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Dates and Prices

Price

$325 CDN per person. Includes instruction and group gear. Price does not include GST, park entry fees, personal gear, accommodation, meals, transportation or gratuity.

Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.

Is it for you?

You need to be fit at the level of a strong hiker. No prior scrambling or climbing experience is required.

Scrambling Skills and Safety

Gain the summits of the Rockies without the complication of ropes and climbing gear. There are hundreds of mountaintops that can be reached through judicious route finding and safe travel techniques. You don’t have to be a rock climber to stand on those lofty peaks.

Most mountaineers start off hiking with a natural progression to scrambling. We define scrambling as easy climbing requiring use of hands and feet but not ropes, belays or protection. In a sense, scrambling is technical hiking. There isn't always clearly defined trails and you occasionally use your hands to help 'scramble' up ridges or routes.

The intent of our Scrambling Skills course is to give you the skills to safely climb peaks and not put yourself or partners at unnecessary risk. We will focus on the most important elements of scrambling safety: route finding, hazard assessment and movement skills on loose steep terrain and on snow and iced rock. Whether you are already a scrambler looking to upgrade or affirm your skills or brand new to scrambling we will teach you sound skills to enable you to summit on the many scrambling peaks of the Rockies.

We do not use ropes or other technical climbing equipment on this program. In general this is a good mountain terrain and hazard assessment course in a non-technical environment. Advanced hikers will also find the topics valuable even if you don't plan on scrambling.

Sign up for our 'plus' day scramble.  This is an advanced scramble day at a lower guide to guest ratio.  You will learn some basic rope skills and belays to tackle the 'difficult' rated scrambles.

Course Agenda

Day 1: Meet at the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office at 8:00am. Coffee and tea will be available. Review course introduction, goals and objectives and explanation of hazards and risk.

Goals and Objectives:

  • To be able to pick an appropriate scramble from the guidebook for skill level
  • To be able to pack the correct and necessary gear for the day
  • To be able to complete the scramble without environmental degradation of the area
  • To be able to recognize the difference between class three and four terrain
  • To effectively route find in class three terrain
  • To recognize environmental hazards and how to deal with them
  • To gain skills for movement in loose terrain and manage rock-fall issues
  • Have fun and gain a summit or two!

Course Curricullum

  • Equipment selection for scrambles
  • Emergency gear
  • Selecting proper footwear
  • Dressing for the mountains
  • Use of guidebooks
  • Choosing peaks appropriate to experience levels
  • Checking weather and conditions
  • Environmental hazards: Lightning, animals, rockfall, snow and ice
  • Environmental ethics
  • Route finding skills
  • Assessment of difficulty
  • Movement skills during ascents and descents/scrambling skills
  • Use of a trekking pole
  • Spotting skills
  • Pacing and rest stops
  • Walking in balance
  • Use of down pressure on handholds

Waiver presentation and signing. (please see sample waiver)

Head out and complete an easy to moderate scramble.

Day 2: Early departure from Canmore for a local scramble. This day will focus on personal leadership and decision making as well as further developng the skills learned on day one.  We will also discuss terrain evaluation, route finding and group management. Meeting time and place will be determined by your guide and will be based on the day's objective.

The course typically runs in the Canmore Kananskis area. On occasion we do travel as far west to Lake Louise. Typical scrambles on the course are: Heart Mountain, Mt. Yamnuska, Mt. Buller, Mt. Edith, Mt. Baldy, Mt Loder.

If we do travel to Banff you will need to have a National Parks entry pass for your vehicle.

Expect to be finished by 4:00pm on the final day.

Plus Day

Stay for an extra day and put your new skills into practice on a classic Canadian Rockies difficult scramble. The instructor to student ratio is 1:2. On this day we will cover advanced scrambling skills and how to manage more technical terrain.

$265 plus GST. Available every Monday following ‘Scrambling Skills’.

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