots and crampons; for longer and steeper slopes including glaciers, crampons, ropes and ice axes are mandatory. There are different techniques for different ice textures and inclines. Some of these techniques are also employed in Rock Climbing.

Snowbird Adventures' world of Ice Climbing offers the beginner and professional climber numerous opportunities to climb and scale excellent rock and ice faces in and around Manali and Lahaul - Spiti valleys. You can choose from one day ice climbing trips near Manali or opt for a week long course conducted by expert professional ice climbers. We provide you the very best of equipment and Instructors to teach you the different techniques and basics employed in Ice Climbing. The rest is practice once you've mastered the basics of this absolutely stimulating sport. Some of the training we give you includes knowledge of rope systems, tying in, belaying, leading, abseiling, and lowering. Beginners are drilled in these techniques before attempting a real ice climb.

Basic Course
This beginner's course begins with learning the basics: ice axe and crampon technique; and progresses from low angle terrain to steep ice climbing. Belaying methods, protective systems, and gear are also covered.

Day 1: At Base and Local Climbing Area: 8:00 AM

  • Welcome, Introduction, Goals and Agenda
  • Training: Knots & Harnesses
  • Adjust Crampons and check gear
  • Discussions on safety procedures
  • Ice ‘bouldering’ – how to use crampons,
  • Basic belays and belay calls
  • Top Roped climbs
  • Lowering

Day 2: At the Local Climbing Area: 8:00 AM

  • Bouldering warm up
  • Introduction to steep ice climbing techniques
  • Lots of climbing with coaching on steeper climbs using modern ice tools and proper body positioning.
  • Introduction to use of ice screws and other protection methods.
  • Practice "seconding" which involves removing gear placed by the "lead" climber.
  • Debrief and end of program by 4:00 pm

Day 3: At the Local Climbing Area: 9:00 AM

Warm up
Try out steep ice climbing techniques

This course is suitable for absolute beginners, rock climbers and amateur mountaineers. Ice climbing can be a strenuous activity but our instruction focuses on technique development that reduces the use of strength. The climbing will be customized towards your ability and strength as much as possible. A high level of fitness will make things easier to enjoy and achieve.
You require absolutely no previous experience.

To keep prices down participants are responsible for their own transport to Manali and during the program. Manali is a 12 hour car ride from New Delhi / 15 hours by luxury coach. Chandigarh is about 7 hours by car and 9 hours by coach. There are also daily one hour flights from Delhi to Bhuntar Airfield - 50 Kms from Manali. However these are dependent on weather conditions during the winter months.
We will provide transportation from your hotel / guesthouse to the Climbing Area each day.
You can use your own vehicle if you’re bringing one.

We reserve your hotel / guesthouse room once you confirm your course attendance. You need to inform us about your budget so we can book the desired accommodation. Manali offers a number of options ranging from star category hotels to budget guesthouses. Tariffs start at Rs. 200 and can go up to Rs. 3000 / - per day for a double room.

It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness / accident / rescue whilst here.

Clothing & Gear
The course fee includes use of technical gear although feel free to bring any gear you already have.

Equipment List

  • Boots, double plastic mountaineering boots
  • Daypack (large enough for spare clothing, your lunch & climbing gear e.g. rope & crampons)
  • Crampons (must fit your boots or be easily adjustable)
  • Climbing Harness
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Ice Tools (2)
  • Belay Device/Descender

We can hire these out to you but you must advise us in advance.

  • Sunglasses
  • Thermos flask and / or water bottle
  • Sun cream
  • Pocket knife

Ice Climbing Boots
Snowbird Adventures has double plastic mountaineering boots which you are welcome to use. If needing these please let us know when you register. Please also give us your boot size.

Clothing List
There can be prolonged periods of inactivity in very cold temperatures. Don't be afraid to bring too much! We suggest bringing light clothing of varying thicknesses that can be 'layered' to achieve comfort and versatility.
The most important consideration for clothing is the ability to regulate temperature as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest. We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet.

We suggest you bring:

  • Long underwear (top & bottom), polypro, wool or fleece
  • Warm pants (pref. insulated or fleece)
  • Warm shirt (not cotton)
  • Sweater (medium or lightweight)
  • Fleece Jacket (heavyweight)
  • Insulated jacket or vest
  • Waterproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or nylon)
  • Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex or nylon)
  • 2 sets Socks (wool outer & polypro liner)
  • Wool or fleece hat that will cover ears & fit under helmet
  • Waterproof climbing gloves &/or mitts plus spares
  • Knee-length Gaiters
  • Neck tube


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