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Trip Information
Name: Intro to Alpine Skills
Starts: Sat Jul 04, 2020
Meetup: TBA
Return: Tue Jul 07, 2020

Registration opens: Thu Jun 11, 2020
Event category: Guided Instruction
Difficulty grade: B5  [?]
For members only: Yes
Screening used: No
Max participants: 6

Organizer: Oudina Cherfi
Profile info:
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Participant Information

***This course is taught by Vancouver Mountain Guides (for more info use this link, for payment use link on Payment below). VMG is offering a special price (33% off) for BCMC members of $473.71 + GST (regular price for non-members: $699 + GST).***


*** For transportation, please follow BCMC COVID-19 guidlines at the top of the BCMC trip list.***

This is the perfect course for those wanting to break into alpine climbing. With backcountry hiking experience and indoor gym climbing experience, we can show you the realm of alpinism. Learn to flow seamlessly over diverse terrain - from snow and ice to rock. 

 Getting to the summit often requires an array of technical skills in addition to physical fitness and respect for the natural environment. VMG tackles alpine climbing holistically by covering low impact backcountry camping techniques, outdoor stewardship, and technical skills required to climb peaks that demand snow, ice, and rock techniques.    



Day 1

 Meet at Climb On in downtown Squamish at 8am. Please come 15 minutes early if you need to rent equipment or purchase last minute items. Your guide will go over the waiver and check your equipment before moving to the crag. 

 Day 1 will be spent in the Squamish Smoke Bluffs learning technical skills on rock. Plan to be back at the cars by 4pm then drive to a trail head for the mountain portion of the program. Hike in to a basecamp destination for 2 -3 nights.

Possible mountain areas used for training include:

 Semaphore Lakes

 Brandywine Mountain

 Singing Pass


 Joffre Lakes

 Rainbow Mountain 


Day 2 - 4

 The next 3 days will be spent immersed in the backcountry, camped near glaciers and learning snow, ice, and rock climbing skills. In addition to technical climbing skills, you will learn about navigation and low impact backcountry camping.

 Plan to return back to our cars around 4 pm for the drive home.  



Good physical fitness. Previous backpacking experience and camping in the backcountry. Top rope climbing experience indoors or outdoors. Basic belaying and knots.   



Day 1

-Review rock climbing basics: belaying, knots, equipment strengths and limitations.

-Learn to place trad gear (cams and nuts), and build simple, 2-point alpine anchors.

-Simul-climbing and short pitching exposed, technical sections with the rope to maintain safety.

-Risk mitigation and strategies for climbing loose rock.

-Rope ascending with prussiks.

-Alpine environments, where to camp, low impact techniques, backcountry bathroom, drinking water. 

Day 2

-Review equipment for glacier travel on snow and ice. 

-Self-arrest and ice axe use.

-Learn to walk on snow slopes: kicking steps, holding the ice axe (cane, dagger, anchor).

-Learn and practice different snow and ice anchors: pickets, t-slots, dead man, bollards, ice screws, v-threads. 

-Ice techniques, flat foot, pied troisieme, and front pointing.

Day 3

-Reading glacier surfaces, understanding how and where crevasses form.

-Roping up for glacier travel: tying-in, stopper knots, spacing, rope team movement. 

-Crevasse Rescue: arrest a fall, anchors, load transfer, assess fallen climber, padding the edge, hauling systems.

-Self-rescue: using prussiks to ascend from a crevasse.

Day 4

-Putting it all together by ascending a peak (if conditions permit). 

-Route finding, moraines, glaciers, exposed terrain, snow fields.

-Integrate snow, ice, and rock techniques to move over complex and varied terrain safely.

-Review self-rescue, bailing off routes, rappel anchors, leaving gear.

-Evening topics include: alpine geography, low impact camping, wild animal encounters, flora and fauna, handling first aid emergencies, mountain weather.

Note: Goals are flexible and can be tailored for individuals.




-Helmet (climbing)

-Guide belay device

-Rock shoes (Climb On rents shoes)

-Mountaineering boots 

-Crampons (fitted to boots)

-General ice axe (70cm)

-1 X 60cm Snow Picket

-5 x locking carabiners (pear shape)

-1 x double length sling (120cm)

-2 x cordalette (5m x 7mm cord)

-6 x alpine Draws (60cm slings)

-6 cams (0.4 - 3 BD), set of nuts

-1 x microtraxion 

-Single Rope 8.7 - 9.0mm 60m

-Backcountry camping kit 



Please carefully read and understand the waiver below. Your guide will provide a waiver you are required to sign before participating.

Waiver Form


Online Payment:

To register for this course, follow these steps:


(1) Click "Join this Trip" on the left side of the page. You will be added to the Waiting List

(2) Once on the Waiting List , click this link VMG and follow the prompts to complete your payment.

(3) Forward your confirmation email to courses@bcmc.ca and you will be added to the Confirmed List.

(4) Keep your eye on your email inbox for further updates.

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