Mountaineering


View all mountaineering programs

3-day Intro to Glacier Mountaineering

Our 3-day Introduction to Glacier Mountaineering course will teach you the skills required to access and ascend many of the glaciated peaks in the Canadian Rockies. To reinforce instruction of technical skills there will be an opportunity for a guided glacier tour or the ascent of one of the peaks near the Columbia Icefields Centre.

You will learn:

- Crevasse rescue skills
- Glacier travel and glacier morphology
- Movement on snow including self arrest techniques
- Movement on low angle glacier ice, use of crampons and ice axe
- Building snow and ice anchors, ice screw placement
- Risk management in the alpine environment
- Basic navigation techniques

4-Day Alpine Ice and Mixed Climbing

Our 4-day Alpine Ice and Mixed Climbing course will consolidate your rock scrambling and glacier mountaineering skills and teach you techniques to enter the steep terrain of alpine ice and rock in small climbing groups. We will gather for 4 days of skills development and climbing objectives around the Columbia Icefields Centre.

You will learn:
- Crevasse rescue skills, including advanced skills for self rescue and small rope teams
- Alpine hazard assessment and management (rockfall, avalanche, icefall, etc)
- Rock protection techniques and anchor building
- Ice climbing techniques for steeper alpine ice
- Building snow and ice anchors, ice screw placement
- Efficient multi-pitch climbing techniques on snow, ice and rock
- Introduction to basic short-roping techniques
- Navigation techniques

Alpine Rock Climbing Intro

Join our ACMG certified guides for a weekend of climbing alpine rock routes in Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park. This lower guest to guide ratio course is suitable for those with some mountaineering and rock climbing experience who want to learn to expand their skills to manage the alpine rock environment. We will solidify skills with a guided ascent of an alpine rock route in Kananaskis Country or Banff Park such as Mt. Lorette or the Fold on Mt. Kidd.

You will learn:
- Scrambling movement skills
- Managing alpine hazards such as loose rock
- Use of the rope to protect 3rd and 4th class terrain
- Use of rock protection
- Anchor building with natural features and rock protection
- Efficient Multi-pitch climbing systems
- Route finding and basic navigation skills
- Emergency procedures

Crevasse Rescue 2

Spend 2 days learning the equipment and techniques used in small group crevasse rescue in a glaciated setting.

We will use glaciated terrain and sites around the Columbia Icefields Centre in this 2 day advanced course.

Curriculum: 
- glacier topography and safe navigation, including potential for student leads on a glacier tour 
- review of basic crevasse rescue skills
- considerations for small group travel in an alpine mountaineering setting
- buidling and evaluating snow and ice anchors
- self-rescue techniques and rope ascending
- Use of mechanical rope grabs and progress captures
- Light weight rope kits such as the RAD line

Mt Joffre, Kananaskis Country

Mount Joffre, one of two 11,000 foot peaks in Kananaskis Country, makes for an excellent introduction to multi-day mountaineering trips. We will climb the impressive, glaciated North Face, which is a moderate route of up to 40 degrees on snow and/or ice. The summit yields a spectacular view of the Italian Group of peaks to the South and the Royal Group to the North. 

We will approach via Aster Lake and will spend two nights out in the field for a scenic and un-rushed round trip.  

Private Ski and Ice Climbing Guiding

Join one of our ACMG-certified guides for a day or more of guided backcountry skiing, ice climbing, or instructional content. This can be an extremely cost-effective way to get you and your friends out in the hills with a qualified professional!

Please contact us for a complete quote. Maximum ratios will vary depending on the chosen objective.

Rates begin at $575 per day for one guest, with an additional $50 for each additional guest to a maximum of six guests per guide. Guests will also be responsible for Guide expenses, such as mileage, or for transporting the guide to the program venue. Guests will also be responsible for expenses such as hut and camping fees, guides' food, and backcountry passes for overnight trips. Certain very long objectives completed in a single day may have an additional surcharge applied.

Please contact ocprograms@ucalgary.cafor a detailed quote.

Crevasse Rescue 1

Spend a day learning the equipment and techniques used in crevasse rescue.
We will use a site in the Bow Valley that allows us to practice skills essential to safe travel on a glacier, as well as basic rescue systems.

This course teaches fundamental crevasse rescue skills, including: 
- glacier topography and safe navigation 
- roping up for glacier travel 
- rope management 
- holding a load 
- tractor pull rescue technique 
- drop loop assisted rescue 
- transferring a load 
- hauling systems  
- self-rescue techniques 

Bow Yoho Traverse

This classic, multi-day backcountry traverse gives access to tremendous views and great skiing or boarding. The first night is spent at Bow Hut. On the second and third nights we will stay in the new Louise and Richard Guy Hut. The fourth and fifth are at the beautiful Stanley Mitchell Hut, and on the last day we will make an incredible descent to Emerald Lake (conditions permitting). Our bonus nights in the Louise and Richard Guy Hut and the Stanley Mitchel Hut will set us up nicely to attempt some of the excellent ski mountaineering along the way! 

Prerequisite: strong intermediate-expert skier/splitboarder in good physical condition. Includes: ACMG guide, hut fees, backcountry access fees, specialized glacier travel equipment (harness, ropes, crampons, etc.), evening meals.

Scrambling Skills Intro

Want to take your hiking skills to the next level? Spend a day learning the techniques and equipment used to scramble a low-commitment Rockies peak while attempting to gain the summit. Summit objectives will be at the guide's discretion, but popular choices include Mount Baldy, Mount Yamnuska, and Mount Rundle.

You will learn fundamental scrambling skills including:

- hazard recognition and management
- navigation and trip planning
- pacing
- clothing systems
- communication and rescue techniques
- protection options including spotting and use of a hand line
- rock climbing and scrambling movement

Mount Athabasca Ascent

This is a single-day ascent of the iconic 3,491m (11,453 ft) Mount Athabasca, which towers over the Columbia Icefield visitor center and the Athabasca Glacier. Its close proximity to Highway 93N makes it an ideal candidate for a one-day ascent. Depending on the route chosen, trip may involve climbing snow, ice, and rock, generally at a beginner to intermediate skill level.

You will meet your ACMG guide on Sunday evening to discuss a departure time and review details for the day.
Very early Monday morning (be prepared for a 2-3 am start) you'll begin your ascent by headlamp up the massive moraines and glaciers to the snowy summit of Mount Athabasca! Tremendous views of the surrounding peaks and icefields will be your reward.

Mount Victoria North Ascent

Mt. Victoria's North Summit towers over the Lake Louise valley at 11, 115 ft (3388 m) and is a fantastic mixed snow, ice and rock climb up the classic Northeast ridge route. Every visiting mountaineer to the Lake Louise area will be drawn to the majestic Mt. Victoria with its steep NE face and twin summits and we hope you'll share a rope with one of our ACMG-certified guides for this classic ascent!

Mount Cline Ascent

Mt Cline is one of only a few 10,000 foot peaks substantially East of the Continental Divide in the Front Ranges and makes for an excellent introduction to multi-day mountaineering trips. We will climb either the Southwest Ridge or North Ridge, depending on conditions and group experience. We will have three days to approach, climb and descend through ruggedly beautiful terrain with spectacular views of Mt. Murchison and Mt Wilson, as well as the remote White Goat Wilderness to the North. 

This trip is suitable for those with no mountaineering experiece and moderate fitness, but the exciting positions make it a great objective for experienced mountaineers as well.  

Mount Temple Ascent

Mt. Temple, which dominates your view as you drive West into Lake Louise, is perhaps the most visible of the 10,000 foot peaks in the Candian Rockies. It is also the second highest peak in Banff National Park and the first 11,000-er to be ascended - in 1894. We will hike from Morraine Lake very early in the morning and ascend the SW slopes via Sentinel Pass. This is a long scramble of moderate technical difficulty, which can involve travel on snow and some short fifth class rock steps. Once on the summit you'll be rewarded with views of the Lake Louise group, Mt. Hector to the North, and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.