Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5
NOTE: Public courses and guiding were suspended for 2022 due to continuing issues related to COVID. We hope to return to a more normal schedule in 2024.
This letter will serve to introduce you to the Introductory Ski Touring & Glacier Travel Course. The dates for the course are TBA, beginning in Canmore. The cost of the course is $288.75 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.
These courses are NOT recommended for beginner skiers. If you do not have reasonable experience skiing off track in ungroomed variable snow conditions with a pack on your back, we strongly urge you to attend the "Introduction to Backcountry Touring and Ski Techniques" course. This course is usually offered shortly before each Glacier Travel course.
You can combine this course with "Introductory Avalanche Skills Training - Level 1" plus "Introduction to Backcountry Touring & Ski Techniques" back to back to make the week long "Complete Introduction to Winter Ski Touring".
This course introduces you to ski touring on glaciated terrain including roped travel, crevasse rescue, track setting, route finding and related topics. The first day will be mostly classroom with some outdoor work near the classroom and the second day will be a glacier field trip. The instruction for this course takes place in Canmore or Jasper with the second day at the Columbia Icefields.
We will provide instruction and all the technical equipment. Do NOT rent any avalanche or climbing equipment for this course. If you own your own beacon, shovel, probe or harness, feel free to bring them. We DO NOT provide skis, climbing skins, boots, poles or clothing. Skis, boots and skins can be rented from MEC in Edmonton, Gravity Gear in Jasper or various outlets in Calgary and Banff.
You will require either good quality telemark or alpine touring (randonee) equipment including warm boots and clothing. Lightweight cross country track skis or skating skis are totally inadequate. We recommend skis with a minimum 90 to 100mm width at the tip. The wider the better for more flotation in difficult glacier conditions.
If you want to joins us on a snowboard please contact us in advance so we can make allowances in our route planning. Boarders must own, borrow or rent a split - board for ease of travel in a mixed group. If you are not sure about gear, give us a call.
You will require a LARGE day pack to carry your food, clothes and a share of the group gear. During the second day we will be doing rescue practice which will have us stationary in the cold. Many people get COLD feet standing in the cold in cross country ski boots - be prepared! A down Jacket and warm-up pants are a must. Be sure your clothing can handle the changes in mountain environment, including extreme cold, wind, snow and bright sun. Spare gloves / mitts are a must. The course will proceed in all but the most severe weather. The course 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 for each day of the course, as we do not return to the vehicles for lunch. A good lightweight thermos is often handy.
Meeting time and place for the \ Canmore courses is 8:00 am (location TBA). Be completely ready for an indoor class at that time, but bring warm clothes for a possible outdoor session later in the afternoon. Persons unfamiliar with these locations can check our website for maps to be posted prior to each course (or call for directions). The second day will most likely be at the Columbia Icefields in all cases.
You must have a valid Park Vehicle Group Pass or Personal Pass to attend this course, as we are travelling 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, feel free to call or email.
Cyril Shokoples IFMGA
Chief Instructor / Mountain Guide
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Edmonton, AB, Canada T6L 1K5