complex Terrain & Risk tolerance:
Understanding an ATES Rating prior to booking an ascent with our Guides, informs how we discuss and communicate risk levels with respect to avalanche terrain on a Guided Ice Climbing ascent.
Our Guiding team is well versed with Waterfall Ice Climbing ascents in COMPLEX rated terrain, however our preference is only to entertain these ascents when snowpack hazard is rated LOW or MODERATE, lacks Persistent Weak Layers (PWL) and further lacks other complexity which would serve to increase our uncertainty regarding avalanche hazard or conditions.
Generally speaking, you should be aware that COMPLEX rated terrain serves to INCREASE the likelihood that an avalanche will occur, and your exposure and vulnerability will be high.
Generally, if you are new to ice climbing, we would suggest spending some time in SIMPLE, and CHALLENGING rated terrain before diving into a COMPLEX rated ascent. This will allow you time to see first hand what complexities exist in the terrain, and increase your exposure slowly and over time. This allows for a more informed acceptance of increased risk.