Canada Icefalls Information

First week

Week 10, Classic Canadian Ice. Convening at 7.00pm on the evening of Sunday Mar 3 and finishing at 9.00am on the morning of Saturday Mar 9.

Second week

Week 11, Classic & Technical Canadian Ice. Convening at 7.00pm on the evening of Sunday Mar 10 and finishing at 9.00am on the morning of Saturday Mar 16.

Getting there

The courses convene in Banff, a short transfer from Calgary International Airport (YYC). Flights to Calgary are daily from most major UK airports and may be easily arranged through a travel agent. Alternatively try the Internet for finding low cost flights at sites such as , , , , or check out the travel supplements in the weekend newspapers for some great deals.

Banff is a major ski destination throughout the winter so transfers from Calgary are and are sites where you can book transport to meet you at the airport and drop you at the Y Mountain Lodge. The transfer takes about an hour and a half depending on the weather.


We are based in Banff at the Y Mountain Lodge, just a few minutes walk from the town centre. The Lodge has a friendly atmosphere with a small restaurant downstairs, Internet access and laundry facilities. The rooms at the Lodge are all twins, which means that you share with someone else from the course, and all have en-suite shower and washing facilities. Check out the Y Mountain Lodge's web site at for more detailed information.

You'll be booked into the Y Mountain Lodge from the Sunday you arrive through until the Saturday morning a week later (or if taking both courses, two weeks later). On the Sunday you will have a chance to buy or hire any kit you may need before meeting up that evening for a briefing with the guide. If taking both weeks, ISM will cover the hotel night between courses.


Accommodation at the Y Mountain Lodge is on a Bed & Breakfast basis. For the evening there are numerous restaurants and cafes in Banff itself - a great way to sample the local hospitality! Evening meals are not included in the cost of this course, but eating out is very reasonable and an allowance of £10 per night for food is normally adequate.

Visas and Information

Visas for UK residents are normally available on entry to Canada, but we suggest you check with your local travel agent beforehand or contact the Canadian Embassy in London, tel: 0207 258 6600, website: http// . The Embassy can also provide general information on holidays in Canada and the Banff region.

Equipment and Rental

There is no ISM kit store in Banff so you'll need to bring all your ice climbing equipment with you or be prepared to hire certain items in Banff. With a large choice of shops nearby hiring is not a problem and the guides running the course will give any assistance required.

Typically the weather in the Canadian Rockies can be very cold, giving great ice conditions! We recommend that, as well as the ice climbing kit you'd normally have with you (see the ISM Equipment page), you take a few extras to make all the difference to your comfort. A lightweight down jacket and balaclava will make the belays more comfortable. Good mountain gloves and rigid warm boots are also essential.

The course fee covers:

  • 5 days guiding
  • 6 nights accommodation (bed & breakfast)
  • all picnic lunches
  • transportation from hotel to climbing venues
  • all group equipment

Not covered:

  • flight and transfer (details above)
  • evening meals
  • personal equipment (details above)