Ice load estimation is required in the design of ships and offshore structures for arctic and subarctic conditions. This paper focuses on the estimation of local ice pressures. The “event-maximum” method for local ice pressure analysis is a probabilistic method based on the maximum pressure of a given event; other local peaks in the data are not included. To study how this may affect local ice pressure estimates, a new probabilistic method based on the up-crossing rate was developed. Field data from 1982 Polar Sea arctic trials in the Beaufort Sea are processed as a time series. Up-crossing rates at different local pressure levels are obtained for local areas of interest. A relationship between up-crossing rate and local pressure-area results is established. Results from the analysis of full-scale data using the event-maximum method are presented for the selected data set; a more comprehensive set of results for the analysis of available ship-ice interaction data is presented in a companion paper. For a sample case, local ice pressure estimates obtained using the up-crossing rate method are compared with results obtained using the event-maximum method. The local pressure-area relationship is found to be similar for both the up-crossing rate method and the event-maximum method. For design curves based on the data set considered, estimates using the event-maximum method were more conservative than those obtained using the up-crossing rate method. The up-crossing rate approach is promising; analysis of additional data sets is recommended to allow broader comparison of the methods.