Tips for Your First Ice Review

Tips for Your First Ice Review
January 4, 2017 Nicole Morter

The annual Ice Review is coming up in just under two weeks. This is a great event for members who want to try Ice Climbing for the first time or who are looking to find new partners. The event starts on Saturday with various trips posted by our wonderful leaders. If you are new to ice climbing, I’d recommend signing up for an event that has climbs in the WI3 to WI4 range. WI2 and WI3 ice climbs are less steep and perfect for beginners. WI4 is closer to vertical and requires more strength. I’ve seen some people crush WI4 on their first day out, but others (like myself) have struggled. 

 I’ve listed some common ice climbing areas and their difficult level below:

Less Steep:

Wedge Smear (WI2-WI3)

Kings Creek (WI3)

Blue Cheese (WI3 multi-pitch)

Johnston Canyon (WI2-WI5)

Junkyards (WI2)


Medium Steep:

Bear Spirit (WI3 and WI4)

Haffner (WI3 and WI4)

Johnston Canyon (WI2-WI5)

Balfour Wall (WI3-WI4)



Tokum Pole (WI5)

Tasting Fear (WI5)


If in doubt, email the trip leaders to ask about the ability level they are looking for on their trip.  I will also be posting the Ice Climbing Packing List that was shared at the STICKSSS orientation for anyone who is unsure of what to bring.


For Saturday, make sure you show up on time for your carpool and bring money for gas for the driver. If you are carpooling, make sure you have a plan for both days. Sunday tends to be less organized and not everyone you climb with Saturday will climb with you Sunday.  

Saturday night we meet at Tunnel Mountain Campground for chili and beer (or wine). If you want to join us for dinner, please remember to pay your $15 before this Saturday! Otherwise, you are more than welcome to bring your own food or just join us for the daytime events. If you are camping, the park allows up to 2 tents per site, so organize yourselves accordingly and make sure your site is paid for before you go! It might be cold, so bring a warm sleeping bag (or two or three). You will be responsible for your own breakfast Sunday morning, so bring both a stove and food, or plan to buy breakfast in town.


As I mentioned above, Sunday typically has fewer posted trips than Saturday. If you are looking for partners for Sunday, ask around at the dinner Saturday night or hang out at the shelter Sunday morning. If you have your own rope and anchor setup I recommend bringing it for Sunday.


If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email your trip leader or email me at:


Let’s get 2017 off to a great start!

1 Comment

  1. Orvel Miskiw 7 years ago

    Good intro and advice about the Ice Review, Nicole. I think everyone could learn something from it. Orvel

Leave a reply