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Cornell University

PE 1654: Ice Climbing


This course will teach the fundamentals of ice climbing on frozen waterfalls in the Adirondacks. Crampon use, ice tool selection and placement, belaying, and winter safety and comfort are covered. Transportation and climbing equipment provided. Students will need to provide their own winter attire appropriate for long days outside.


Course Fee

Students: $475
Community: $510
CU Faculty/Staff: $490

Fee Notes

Includes all climbing equipment, travel, and accommodations
If you don't have your own, personal camping gear (sleeping bag, headlamp, etc.) is available for rent at a 25% discount. See Equipment List below for details.

Fill out the Fee Waiver Application to apply for a free or reduced PE course. 


Participation in all class sessions is required in order to receive PE credit.


No previous experience.

Drop Deadline



Enroll through Student Center or by contacting COE at 607-255-6183 or


Medical Form
Ice Climbing Waiver




Monday 2/19/24 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Wednesday 2/21/24 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Friday to Monday 2/23/24 to 2/26/24 4:00pm to 10:00pm

Ice Climbing Equipment List

* These items are provided by COE and are covered in the course fee.
** These items can be rented from the COE Outfitting. Prices below reflect 25% discount, tax not included.

This clothing list is intentionally specific because we want you to be safe and to enjoy the out of doors. Comfort is a must when learning in the outdoors!  Our ice climbing courses will have very different weather than the Cornell campus. Expect it to be cold, wet and windy outside and come prepared.

It is better to dress with layers so that you can regulate your temperature based on your activity level and changes in the weather. We REQUIRE wool or polypropylene (or thermax, capilene and other synthetics) because these materials retain their insulating qualities when damp whereas cotton does not. Dressing smart will increase the quality and enjoyment of your outdoor experience.

Upper Body
  • 1 light weight long underwear top (polypropylene, polyester or wool)
  • 2-3 insulating layers, any combination of the following:
    • Medium-heavy wool sweater
    • Medium-heavy weight long underwear top
    • Fleece jacket
    • Down jacket
  • ** 1 raincoat (must fit over your other layers), available for $7.50 from COE Outfitting
Lower Body
  • 1 pair long underwear bottoms
  • 1-2 insulating layers, any combination of the following
    • Medium-heavy weight long underwear bottoms
    • Fleece pants
    • Wool pants
  • 1 lower body shell
    • ** Rainpants or (available for $6.00 from COE Outfitting)
    • Windpants or
    • Uninsulated ski bibs

Snow/ski pants can work for the lower body, but do not give as much flexibility in changing temperatures

  • 1 pair liner socks (optional)
  • 2 or 3 pairs wool or synthetic socks
  • * Gaiters
  • * Insulated mountaineering boots
  • Shoes for cabin/town/travel. Should be able to handle walking in snow, slush, etc.
Head and Hands
  • 1 warm hat, must fit under climbing helmet (no pom-poms)
  • 1 scarf, neck gaiter, Buff™ or similar
  • 1 balaclava (optional)
  • 1 pair glove liners
  • 2+ pair medium wool or synthetic gloves and/or mittens. Really as many as you can get.
  • * 1 pair waterproof overmitts. COE rental mitts have removable insulation.

Insulated snow/ski gloves can work, but do not give as much flexibility.

Personal Gear
  • * Large day pack big enough to carry everything you need for the day, plus some group gear
  • ** Headlamp, available for $9.00 from COE Outfitting
  • Sunglasses
  • 1-quart water bottle
  • Toiletries, lip balm, etc. (keep it minimal)
  • Change of comfy clothes for in the hostel
  • *Duffel or backpack (different from your daypack) to keep your gear organized in the cabin
  • * Sleeping bag
  • Towel