Ice Program FAQ
When is the program this year?
See the schedule page for details.
Usually the lecture nights in Boston are in mid-December and early January, the weekends in New Hampshire are in mid and late January or early February.
What will I learn?
You will learn how to climb ice. We teach ice climbing and mountaineering basics including crampon and ice tool techniques and then pair you off with leaders to climb and practice those skills. You will have the opportunity to learn vertical waterfall ice techniques, mountaineering and gully climbing techniques, as well as the opportunity to experience some mixed climbing.
How do I apply?
Fill out an online application (available in November). Come to the first lecture and take a belay test. After the first lecture, we will review all of the applications and belay test results. By late December (usually before Christmas) we expect to send out acceptances via email. Once you have received your acceptance, payment is required to confirm your spot.
Can I send you a paper application instead?
No. After struggling to read illegible applications for years we finally found somebody with enough time to create the online application. It has made reviewing the applications significantly more enjoyable, and easier too. If you complain enough, we might take an old fashioned paper application... but you better have a good reason.
How can I be guaranteed a spot?
You can't. This is a very popular program. Usually we have too many applications and have to reject some qualified applicants. Sorry, but our volunteers can only take so many people.
What if I can not make the lecture night?
That means that you can not take the program this year.
How come you guys are such a pain about that?
We are all volunteers with very little time. Also, the lectures are an integral part of the program; we share important information and skills at the lectures (like how to dress for really cold weather) that we don't have time to include in the New Hampshire weekends.
What is the total cost of the program?
Tuition is posted on the current course web page and includes lodging and Saturday night dinner. You need to get to the North Conway area, provide basic clothing and gear. You will also need to rent boots and crampons (varies, budget $50/weekend), and all other meals.
How can I prepare for the program?
Go climbing a lot. Do some leading. Take a self-rescue class. By mid October there is usually snow on Mount Washington and you can do some winter hikes - maybe an overnight. Do some events with other AMC climbers.
Is this program fun?
Heck yeah! We climb, we hangout, we tell tall tales, we eat good food, and we drink beer. What else can you ask for? Not only will you learn to ice climb, but you'll also get to know some great climbers.
Who gets in?
You are a climber. You have some winter sport experience. You are enthusiastic about ice climbing. You participate with the local community.
Do I need to lead climb?
No, but it will help you both in getting in and in mastering the skills we will teach you.
Why do I need to take a belay test?
To ensure the safety of the class we expect applicants to have basic climbing experience, plus it really sucks teaching belaying when its 15 degrees outside. If you're unfamiliar with basic climbing fundamentals please take our excellent Rock Program and come back to join us in the future for the ice program.
What if I sign up am accepted but I can not make it?
We will be sad because we only accept people we are excited about. We do not give refunds on tuition.
This stupid FAQ did not answer my question!
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