Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
NOTE: Public courses and guiding have been suspended for summer 2022 due to continuing issues related to COVID. We are hoping to return to a more regular schedule in 2024.
This letter will serve to introduce you to the Alpine Climbing Course you expressed interest in. We have one Basic Alpine Climbing courses this year. The dates for the course are TBA (Thursday, Friday). The cost of the course is $275.00.
In order for you to be confirmed on the course you must first complete the personal information form, then read, understand and sign the waiver. You will then need to mail or email those completed forms in. You will then be billed for the course fees.
If you have not paid, your spot is NOT yet confirmed. We reserve the right to cancel the course in the event of severe weather or low enrollment. Should this happen, your course fees will be refunded. See our website for complete cancellation policies and procedures.
Should less than three persons sign up for the course, we reserve the right to cancel the course. We also reserve the right to cancel the course in the event of severe weather. Should this happen, your course fees will be refunded.
This is a very different course in that the focus is on "efficient" motion on varied terrain. It is not at all about doing hard rock or ice climbing. Many good climbers seem to spend too much time on easy routes or easy sections of routes, not because of inability but because of inefficiency. We will spend a lot of time short-roping, a little known skill used extensively in the guiding profession to proceed quickly up easy terrain. We will examine the gear used on alpine routes and see how our selection can be improved. We will look at optimizing everything we carry and how we carry it. The intent on this weekend is to learn a lot of new techniques and climb an alpine route. No wasting time here. We depart early on Thursday and begin our first lessons on very easy terrain then spend the afternoon on an easy alpine style rock climb near Jasper. This straightforward route has a lot of lessons to offer us. We will review movement on rock, knots, ropework, belaying, rappelling and safety topics.
On the Intermediate level course (not scheduled for 2010), we may also review protection, anchor systems, rope handling and belay station management and how they relate to alpine situations. Each participant may be given the opportunity to lead (if appropriate), at least on easier sections if not the entire route. (Intermediate participants usually attempt more difficult routes than Basic participants.)
The activities of the second day will depend on the weather and our progress. Suffice it to say that the objective may be a snow and ice climb for day two. Since we will be doing two climbs, your fitness level should be good. I also expect that everyone will read the article on "Traveling at Light Speed" available on the Rescue Dynamics website. It will provide a focus for some of our discussions and lessons.
We will provide all of the technical climbing equipment including ice axe, crampons, hardware, ropes, helmets and harnesses if required. Please note your particular requirements on the enclosed forms. If you will need any of the equipment listed, you must submit the forms to Rescue Dynamics at least two weeks before the course so that the gear can be brought out for you. (If you own your own gear, feel free to bring it if you wish.) We DO NOT provide climbing boots, rock shoes, day pack or clothing. We strongly recommend renting plastic mountaineering boots for the second day of this course unless you have fairly stiff mountaineering boots with a good welt. Boots can be rented at MEC, Edmonton or Gravity Gear, Jasper. Light hiking boots are not acceptable for the snow & ice climb. Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment, including heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, sun and insects. We are outside all day on both days, and the course will proceed in all but the most severe weather. The equipment checklist may help you prepare.
You are responsible for your own meals, accommodation and transportation for the entire course. Be sure to 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 the course is 7:00 am on the first morning of each respective course at the Morro Slabs parking lot. This is located along Highway 16 east of Jasper where the highway crosses the Athabasca River . At the meeting place, look for a white cargo van - VE6 MTN. In case of emergency, you can try contacting us by cell phone on the morning of the course at (780) 916-7951. (Recognize that cell reception is very sporadic in this area.)
There is a PDF file available on our website detailing how to get to this location as well as how to book the various parks campsites. Many course participants prefer to stay at the Jasper Gates Campground which has reasonable facilities including showers. You can now make reservations at the National Park campgrounds as well. If you prefer accommodation other than that which is available at Jasper East, remember that for this course Hinton is as close to our first climbs as Jasper is. At the end of the first day we move to the Columbia Icefields so if you book accommodations, only book for Friday night. The second night we will be staying in the Columbia Icefields area. There are two campsites in that area and only one hotel (The Columbia Icefields Chalet). You are responsible for your own accommodations here as well.
First thing on the first morning of the course you should be packed and ready to go on an alpine rock climb. We will be departing shortly after we meet. Do not over burden yourself with excessive gear. (In you have your own gear just bring your harness, helmet, a couple of locking carabiners and a prusik sling or two.) Be sure to have your lunch, water and lightweight but appropriate clothing. A three section collapsible ski pole is handy on the ascents and descents. Otherwise, BRING NO JUNK. We will be practicing alpine climbing, not weight lifting!
We will organize the other hardware and ropes at the start of the climb. The first route we are doing on the afternoon of day one has no climbing harder than 5.5/5.6 and is predominantly easy 3rd and 4th class. On the Intermediate course we may do a route with multi-pitch 5th class climbing and a multi-pitch rappel descent. Either day will take us anywhere from 7 to 10 (or more) hours to complete. Rock shoes shouldn't be necessary on the Basic course, but you can bring them if you wish. If you do bring rock shoes, be sure they are comfortable as these are LONG routes.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT WAIVERS: Our insurer requires that we have a two part process for using and administering waivers. If you sign up by mail or email you must included a signed and witnessed waiver as part of your application for all courses. You will also be required to sign a second full colour paper copy of the waiver in the presence of one of our staff members. There are no exceptions.
You must have a valid Park Vehicle Group Pass or Personal Pass to attend this course, as we are traveling in National Park areas. Be sure to purchase one when you first enter the Park if you do not already have one.
If you have any further questions, please call or email us.
Cyril Shokoples IFMGA
Notice: Course content subject to revision or modification without notice
© Copyright 1999 Cyril Shokoples
Day 3 (on selected courses only)
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Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5