Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
NOTE: Public courses and guiding were 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 Introduction to Mountaineering Course. We have two Introduction to Mountaineering courses this year. The dates for the courses are TBA (Saturday - Wednesday) or July 24 - 28, 2010 (Saturday - Wednesday). The cost of each course is $600.00 per person including GST.
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.
Intro to Mountaineering includes all of the elements of a Basic Rock and Basic Snow and Ice course and in reality it is both of these courses run together. If you wish to extend your learning experience, an excellent way to do this is to also attend the Alpine Climbing course which often runs for the two days following this course. It enhances the learning you have done in Intro to Mountaineering by adding two more days of climbing in an alpine environment. The intent of Alpine Climbing is to introduce short-rope technique and climb one more peak (weather permitting).
The Rock Climbing portion of the course introduces you to skills required to safely begin rock climbing with an experienced partner or group. The course content includes movement on rock, knots, ropework, belaying, rappelling and safety topics. The instruction for this part of the course takes place in several locations. The course will be held on limestone cliffs and slabs in the Front Ranges in Jasper National Park (midway between Hinton and Jasper). The second day often includes a short multi-pitch climb.
The Snow & Ice portion of the course introduces you to skills required to safely begin snow, ice and glacier travel with an experienced partner or group. The course content includes snow techniques such as kicking steps, snow anchors (pickets, plates and t-slots), snow belays, self arrests, knots, roping for glacier travel, prusiking and safety topics. The second day will be on ice and will include cutting steps, crampon technique, French technique, use of the ice axe, ice screws, ice anchors and a review of crevasse rescue. The instruction for this part of the course takes place on snowfields and glaciers near Mt. Athabasca.
The fifth day of the course is usually a climb to the summit of a peak in Jasper Park. The course schedule may vary depending upon the weather.
We provide instruction and all the technical climbing equipment including ice axe, crampons, hardware, ropes, helmets and harnesses. If you own your own gear, feel free to bring it, but don't purchase anything special for this course without talking to us first. Often folks get carried away in an outdoor store and purchase unnecessary items before coming out. You will not need to purchase ANY of your own technical gear before the course begins.
We DO NOT provide climbing boots, rock shoes, day pack or clothing. Renting or borrowing rock shoes is a reasonable thing to consider for the rock portion of the course. We strongly recommend renting plastic mountaineering boots for the snow and ice portion of the course unless you have fairly stiff mountaineering boots with a good welt. Rock shoes and Mountaineering Boots can be rented at MEC in Edmonton or Gravity Gear in Jasper. Although lightweight hiking boots are great and recommended to travel to the rock climbing sites, they are not acceptable for the snow and ice climbing.
Be sure your clothing can handle the mountain environment, including heat, cold, wind, rain or snow, sun and insects. Since we are laying and sliding in the snow, you WILL get wet and cold. We are outside all day most every day, and the course will proceed in all but the most severe weather. The equipment checklist on our website may help you to prepare for the course. 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 (thermos?) for each day of the course, as we do not return to the vehicles for lunch.
We reserve the right to deny participation if, in the opinion of our staff, a participant is unfit or in any way a detriment to the safety of themselves or the group.
The meeting time and place for the course is 8:30 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.
You can download basic information on how to find accommodations near our climbing sites. Our first two days will be spent east of Jasper between Jasper and Hinton. Common campsites that have been used by students in the past include Jasper Gates (outside of the park to the east of the park gates), Whistler (closest to Jasper) and Wapiti (next closest to Jasper) each of which have showers. More primitive camping is found at Pocahontas and Snaring Campgrounds. Motels and other accommodations can be found at the Folding Mountain Resort or in the townsite of Jasper.
Only book your accommodation for Friday and Saturday night as we will move to the Columbia Icefields area (often Wilcox Creek campground or the Columbia Icefields campground) for the last three nights of the Snow and Ice section of the course. Parks campgrounds at the Icefields do not accept reservations so it is best that participants have a quick supper in Jasper then drive directly to the Icefields area to try to get a campsite. If you prefer a hotel there is only one, the Columbia Icefields Chalet (and it is expensive!)
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.
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.
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
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Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5