Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
NOTE: Public courses and guiding have been suspended for summer 2022 due to continuing issues related to COVID.
This letter will serve to introduce you to the Mountaineering: Beyond the Basics Course. We do not have a currently scheduled offering of this course. It is available on a private or semi-private course if you have a minimum of two participants. The previous cost of each course was $600.00 per person including GST (subject to change).
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.
Completion of a Basic Rock Climbing course and a Basic Snow & Ice Climbing course, plus some climbing experience on real (multi-pitch or alpine) rock, snow and ice are prerequisites for attending this course. You do not have to be an expert, but you should be able to tie in, belay, rappel and climb on rock, snow and ice without direct supervision or extensive assistance. You must have previous experience with self arrest, snow anchors, moving on snow (plunge step, step kicking, glissading), use of crampons and basic crevasse rescue. If in doubt if you qualify, please send a detailed resume of your climbing background and we can advise you.
The Rock Climbing portion of the course includes a review of movement on rock, knots, ropework, belaying, rappelling and safety topics. We also introduce you to protection and anchor systems including pitons, TCUs, Friends(r), Camalots(r), Rocks(r), Hexcentrics(r), TriCams(r), bolts, equalization, opposition, rope handling and a host of other gadgets and techniques. Depending upon the size and experience of the group, we will also try to find an appropriate multi-pitch climb to complete. More experienced participants may be able to lead under supervision. In order to get the most from this course you should review your knots and basic procedures before arriving. The instruction for this part of the course takes place in several locations and will be held on limestone cliffs and slabs in the Front Ranges in Jasper National Park (midway between Hinton and Jasper).
The Snow & Ice portion of the course reviews the skills required for snow, ice and glacier travel with an eye toward progressing toward leading your own trips. Route finding, track setting, hazard recognition and avoidance, crevasse rescue, multi-pitch, technical snow and ice skills will all be reviewed. Some alpine climbing skills such as shortroping will be introduced as well. 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. (If you want to add an additional two days of summit climbing and alpine instruction, you should consider attending "Intermediate Alpine Climbing" on the two days immediately following this course.)
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. 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.
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
Be sure your clothing can handle the mountain environment, including heat, cold, wind, rain or snow, sun and insects. Since we are often sitting, 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 enclosed equipment list 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.
The meeting time and place for the course is 8:30 am on the first morning of the course at the Morro Slabs Parking Lot. Look for a white cargo van - VE6 MTN. In case of emergency, you can try contacting us by cell phone on the first morning of the course but note that cell service is sporadic here.
You should make accommodation arrangements for the first three nights. We will likely move to the Wilcox Creek campground for the last two nights. This Park campground does not accept reservations. 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 at .
Cyril Shokoples EMT, IFMGA
© Copyright 1999 Cyril Shokoples
Mountaineering: Beyond the Basics
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Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5