Ice climbing

Includes: Indoors, Outdoors, Adventure, Nature and the great outdoors

Activity time:
Half day


Print this activity pack

Brrrrr-ave new heights!

Scale the ice and take your climbing skills to a whole new level.


Ice climbing involves climbing up or across ice formations – like frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice. Climbers use ice-axes and crampons to keep themselves in place.

You don’t need to have access to outdoor ice in order to give ice climbing a go, as there are a number of centres in the UK that offer it as an indoor activity.

Although ice climbing is open to both Guides and members of The Senior Section, some activity providers may have additional age or height restrictions.

Planning checklist

Safety notes

Make sure to read the safety regulations and instructor qualifications below - both for indoor and outdoor ice climbing. 

When ice climbing outdoors, the activity instructor must hold a Mountain Training UK (MTUK) Mountain Instructor Certificate.

When doing indoor ice climbing, the activity instructor must be assessed by someone who holds a Mountain Instructor Certificate.

If you are unsure about climbing qualifications, consult your Outdoor Activities Adviser or contact [email protected] to ensure the instructor's qualification is suitable.

The instructor must ensure:

  • helmets are worn
  • access permission has been gained if appropriate, and any seasonal restrictions are observed
  • rock formations with recognised archaeological, geological or wildlife interests are avoided.

If climbing in the natural environment with any participants under the age of 18, the provider must be licenced by the Adventurous Activities Licencing Authority.

You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure.

AALA and the above endorsements are not applicable in Northern Ireland, where you should ask your local Outdoor Activities Adviser to recommend an approved provider.

The British Mountaineering Council provides environmental guidelines which must be followed.

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed


  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities