5109 - 17A Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
phone (780) 461 - 5040
This year Rescue Dynamics has contracted with the Edmonton Section to provide a number of leadership courses for 2016/2017. The courses >>>>. Courses are arranged through Rescue Dynamics in Edmonton and are taught by Cyril Shokoples, an internationally certified mountain guide and Past President of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Locations for each course are listed in the course information.
All of the technical gear is provided for climbing courses. Participants are responsible for their own food, boots, clothing and accommodation. Course details will be provided when participants sign up. Participants are required to complete a medical form and waiver before each course.
Course participants for these four courses only are required to apply directly through the ACC Edmonton Section course coordinator (Ernst Bergmann). Payment is made directly to the Edmonton Section for these courses only. Participants are responsible to pay for their own accommodation upon arrival at the various hostels and hotels / motels being used. Applications and related forms can be obtained by calling Rescue Dynamics. All course information and forms can be downloaded from the Rescue Dynamics website or viewed in html format.
For general information follow the links:
|Winter Waterfall Ice Climbing Leadership||Avalanche Skills Training Level II|
|Mountain Leadership Seminar||Rock, Snow & Ice (Alpine) Leadership|
|Winter Ski Touring Leadership||Rock Solid Leadership|
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NOTE: Further information regarding price, application procedures, subsidies and more will be available through the course coordinator of the ACC Edmonton Section. This course is now open for applications from ACC members. Applications may also be accepted from non-ACC members if any spots remain open.
In 2008 we were excited to say that "We think there has never been a course quite like Rock Solid Leadership". Now that we have run the course twice and have made some additional improvements based on our experience in 2009, we are sure that is the case. Some courses are geared toward providing you with skills for placing gear. Some hone your climbing. Others work on techniques for leading. Yet other courses provide rock rescue training. A limited number work at improving your alpine rock climbing skills. Very few technical climbing courses provide soft skills to enhance your understanding of issues as a leader. And a large number of courses are simply too short to cover all the things that instructors and participants alike would love to address.
Enter ROCK SOLID LEADERSHIP. Created by Cyril Shokoples, a well-known western Canadian mountain guide with an extensive background in training mountain leaders. Rock Solid Leadership addresses all of these technical topics while focusing on leadership issues and filling in the gaps with soft skills. During course development the curriculum was scrutinized by Sandra Bowkun, an active leader in the eastern Canadian climbing community and advocate of leadership training at the climbing club level. Prior to this course, concurrent instruction in these areas could only be easily obtained by training to become a professional mountain guide. At long last all of these skills have come together in a single week long program designed specifically for the amateur leader with emphasis on the climbing club setting.
Rock Solid Leadership is a seven day course during which a number of hard and soft skills sessions related to leading club trips to rock climbing venues are presented. It is not a course about leading hard rock climbs but rather a course to introduce you to leading others on rock climbs of almost any grade.
We will spend some time dealing with managing personal and climbing club trips to shorter one pitch venues but our aim is to go well beyond that. Managing a small party during ascent and descent on multi-pitch rock routes and/or alpine rock routes will be what we are eventually striving for. We will also begin to learn and practice the art and science of shortroping, rock rescue, group handling, group dynamics and so much more.
Participants must have experience following traditional rock climbs with an experienced partner. Some previous gym, outdoor sport and traditional leading experience is required with a minimum of a half dozen leads on each type of route required. You don't have to be leading hard routes but you should have begun your leading career. This is NOT a beginner course. If you attend this course you must be mentally and physically ready to lead. The days will be long and participants are expected to give a 100% commitment to the program.
This is a leadership course above all. You must be willing to spend at least as much time thinking about others as you spend thinking about your own needs. If all you want is to be a good rock climber, then you are better off seeking a good technical skills course. This course is about leading routes and leading others who may be perhaps far less experienced than you. There will be plenty of leading and technical skills involved but there will also be so much more.
Typical Soft Skills Covered
(a revised subset of the Rescue Dynamics weekend seminar skills)
o Waivers, information forms, legal liability
o Roles and responsibilities of climbing club trip leaders
o Attributes of a good trip leader in a climbing club context
o Conflict management
o Decision making on trips
o Risk homeostasis theory
o Risk taking on club trips
o Accident management
Typical Hard Skills Covered
o Gear placement
o Anchor construction
o Setting up a top-roping site
o Multi-pitch belay station management (2, 3 & 4 person teams)
o Multi-pitch rappel station management (2, 3 & 4 person teams
o Rope rescue
Rock Solid Leadership will take place in Jasper National Park. This beautiful mountain national park is over 100 years old and provides every possible type of venue for rock climbing from short sport crags to long alpine rock routes. In addition, Jasper Park has far less climber traffic than Banff, her better known southern sister. During the week we can expect to share the expansive venues with very few if any other climbers! It is the ideal setting for a course of this nature. Some of the multi-pitch traditional climbs and venues have only recently been documented and several climbing areas have only recently been developed. This is the climber's equivalent to finding sunken treasure. Most of the climbing is on limestone with some on classic quartzite.
Course Faculty / Staf
Course creator Cyril Shokoples will be one of our instructors. Cyril's professional mountain guiding began a quarter century ago and he is an internationally certified mountain guide. He is a past president of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and has received distinguished service awards from the Alpine Club of Canada and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. He was the coordinator of Prehospital Care programs at the Alberta Vocational College where he trained Emergency Medical Technicians and developed the Parks Emergency Responder course for national park wardens. He delivers that course all across Canada and teaches Wilderness Emergency Care to mountain guides. Cyril trains the Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technicians in Mountain Rescue and is one of the primary instructors on the ACC summer and winter TNF national leadership courses.
Jeremy Mackenzie will be our primary instructor. Jeremy is also an internationally certified mountain guide. He was of the senior ski guides at RK HeliSki until accepting a winter public safety specialist position with Kananaskis country in 2009. He has guided at the ACC GMC and taught on the 2005 Central Canada Rock Leadership course in Quebec. He teaches many programs for Rescue Dynamics. Jeremy has skied and climbed extensively across North America.
Course Manager Sandra Bowkun will provide the prospective of the amateur leader / camp manager and will be acting as the intermediary between the participants and staff. Her sixteen years of climbing have taken her across Canada, the US and Italy. She has rock climbed at such venues as the Gunks, Canadian Rockies, Niagara Escarpment, Bon Echo, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, and Adirondacks. Sandra has attended six GMCs in western Canada and has been alpine rock climbing in the Dolomites, Tetons and Bugaboos. Sandra has held various positions with the ACC Toronto Section including sitting on the Leadership Committee. She has been the Section Chair and national representative for the past three years and is active at the ACC national level as a member of the national Leadership and Membership Committees.
Participant Instructor Ratios
This course has been designed to have an excellent staff to participant ratio. With a 4:1 participant to staff ratio, participants will not be lost in the crowd!
$1,200 - Contact your Section Executive for information on course subsidies which may be as high as 50% for active Section Leaders from Edmonton and Toronto. If you are not an ACC member no subsidies are available but you can still attend! Send us an email for further details.
© Cyril Shokoples 2007 / 2010
o Meet for orientation to program and introductions
o Purpose of the program
o Participant Contract
o Learning Journals
o Review of knots, equipment and harnesses
o Rope handling, belaying technique and mechanical belay systems
o Piton, nut (artificial chockstone) and SLCD placement
o Belay anchor establishment - EARNEST / IDEAL
o Review and enhancement of techniques of movement on rock
o Top - roped leading - safe preparation for traditional lead climbing
o Rappelling and related safety systems part I - BRAKES
o Ascending / prusiking at instructor's discretion
o Leading sport climbs
o Setting up anchors and lowers on sport climbs.
o Placing running belays (placement / removal)
o Seconding pitches with running belays
o Belay station rope management
o Rock climbing skill refinement
o Belay technique refinement
o Rappel technique refinement
o Rappel safety systems part II - practice & additional methods
o Practice leading on easy traditional "Gear" routes
o Routefinding - 3Ms - Macro / Medium / Micro
o Safety in leading - multi-dimensional experiments and recipes for failure
Day 3 Rescue Day (scheduling flexible)
o Stretchers and carries
o Tie offs and basics of simple pulley systems
o Options System concept
o Lowers for climbing and rescue - 1 person and multi-person
o Rappel safety systems part III - practice & additional methods
o Traveling at Light Speed - Rock
o Shortroping on rock - it is NOT roped soloing or simul-climbing
o Shortening the rope - over shoulder / in pack
o Moving with coils vs. running belays vs. short pitches vs. regular belayed climbing
o Direct belays / body belays sans anchor / indirect belays - body, mechanical
o Routefinding on alpine rock terrain
o Increasing safety / reducing weight - packing appropriate to objective
o Time loss areas - group, routefinding, belay stations, poor timing
o Using terrain on approaches - the shortest distance is NOT a straight line
o Shortroping and multi - person belays
o Geology of the route you are on
o Route descriptions
o Relating major features to where you are - photographic memorization
o Review 3Ms - Macro / Medium / Micro
o Efficient travel during roped climbing - physical and mental techniques
o Situation awareness / attentional capture / perceptual narrowing
o Multi-pitch rock climbs according to participant skill levels
o Multi-pitch rappel descents
o Groups lead an alpine rock route involving both shortroping and technical pitches
o Rock Climbs TBA
o Wrap up
Download the complete information package in PDF file format (requires Acrobat version 6 to open) and download the application package as a MSWord file or contact the ACC Edmonton Section course coordinator
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Winter Waterfall Ice Climbing Leadership
ACC Subsidized Price: Contact ACC Edmonton Section Course Coordinator
This letter will serve to introduce you to the 2011 ACC Edmonton Section Winter Ice Leadership Seminar. The date for Waterfall Ice Leadership is January 29, 30, 2011. This section highlights the Ice Leadership only. There is a separate section detailing the AST Level II Avalanche Course this winter as well.
The course description:
Waterfall Ice Leadership is for the Intermediate level climber who is aspiring to become a leader and wishes to lead ACC Section Ice Climbing trips. Course content will include a skills review, belay setups, rope management, placing protection on lead, rappel anchors, rappel / lowering station management and managing groups in winter. The first day is primarily skills training while the second day will normally include a multi-pitch climb led by the participants under supervision.
This letter is to assist those who have been accepted on the course to prepare. To be accepted on the course you must complete the Rescue Dynamics personal information form and waiver. This must be done prior to the courses beginning. You will be required to read, understand and sign the waiver when the course begins. There are no exceptions. The waiver must be witnessed by the instructor on the first morning of the course.
This will be an unusual weekend in that it is not at all about hard ice climbing. We will spend much of our time on easy to moderate terrain and focus on skills that will assist you to lead groups safely, efficiently and quickly. The weekend will begin with a day of skills review and practice followed by a second day in which we will likely attempt a multi-pitch climb. This course does not address modern mixed climbing or the use of rock protection. Rock protection is addressed in the Intermediate Rock course.
We depart at a reasonable time on Saturday and begin our first session at the parking lot. Many participants will be given the opportunity to lead, at least on easier sections of our approaches and climbs when it will further our goals. The activities of the second day will depend on the weather, our progress and the group needs.
Rescue Dynamics can provide all of the technical climbing equipment including ice tools, crampons, hardware, ropes, helmets, harnesses, avalanche beacons, shovels and probes if required. Note your requirements on the enclosed forms. If you will need any of the equipment listed, you must submit the forms to Rescue Dynamics before the trip so that the gear can be brought out for you. (If you own your own gear, feel free to bring it.)
Rescue Dynamics DOES NOT provide boots or clothing. I strongly recommend renting plastic boots for the winter ice weekend unless you have fairly stiff mountaineering boots with a good welt and over-gaiters. Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment. We are outside all day on each day of each course, and the courses will proceed in all but the most severe weather.
The enclosed equipment list may help you to prepare. You are responsible for your own meals, accommodation and transportation for the course. Prepare a bag lunch and bring water or other drinks for each day of the course, as we do not return to the vehicles for lunch.
The meeting time and place for Ice Leadership is 8:00 am on Saturday at the Shunda Creek Hostel near Nordegg. Be completely ready to go at that time. Your forms should all be filled out and you should have read the copy of the waiver. You will be required to read and sign a new copy of the waiver which your instructor will witness on the first day of the course.
Hostel bookings are NOT made by Rescue Dynamics at the Shunda Creek Hostel at (403) 721-2140. Contact the ACC Course Coordinator to see if you need to make your own reservations. The hostel which has modern facilities including showers and a hot tub (bathing suit required.)
If you are lost or can't find the group, look for a white GMC van - CYM 044. In case of emergency, you can contact Cyril by cell phone on the morning of the course at (780) 916-7951.
On the first morning of the course you should be packed and ready to go on our ice climb. We will be departing shortly after we meet. If you have any questions, please call.
You will be contacted via email once you have been selected for the course and many of the details discussed above will be finalized.
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Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 Course (AST Level 2)
Dates: February , 2017
Price: Contact Section Course Coordinator
Location: Canmore / Lake Louise areas
This letter will serve to introduce you to the 2009 ACC Edmonton Section Avalanche Skills Training - Level II Course for Section Leaders (AST Level 2 for Leaders). The dates for the first course are February 13 - 16, 2009 (Friday to Monday). The course is four days with one day of classroom and three days of field work.
The course description:
The AST Level II Course for Section Leaders is for the Intermediate ski tourer who is aspiring to become a leader and wishes to lead ACC Section Ski Touring trips or is already leading trips and wishes to enhance their knowledge of the avalanche phenomenon. Course content will include eight hours of theory followed by three days in the field. There will be a review of routefinding and track setting in avalanche terrain. Considerable time will be spent probing the snowpack and doing various stability tests. The new AVALUATOR 2 will be introduced. A simple introduction to recording data according to CAA guidelines will be included. Three days are spent in the field with various portions of the trips being led by the participants. An Introductory Avalanche Awareness Course (CAA RAC) or the new AST Level I is a prerequisite for attendance.
This letter is to assist those who have been accepted on the course to prepare. To be accepted on the course you must complete the personal information form and waiver. This must be done prior to the course beginning. You will be required to read, understand and sign the waiver when the course begins. There are no exceptions. The waiver must be witnessed by the instructor on the first morning of the course.
This will be an unusual weekend in that it is not at all about making turns or extreme skiing in avalanche terrain. We will spend much of our time on easy to moderate terrain and focus on skills that will assist you to lead groups safely, efficiently and quickly. Each day will include skills review and practice. We depart at a reasonable time on Saturday and begin our first session at the parking lot. Many participants will be given the opportunity to lead, at least on easier sections of our tours when it will further our goals. The activities of the field days will depend on the weather, our progress and the group needs.
Rescue Dynamics can provide avalanche beacons, shovels and probes if required. Note your requirements on the application forms. If you will need any of the equipment listed, you must submit the forms to Rescue Dynamics no less than two weeks before the trip so that the gear can be brought out for you. (If you own your own gear, feel free to bring it.)
Rescue Dynamics DOES NOT provide boots, skis, skins, poles or clothing. Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment. We are outside almost all day on each field day of each course, and the course will proceed in all but the most severe weather. The winter equipment list may help you to prepare. You are responsible for your own meals, accommodation and transportation for the course. Prepare a bag lunch and bring water or other drinks for each day of the course, as we do not return to the vehicles for lunch.
The meeting time and place for AST Level II for Leaders is 8:00 am on the first morning of the course in the Bill Warren Training Centre in Canmore. This is located in the next building about 100 meters from the main lodge at the Canmore Nordic Centre. The Bill Warren Centre has a row of international flags in front of it. (This is different location from what was originally reported on the website.) You should have a pencil and notebook / paper for making notes during lectures on the first day. Your forms should all be filled out and you should have read the copy of the waiver. You will be required to read and sign a new copy of the waiver which your instructor will witness on the first day of the course.
The Edmonton Section DID NOT make accommodation arrangements at the ACC clubhouse as was done in previous years. This means that you will have to make your own accommodation arrangements unless you have already done so. Accommodation costs are not included in the course price.
If you are lost or can't find the group, look for a white GMC van - CYM 044. In case of emergency, you can contact me by cell phone on the morning of the course at (780) 916-7951.
On the second morning of the course you should be packed and ready to go on our first ski tour. We will be departing shortly after we meet. If you have any questions, please call.
You will be contacted via email once you have been selected for the course and many of the details discussed above will be finalized.
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Mountain Leadership Seminar
Location: University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
This is a two day seminar designed to assist the trip leader or aspiring leader to further develop the skills necessary to safely plan, coordinate and lead group outings in the mountains within a club setting. The program consists of classroom learning sessions and workshop style group discussions. Major content areas will include roles and responsibilities of leaders, trip preplanning, decision making, group dynamics, conflict management, management of risks & safety, basic legal issues, and a variety of other leadership related topics.
To enhance leadership skills of outdoor and mountain leaders and trip participants
Note to club seminar participants: When this seminar is delivered to club groups (such as the ACC) it is very specifically club oriented and may or may not apply to other settings. Discussions will generally be limited to club oriented situations for those sessions.This is a very intensive seminar conducted over two long days. Participants must be willing to contribute to all sessions where required.
This seminar is presented using mixed media including extensive PowerPoint presentations, overhead and flip-chart presentations and small group workshop discussions. A workbook of the various PowerPoint presentations will be given to each participant.
Upon completion of this seminar, the participant will be able to:
A. Discuss ACC leadership training locally and nationally.
B. Discuss the roles and responsibilities of ACC trip leaders.
C. Describe attributes of a good trip leader in the context of the ACC.
D. Discuss waivers, information forms and legal liability.
E. Discuss group development stages.
F. Discuss leadership styles and how they affect ACC trips.
G. Discuss conflict management.
H. Discuss how interpersonal factors impact on safety.
I. Discuss how personality types affect group interactions.
J. Discuss decision making on trips.
K. Discuss risk taking on ACC trips.
L. Discuss risk management and safety management systems or models.
M. Review trip planning for ACC trips.
N. Have fun while learning new things about ourselves and the ACC.
1. Introduction & Orientation
2. Basic Legal Issues in Outdoor Recreation
3. Roles & Responsibilities of Leaders
4. Group Development & Group Dynamics
5. Decision Making in Climbing
6. Safety Management
7. Trip Planning Part One Pre-Trip
8. The Proof Testing Checklist & Route Cards
9. Trip Planning Part Two The Trip
10. Conflict Management
11. Trip Planning Part Three Post-Trip
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Rock, Snow & Ice (Alpine) Leadership
Dates: TBA (Saturday to Tuesday inclusive)
This letter will serve to introduce you to the 2008 ACC Edmonton Section Summer Leadership Seminar. This year is the seventh year in which we are taking advantage of a long weekend to run the rock and alpine (snow & ice) weekends concurrently. The last half dozen years experience with this was highly successful.
The dates for Summer Leadership seminar are July 2011 (July long weekend - 4 days). You will need to book off both Thursday and Friday from work.
For section trip leaders and aspiring trip leaders this course covers many elements of mountaineering skill and leadership. Send your application in to the ACC Edmonton Section Course Coordinator. A rebate on course fees is available to Edmonton Section members who go on to lead section trips within 18 months of course date. Payments are made directly to the section for this course and not through Rescue Dynamics. (email the course coordinator at : email@example.com )
The course email contains a number of Acrobat pdf files for printing. They contain the pre-reading assignments and required forms for the courses. If you cannot print the course application form or waiver I will have copies available on the first day.
It is best if you print out the files from the attached document called "forms.pdf". The new waiver is a double-sided 8 1/2 X 11 form and is the last page of this pdf file. You may want to print it separately. I will have the clean copy for you to sign on Saturday. You will be required to read, understand and sign the waiver. There are no exceptions. The waiver will be witnessed by me on the first day.
I realize you also must complete ACC Edmonton section waivers and forms, but the forms with this letter are for Rescue Dynamics' purposes. BE SURE YOU READ THE WAIVER CAREFULLY. It is not the same as the ACC Edmonton Section waiver.
The Rock and Alpine Leadership Seminars we have been conducting over the last decade are unusual weekends in that they are not at all about hard rock or ice climbing. We will spend much of our time on easy to moderate routes or easy sections of routes and focus on skills that will assist you to lead groups safely, efficiently and quickly. The weekend will begin with a day of rock skills review and practice together with an introduction to the most difficult and advanced skill of all - short-roping. This is followed by a second day in which we may attempt an easy route that requires short roping (perhaps at Hidden Valley or on a peak). On the last two days we switch our focus to snow and ice (Alpine). It may include another summit climb (likely) or more skills practice. All of this is weather dependant of course.
In 2003 and 2004 we spent the first day at Morro Slabs, the second day at Hidden Valley, the third day climbed Boundary Peak and the fourth day we climbed A2. In 2005 the schedule was similar but we climbed both Boundary and A2 on the final day. Depending upon the weather, skill level of participants and the needs of the group we may or may not repeat this schedule. On several recent summer courses we have climbed Nigel Peak via the North Glacier as our snow short-roping exercise. The schedule varies from year to year.
We depart at a reasonable time on the first morning and begin our first session at the Morro parking lot. Many if not all participants will be given the opportunity to lead, at least on easier sections of our approaches and climbs when it will further our goals. The activities of the second, third and fourth days will depend on the weather, our progress and the group needs.
The handouts accompanying course email have some of the information you will need to prepare for the seminar. One of the pre-course study assignments is to read two articles, "How to Travel at Light Speed" and "Getting Ready for the Big Trip". There are several other articles that address issues that may come up during the weekend. The assignments and articles may provide a focus for some of our discussions and lessons. Please take the time to use them to prepare.
I can provide all of the technical climbing equipment including ice axe, crampons, hardware, ropes, helmets and harnesses if required. I am doing a number of courses in a row so I will have most of the gear with me. We will do a gear discussion at the Morro parking lot and then at the end of each day we will discuss the next day's requirements. You only need to bring a small rack of gear for rock, snow and ice climbing. As I said, I will have a lot of gear with me so don't panic about forgetting something. Bring what you would need to go up an easy or moderate technical route with rock, snow & ice climbing. You won't need a full rack. This is NOT about hard technical climbing.
I DO NOT provide climbing boots, rock shoes, or clothing. I strongly recommend bringing or renting plastic boots for the snow and ice portion unless you have fairly stiff mountaineering boots with a good welt. Light hiking boots are not acceptable for the snow & ice climbs. Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment. We are outside all day on every day of the seminar, and the sessions will proceed in all but the most severe weather.
The enclosed equipment list may help you to prepare. You are responsible for your own meals, accommodation and transportation for the seminar. I would assume that, as with past courses, the participants will car pool and arrange a common place for everyone to stay. It is best if everyone stays overnight at the same location to facilitate evening packing and planning for our climbs. Please communicate with me in regard to what you have collectively arranged. Prepare a bag lunch and bring water or other drinks for each day of the seminar, as we do not return to the vehicles for lunch.
The meeting place and time for the rock leadership half of the seminar will be 8:30 AM on the first morning at the Morro Slabs Parking lot. Barring a change, we will be doing a number of sessions there for the first day. Basic rock gear and rock shoes required. The second day could possibly include climbing at Hidden Valley (most likely), Mt. Morro, Roche a Perdrix via either the chimney or diagonal routes, Roche Ronde, Peveril Peak or Ashlar's ridge. Doing some research on these peaks and potential routes on them plus pros and cons would be useful in advance. The first few days of July is still like early season and snow may make some of these routes impossible. Please be ready to offer suggestions as to what routes may be viable and why you think so! This is a leadership course in which you are expected to be an active participant in the planning, so please think ahead.
You may want to bring along a copy of the 1:50,000 scale Columbia Icefields map 83C/3 if you own one.
You can reserve online for the Whistlers Campground in Jasper and it is advisable to reserve for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights at Whistlers. The nearest motels are in Jasper. Look for one of two vehicles: a black Toyota Forerunners truck - VE6 MTN or a white cargo van CYM 044. In case of emergency, you can contact me by cell phone on the morning of the seminar at (780) 916-7951.
The meeting time and place for the second half of the course (Alpine Snow & Ice) will vary depending upon conditions but will likely be early on Monday at the Parking lot next to the new Columbia Icefields Chalet and Information Centre. We will likely be on the north glacier of Athabasca and possibly Boundary Peak for the first day. Basic snow and ice gear, boots and warm clothes required. The second day could possibly include Mt. Andromeda, Mt. Athabasca, A2, A3, Sunwapta Peak, Nigel or Wilcox. Doing some research on these peaks and potential routes on them, plus pros and cons of each would be useful in advance. Try Sean Dougherty's "Selected Alpine Climbs in the Canadian Rockies" or Greg Horne's single sheet route guides for information.
The closest camping for the Alpine (Snow & Ice) sessions is the Icefields Campground or Wilcox Creek Campground which is larger. Wilcox Creek is the spot that I will try to get into, pending availability. The nearest hostel is Beauty Creek (reservations 780-852-3215) to the north. Hilda Creek (reservations 403-762-4122) is possibly still key access only due to the fire. If you have a lot of money you can also stay at the Columbia Icefields Chalet.
On the first morning of each seminar you should be packed and ready to go, as if you were going on an alpine rock or snow & ice climb respectively. We will be departing shortly after we meet. I will be in Jasper almost all of the months of May and June, so contacting me on my cell phone on weekday evenings is likely to get results (780) 916-7951.
You will be contacted via email once you have been selected for the course and many of the details discussed above will be finalized.
Cyril Shokoples IFMGA
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Winter Ski Touring Leadership
This letter will serve to introduce you to the 2010 ACC Edmonton Section Winter Ski Leadership Seminar. The Ski Touring Leadership seminar is scheduled for February 12 - 15, 2010. This is the four day Family Day long weekend as you know.
In order to assist preparations for the course you must complete the personal information form and waiver and bring it to the first morning of the course. This should be done prior to the course beginning if at all possible. You will be required to read, understand and sign both an ACC and a Rescue Dynamics waiver. There are no exceptions. The waiver must be witnessed by someone other than a family member and it is best if it is witnessed by Cyril on the first morning. If you cannot print the forms for some reason do not panic. I will have spare copies of all the waivers and forms on Saturday morning.
There are some interesting articles that you may want to read before or after the course on the Rescue Dynamics website. These are the articles made available to folks on the ACC National Leadership course. Many of them are written by me as adjuncts to various courses I teach. They can be accessed at: http://www.rescuedynamics.ca/courses/lead/TNF/ACCTNF.htm
This will be an unusual four day weekend in that it is not at all about hard or extreme skiing. We will spend much of our time on easy to moderate terrain and focus on skills that will assist you in leading ACC groups safely, efficiently and quickly. Since the Ski touring course is three days, we will be going out on a three day overnight ski tour on the Wapta. The Peyto Hut will be booked for the first night and Bow for the second night. We will go in via Peyto Glacier and out via Bow Lake.
It has not yet been determined if we will stay at a common location on Friday night (likely CAC in Lake Louise). More on this as the course draw near.
The Num-Ti-Jah parking lot we will meet at the following morning is next to the road and not the one near the lodge. We will then drop a couple of vehicles and head to our departure point from Bow Summit. More about our hut booking, meeting time & place are below. Petyo Hut (February 12, 13) and Bow Hut (February 14) will be booked for us.
The first day will be spent simply getting into Peyto Hut. Please plan to lead part or all of the day. The conditions are often marginal on this leg. In past years we have taken until dark to get to the hut, so an early departure should be mandatory. Please be as packed and ready as you can be we meet at the parking lot. As you will find out below, you may need to add one or two items of group gear to your pack.
We will likely spend day two in skills training, but each participant should put on their thinking caps and come up with at least two suggestions for possible ski objectives for the second day of the course if time, weather and conditions allow. Also have some suggestions if the weather is REALLY crappy. We will discuss the options during the evenings. You are on a leadership course and that entails having some options ready when things go better or worse than planned. (I have plans made based on previous years, but you should be willing to suggest alternatives if conditions change. One year we practiced white out navigation out of necessity and finished with crevasse rescue and a snow profile. Other years we built igloos. On another year we had great snow conditions and practiced our turns!)
Also, please have a plan for a reasonable ski objective on day 3. In my mind doing Mt Gordon on day three is not an option in case you are wondering. In the past we have done a moderate ski objective on day 3 on some courses and skills practice like crevasse rescue on other courses. This is somewhat flexible and depends upon the participants and the weather and avalanche conditions. Read the guidebook on possible objectives for good, bad and real bad weather. Don't expect your instructor to have done all the route planning, but rather assume that you may want to do it.
Participants should check the weather and avalanche forecasts before we go as well, because your instructor is bound to ask you all individually what you discovered and what you would do in these conditions. Some helpful links for avalanche and weather info:
Please don't totally rely on doing something you have done before. It is OK if that is what works out, but I would rather you get a chance to route find in places you have no preconceived notions about. We may start our trip by descending the summer route from Bow Summit rather than crossing Peyto Lake for example. Have you done that? Best to look into it in case we end up going that way.
Be careful of following tracks. You never know how little the person who made the tracks actually knew about routefinding, track setting and avalanche safety. For example, I am constantly amazed at how dangerous the track is that is normally set for the final stretch to the Peyto hut. People often take a shortcut directly to the hut that takes you across the worst and most broken part of the glacier. Don't be surprised if I refuse to follow you if you head straight across that part of the glacier! Do your research, just as you should when leading a normal section trip.
Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment. We are outside all day on each day of the course, and the course will proceed in all but the most severe weather. In previous years insulated warm up pants and a down jacket have been necessary. A winter equipment list is available on the Rescue Dynamics website on the internet to help you to prepare if you need it.
In order to make the trip work, we have to get a few more details out of the way:
Car shuttle - we should have vehicles at both the beginning and end of the trip. This means we will have to start at 08:30 on Saturday morning to do a car drop for our end of trip shuttle. We should have a vehicle or two at Bow Lake for us to use when we get out. Think about how this will be arranged as part of your car pooling and other plans. It may be best if we can have at least two vehicles at each trailhead. It would be best if each driver brings their own vehicle keys plus a spare set if available. This may be arranged in advance.
Hut Booking and Wilderness Passes - Typically the ACC Section Course Coordinator books the huts for the weekend. In addition, EVERYONE NEEDS A WILDERNESS PASS. Wilderness passes can be purchased through through the ACC office in Canmore(1-404-678-3200). The combination for the lock in the Bow Hut main area will be received once we obtain our confirmation of our booking.
Food - Everyone will be responsible for their own breakfast and lunches. Try to bring a breakfast that is quick and simple to prepare and remember that we will be sharing the huts so a meal that requires extensive preparation is likely to run into complications with other hut users. The Bow Hut is always full on the family day weekend. Although toilet paper is often at the huts, I have seen times when there has not been any. Bring a personal supply to get you through three days.
Once the food is purchased the group splits the cost. The participants can choose to do the planning and purchasing in whatever way they want, but having everybody bringing their own meals IS NOT one of the best options for this particular trip. We did that on two previous trips and both times it was a total disaster. Keep receipts, get input from the others in your group and we will split the cost later.
Of course on the first morning we will all try to ensure that the weight is divided equally, but remember there are ropes, repair kits, radios, first aid and other group gear to consider as well, so don't go overboard thinking that you can get rid of most of the weight. Everyone is expected to participate in helping at the huts with meal prep and dishes, etc. If you want to switch meal assignments with somebody else, that is OK, so long as we end up with the right number of meals and enough to eat.
Technical Equipment - Your instructor will bring the ropes. We typically travel as two rope teams. No helmet, ice axe or crampons required. Everyone needs their own harness, Prusiks, webbing sling, ice screw and four carabiners that are not part of your tie in arrangement on your harness:
Avalanche Equipment - everyone needs a shovel, transceiver and avalanche probe. Your instructor will bring a spare transceiver as well. If anyone needs an avalanche transceiver, contact your instructor in advance. We should have at least four GOOD shovels (like the Voile Pro or equivalent) and four good probes in our group. We should have at least two good probes and shovels on each rope team. Cheap probes and shovels break in emergencies! Your instructor has spare probes and shovels that can be brought as well, but you need to arrange this in advance.
Snow Saws - we can bring snow saws if we decide to do snow shelters as an exercise or in an emergency. We built igloos on a couple of courses and many folks found this a worthwhile exercise.
Bivouac shelter- Peyto and Bow Huts have propane and we don't need to bring fuel for normal cooking. We will have to decide if we want a stove in case of emergency. If need be, your instructor has one MSR stove and a large pot that somebody can carry. A very lightweight and expensive Sil tarp should be taken along for an emergency bivouac shelter. A single person bivouac sack is not suitable for a group of our size. It is simply not big enough for us all to get into if a big storm blows through! Everyone should bring a headlamp.
First Aid kits / radios - The group will bring two first aid kits and two radios, one for each rope team. We will discuss in advance if we will bring the section satellite phone. We will divide them up when we meet. Everyone should bring a small first aid kit with blister supplies and any personal medications plus a few things for boo-boos. Your instructor does not carry any medications in his first aid kits.
Maps / compass / GPS - We will bring four maps, four compasses (two per rope team), and a GPS. You can bring your own compass if it has a mirror and a declination setting and you can bring your own GPS if you wish, but we really don't need eight of each. Also a photocopy of the relevant sections of the guidebook would be handy. Chic Scott's "Ski Trails of the Canadian Rockies" and "Summits & Icefields" each have relevant sections. (You can all bring your own map if you want.)
Repair kit - Someone will also be required to coordinate who will bring a comprehensive repair kit.
Meeting time / place - We will meet at 07:30 AM on the first morning. You can tell if I have arrived if you see a black Toyota Forerunner truck - VE6 MTN or a white van CYM 044.
Alternate plans - If weather / avalanche hazard / reported travel conditions make this plan non - viable at the last minute, each person should also come prepared with two ideas for a day trip in the Banff / Lake Louise area that we can revert to. I may have some alternate plans as well, including travel to the Purcells, but that is a worst case scenario.
Leading - This is supposed to be a Leadership course. Everyone should be prepared to take charge of the group for the first leg of our journey. Remember we may take the Bow Summit approach instead of crossing Peyto Lake. We will be swapping trail breaking and leading chores, so everyone should also be prepared to jump out front at any given time. If trail breaking is heavy, we may rotate frequently. I will expect that you will lead at an appropriate pace, which does not mean racing in front of the group and leaving us to fend for ourselves if something goes wrong.
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ACC Edmonton Section Scrambles Leadership
The ACC Edmonton Section is hosting a "Scrambling Leadership" course. This two day weekend is designed to improve leadership skills and build confidence for those leading ACC trips on scrambling terrain. Participants must have solid scrambling skills and be comfortable leading groups on moderate scrambles.
Topics may include, but are not limited to: group management, route selection, route finding, dealing with emergencies, communication devices, risk management, pacing, the attributes of a good leader, gear for the leaders pack, assessing weather on trips and choosing appropriate climbs for club trips. Travel on simple snow terrain may be included depending upon conditions.
The course will begin on a scramble west of Nordegg (David Thompson Country) and finish on a scramble near the Columbia Icefields. The location may change depending on the group and conditions. Scrambles will be limited to those which do not require the use of a rope for a typical party.
The course will be taught by Cyril Shokoples, an internationally certified mountain guide. Cyril has a long history with the ACC, particularly teaching the flagship TNF Leadership courses. He also regularly trains Canadian military SARTECHs and Canadian Parks Service Wardens, amongst many others, and has received Distinguished Service Awards from both the ACC and the ACMG.
Cyril Shokoples IFMGA
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