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Trip Information
Name: Alpine Rock Climbing Course
Starts: Sat Sep 29, 2018
Meetup: MSAA Office, 207B-4368 Main Street - Market Pavilion Building Whistler, BC V0N 1B4
Return: Sun Sep 30, 2018

Registration opens: Fri Jul 27, 2018
Event category: Guided Instruction
Difficulty grade: B5  [?]
For members only: No
Screening used: Yes
Max participants: 6

Organizer: Jonathan Ross
Profile info:
Trip Planning Questions

1.) Do you have courses or experience equivalent to MSAA's Intro to Multi-pitch Climbing; Intro to Trad; Intro to Basic Mountaineering; and Summer Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel?

Please provide a brief list/resume of courses or experience.

2.) Are you comfortable with leading 5.7-5.8 on trad gear?

3.) Do you have a rope that can be used by the group?

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Participant Information

Learn to climb alpine rock safely and confidently!

Alpine rock climbing is a revered sport and a timeless climbing tradition. The required skills are quite different from rock climbing at crags or traditional multi-pitch rock routes. Alpine rock routes often have complicated approaches and descents, sometimes involving a glacier approach, rappels or finding the right drainage or ridge. The terrain has hazards which need to be mitigated, which you will learn about during this 2-day interactive course.

This course is for BCMC members (or referred participants) who are climbers/mountaineers wanting to build their knowledge of suitable alpine techniques.  Previous climbing experience is required, with courses or experience equivalent to MSAA's Intro to Multi-pitch Climbing and Intro to Trad required, and Intro to Basic Mountaineering; Summer Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel, and comfort with leading 5.7-5.8 on trad gear highly recommended. 

This is course is an excellent follow-up to the 4-day 2-weekend Trad/Multi-pitch/Rock Rescue Course course offered in June or a similar combination of BCMC courses available over the summer.

Base Course Fee: 

The standard price for this course from MSAA is $399 + GST.  I have set up pricing with the BCMC discount 20% which will make the price $319.20 + GST.  Group size is 6 people maximum.

On-line Registration process:

  1. Click “Join this trip” on the left hand side of the page. You will be added to the Waiting List once your request to join the course has been approved.
  2. To reserve your spot, wait for sign-up information from the organizer.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email from MSAA once your payment is completed.
  4. Forward your confirmation email to the trip organizer. You will then be added to the Confirmed List. Keep an eye on your email for further information.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact the trip organizer.

Location: Whistler** Meeting at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre in Whistler for 9:00 AM for both days.

7-4433 Sundial Pl, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4 / MAP

**Note: Updates will be made to confirm the exact field locations closer to the course date.

Carpooling can be arranged.

Course Objectives:

Day 1

    • Meet your guide at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre in Whistler for 9:00 AM.
      • Course introduction;
      • waivers;
      • gear check; and 
      • safety talk.
    • Drive to field location.
      • usually held from the lifts of Whistler Blackcomb which offers a world class course venue with not only the fastest approach maximizing instruction time, but also excellent alpine granite, glaciers, and more.
    • Topics covered include:
      • climbing in alpine boots;
      • placing alpine trad protection;
      • pitons;
      • natural anchors;
      • rope handling skills;
      • different body belays;
      • short roping; and
      • how to move efficiently between different terrain types (from low angle to steep) on alpine rock.
    • End of day.
      • debrief;
      • route descriptions and topos;
      • navigation;
      • gear; and
      • packing.
    • Assignment:
      • next days route; and
      • trip plan.

Day 2

    • Meeting place will be the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre in Whistler  for 9:00 AM.
      • AM:
        • weather/conditions discussion; and
        • gear check.
      • Drive to alpine rock objective (to be limited to 5.5 grading).
      • Continued skills from day 1
        • Group will develop and apply alpine rock climbing skills on technical alpine rock terrain (to be limited to 5.5 grading).
          • Guides will coach and direct on all group decisions.
      • PM:
        • course debrief; and
        • next steps.

 *Guide ratio is 1:6 for Day 1 and 1:2 or 3 ratio for Day 2


Cost does not include transportation to/from course areas; lift access fees (if applicable); food; or personal equipment except as noted.

You must supply: 



Weather conditions along the Coast Mountain Range are constantly changing. Plan ahead, look into weather trends, and prepare for all weather conditions. 

  • Head Lamp with extra batteries
  • Soft shell type climbing pants
  • Insulating top and bottom underlayers and socks
  • Synthetic or wool tee shirt
  • Mid layer fleece top
  • Weatherproof shell jacket
  • Down or synthetic insulated “puffy” jacket
  • Warm hat and ball-cap
  • Warm mountain or ice climbing gloves
  • Light gloves
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Daypack 35-45 L
  • Toiletries including toilet paper
  • Camera
  • A hiking pole is recommended
  • Map of objective/compass/GPS

Rock Climbing Equipment 

Participants will need to supply their own:

  • Helmet,
  • Harness,
  • Belay device,
  • Paired down alpine trad rack: alpine draws, hammer/pitons, stoppers/cams,
  • Suitable mountaineering boots,
  • Campons,
  • Mountaineering axe,
  • 2 19 0r 22cm ice screws,
  • V-thread kit,
  • Snow picket,
  • Anchor material/knife/quick link, 
  • 4 locking carabiners,
  • 6 non-locking carabiners,
  • 2 x 5m 7mm prussik,
  • 1 x 1.5m 7mm prussik,
  • 2 x 120cm slings, and
  • 6 alpine / trad draws (2 non-locking carabiners and 1 60cm sling = 1 draw).

Group gear will be per 2 participants:

  •  1 x 50/60/70m single rope; or
  • 2 x 50/60/70m half ropes.

Guide gear will include:

  • Paired down alpine trad rack: alpine draws, hammer/pitons, stoppers/cams,
  • First aid kit, splint, blister kit,
  • Cell phone/satellite phone,
  • Guide’s Tarp, and
  • Programmable Radio.

You must supply your own gear as noted above. If you don't have your own equipment, MSSA can provide ice climbing equipment (harness, helmet, crampons and axes) for $25, plus tax, or you can rent from MEC Vancouver or from other local mountain shops. MSAA may also be able to provide boot rentals for an additional cost though their selection is limited.

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