About Us

Photo John Price

Rockies Ice & Alpine Specialists is unique in our exclusive focus on ice climbing, rock climbing, and alpine climbing. Every new season is as exciting as the last, and brings with it the opportunity to challenge oneself on different terrain.

Owner of RIAS and lead guide Kristopher Irwin is a certified Alpine Guide by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and is a certified level 2 Rope Access Technician with the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT). He holds current Wilderness First Aid Training of 80hrs, and has completed the Canadian Avalanche Association’s Operations Level 2 program.  He has climbed extensively throughout the Canadian Rockies and abroad.  He has made numerous first ascents on new routes and unclimbed peaks in North America. He is most comfortable climbing winter ice and mixed routes on formidable peaks in Canada during the winter months. He also has reputation for cooking up some tasty backcountry meals!

Notable First Ascents:
Lost Lenore – 7 pitch 10d, Ravens Crag, Tunnel Mountain, Banff – September 2013
John Lauchlan Memorial Award Route – 1200m, AI4+ M5, Angel Peak Revelations – April 3, 2014
Powered by Beans – 1000m, AI5 M5, Dyke Peak  Revelations– April 11, 2014 (Also the first ascent of Dyke Peak)
Casual Route – 600m, AI4 M5, East face Hydra Peak Revelations – April 17, 2014
Warm Wet Comfort – 55m, M5+, Emerald Lake Canadian Rockies – November 2014
Irwin/Mills route – 340m 10b, North East Face HaLing Peak Canmore – June 5, 2015
Remembering Fred – 330m M6 WI5, Lake O’Brien Canadian Rockies, October 30, 2017
Grab the Cupcakes – 310m M6 WI4+, Protection Valley Canadian Rockies, November 9, 2017

The ACMG is a professional association of trained and certified Mountain Guides, Specialty Guides, Hiking Guides and Climbing Instructors. They are the only recognized professional association in Canada. When hiring a guide in Canada, please verify if the guide or instructor is a member of the ACMG. You can do that here.
Being active and dialed into local route, weather, and avalanche conditions ensures we can offer the best day out on the right climb every time.
Our guides excel at the sport, and their natural psyche is contagious. Each climb is as much a journey as a destination.
Our philosophy is to provide personalized guiding service that transmits the excitement and passion of our guides and the sport to first time climbers and returning expert clients.
R.I.A.S. achieves this by:

  • pre-trip consultation to pick the best routes/program for your abilities and skills
  • small group sizes and private guiding
  • trip dates determined by your schedule
  • ongoing skills development

Our primary priority is continually the health and safety of our clients within the context and environment of the activities we pursue.

All of our guides are certified with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, carry Provincial/National Parks permits and insurance.

Thanks to our many clients who return year after year, and welcome to those of you who will join us for the first time this season.