Introduction to Ice Climbing in the Swiss Alps

Experience the fascinating sport of ice climbing as you dive into a world of frozen waterfalls and giant icicles. 1 day off work.

  • Switzerland
  • December—March

What can be cooler than frozen waterfalls? Climbing them.

Climb the frozen falls of Adelboden for your first taste of ice climbing. You’ll learn how to move safely in the ice using climbing techniques, how to use your equipment for temporary securing, the effective use of ice screws, stand construction and so much more.

This exhilarating experience includes:

  • 2 days ice climbing course
  • 1 night in a mountain hotel (dormitory)
  • Swiss 3-course dinner & breakfast
  • Local, qualified, English-speaking guide
  • All ice climbing equipment
  • Warm climbing boots
  • Lift pass
  • All taxes, insurances, and licenses relative to the trip

Perfect for:
Perfect for adrenaline junkies with no ice climbing experience at all but fancy giving it a try.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to and from Salzburg/Geneva airport
  • Airport transfers
  • Train journey
  • Snacks and drink
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 25. The guest guide ratio will be much lower though. You can expect a maximum of 8 climbers per guide.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You need to be in good health but no prior ice climbing experience is necessary.

Forecasting the weather is sometimes difficult. If the trip has to be cancelled due to the weather, the guide will decide the day before 14:00. If the trip is deemed unsafe and has to be cancelled, your host will notify you by phone. However, it may happen that it is worse on the way than expected. We are in the midst of nature but you are in good hands with your experienced local guides. Sometimes the mountains are almost more exciting in changing weather conditions than in stable high-pressure weather.

During the trip you’ll enjoy a delicious 3-course evening meal at the hotel and a traditional Swiss breakfast of bread, jams, cheese and cold meats. During the day is self-catering, however there’s a great cafe close by where we’ll grab some lunch all together.

You’ll receive all necessary climbing equipment on Day 1. The kit includes: - Warm crampons - Crampons with front teeth - 2 ice axes - Harness - Helmet - Ice screws - 2 Carabiner - Descender - Ice pick - Ropes

  • Sun glasses
  • Sun lotion
  • Warm hat/headband
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • Warm winter clothing (think layers)
  • A sleeping bag is recommended for extra warmth for your overnight stay

Other recommendations are: - Camera - Mobile phone - Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

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Location

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Adelboden is a peaceful and relaxed area in the middle of the Bernese Alps; characterised by its village atmosphere. In winter, this idyllic chalet village turns into a winter sports paradise and is widely known for the ski resort of Adelboden-Lenk, host of the FIS Ski World Cup.

The Engstligenalp is a plateau of the western Swiss Alps. Since 1996 this stunning area has been protected by the Swiss Culture Landscapes of National Importance and rightly so.

Start point?
Your host will meet you at 9:00 at the bus station “Oey” in Adelboden.

Finish point?
The adventure ends around 16:00 at the bus station “Oey” in Adelboden.

Getting there and away?
Your host suggests flying in via Zurich and spending the night there. From Zurich, there is a direct train connection to Frutigen in the morning. From here you can take a bus that takes you directly to the starting point at the “Oey” bus station. Please have a look at the bus table schedule here.

Alternatively, you can fly in via Geneva Airport and take a rental car to the meeting point in Frutigen or Adelboden.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Saturday: Learning the basics

Your guide will meet you at around 09:00 in the Swiss Alpine village of Adelboden. You’ll be equipped with everything you need for the trip before heading to the station to catch the lift up to the Engstligenalp.

From here, you’ll take the 10-minute walk to the ice climbing arena and it’s time to, quite literally, get stuck into the ice.

If this doesn’t fill you with a sense of terrifying excitement, then this may not be the trip for you; but your guides are experts and fantastic teachers. They’ll begin by teaching you the basics of ice climbing, such as how to place your axe, how to use crampons, and all the necessary safety procedures.

By late afternoon you’ll be giddy with ice climbing knowledge. You’ll head to the mountain hotel to warm up with a delicious dinner and an early night, in preparation for developing your new-found skills tomorrow.

4-5 hours ice climbing

Sunday: Putting your skills into practice

After breakfast, you’ll return to the ice climbing arena (15-minute walk from the hotel).

There are still plenty of techniques to learn and, as part of your lessons, you’ll take part in some beautiful climbs. From arriving little more than 24 hours previous, you’ll feel exhilarated at your ability to climb the glassy surface of these stunning ice formations.

At around 15:00 your master class will come to an end and you’ll return to the mountain station. Make your forwarding journey home and wait eagerly for someone to ask ‘what did you do this weekend?’

4-5 hours ice climbing

Accommodation

Berghotel Engstligenalp offers a comfortable stay in dorm rooms with en-suite facilities and warm water. Double rooms are available upon request. The communal areas of the hotel offer a warm and cosy atmosphere with a large terrace to enjoy the mountain views, plenty of board games available and even a sauna on request to revive those cold aching muscles.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Double Room Upgrade Payable Before Departure
Double Room Upgrade £30.00 Per Person, Per Night
Transfers to Adelboden Payable Before Departure
Transfer from Zurich Airport to Adelboden (4-8pax) £450.00
Transfer from Frutigen Station to Adelboden (4-5) £45.00

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