Mixing It Up!


Let the sparks fly! Modern mixed climbing is the most fun variation of ice climbing ever invented. Lee Vining Canyon also happens to be a unique and special venue for climbing both ice and solid granite simultaneously with ice tools and crampons.

This course has a minimum of 2 to run on scheduled dates at this price and a maximum guiding ratio of 3:1. We are happy to arrange this course on a custom private basis. Click here for details and reservations.


Mixing It Up!

The two day Mixing it Up! course is for the experienced climber who wants to take their ice climbing to a higher level. Mixed climbing uses a combination of rock and ice to progress up a route. Many alpine routes often require seamless transitions from ice to rock climbing, all with your crampons on.  Picks torqueing and hooking, crampons edging on dime flakes, you’ll be amazed at what your tools will stick to.

Topics Covered:

  • Multi-pitch ice climbing
  • Thin ice climbing
  • Rock climbing with ice tools and crampons
  • Transitioning from ice to rock
  • Ice and rock protection
Review advanced ice technique for steep and thin ice. Guides will run you through drills to improve your ability to trust points and picks on small features. Learn camming, torquing, jamming and other mixed climbing techniques for getting metal to stick to rock. Review of ice screw placement and removal. Instruction in rock protection placement and removal. Basic anchoring in mixed and rock terrain.
multipitch climbing
Based on conditions and your performance on Day 1, our guide will seek out a variety mixed climbing challenges that will push your limits and allow you to apply newly learned skills. We may embark on multi-pitch mixed climbs. The primary goal is to get pumped silly and learn the skills to take to more developed mixed sport crags or the high mountains in classic mixed conditions.    
 * Please be prepared for Plan B:  Sierra Mountain weather does not care that you have scheduled an ice climbing weekend. It is always good to have a "plan B" when making deals with mountains. We highly recommend trip insurance that covers the possibility of road closures from Sierra storms affecting access to ice climbing. We do not cancel courses for inclement weather or other conditions that may limit or prevent ice climbing. Such conditions are extremely rare in our experience, but mountain weather and conditions can vary with little warning from way too warm to way too stormy in a matter of hours or days. Although we wish it was otherwise, we cannot control nature. Trip insurance may or may not cover circumstances where roads are still open but the risks of accessing ice climbing are still too great. Check this with any potential insurance provider. As for all of our guided mountain programs, we do not guarantee any itinerary exactly as suggested and we will not generally be able to cancel, reschedule, or refund your course fees beyond the terms of our deposit and cancellation policy. Without trip insurance, Plan B is that you will be entitled to these scheduled dates with our top-notch guides, who can offer you an alternative plan that may include: rock climbing (with climbing shoes and all other gear provided), "dry-tooling" skills training on rock with ice gear, other technical climbing skills training, technical rescue training, avalanche awareness training, or other guided mountain activities that may be of interest to the group as conditions allow. If major winter storms prevent ice climbing, and you are willing to add the costs of rentals, we may be able to arrange backcountry skiing or snowboarding with a guide, as the conditions could be excellent. Thank you for your understanding about these uncertainties, and welcome to the wonderful world of alpinism. This might just be the most important and useful lesson of your climbing course! 


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