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  Phone: 403 678 4164 - 1 866 678 4164

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Dates and Prices


$1695 CDN includes accommodation, National Park Fees, 'out-trip' meals, instruction and use of specialized equipment and group gear. GST is extra.

Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.

Is it for you?

You need to be at least a strong intermediate downhill skier (on either Telemark or 'alpine' gear) able to maintain control in all conditions. You should be making parallel turns on hardpack. You also need to be familiar/comfortable on touring equipment. It is not necessary to be an expert as part of the course will focus on tips for maintaining control and tackling more difficult slopes. You must be comfortable taking a few spills and be able to pick yourself up and 'carry on'. You will need to be in good physical condition. No prior ski mountaineering experience needed but ideally you have alpine touring experience.

Minimum age for participation is 18 years unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and approved by Yamnuska.

Intro to Ski Mountaineering

Ski Mountaineering is one of the most incredible ways to enjoy the mountains in winter. With snow covered approaches and rapid ski descents, it is easier to cover more ground and potentially summit more peaks than on a similar summer mountaineering trip.

This week long comprehensive ski mountaineering course covers all of the basic skills required of the winter mountaineer. Although the concepts are similar, managing terrain and glaciers in a deeper snow pack and on skis often requires a different approach from general mountaineering.

In this hut based program, we will explore the numerous snow covered peaks and ski the slopes of the Wapta Icefields while teaching the curriculum of an introductory ski mountaineering course.

Course Agenda

Note: From Day 2 the course agenda and the amount of time spent on each subject will depend upon conditions in the program area, the weather, group and individual abilities and learning speeds.

Day 1: We meet at the Yamnuska Office in Canmore at 8:00am for introductions, a review of course goals and itinerary and equipment check. Then we drive an hour and a half north to Bow Lake, our start point. After an avalanche safety session, we commence the climb to Bow Hut, which is located at 7700 ft. on a shoulder adjacent to the snout of the Bow Glacier; this will take us between 3 and 5 hours. We cross frozen Bow Lake then ski up the canyon which leads to the amphitheater below Mounts Olive and St. Nicholas. After a final steep section we reach the welcome warmth of this spacious cabin. En route we get a real taste of route finding in avalanche terrain. We ski 6km and climb 2000ft.

Day 2 - 5: Bow Hut is our base for the week. Its proximity to the glacier and to several peaks makes it easy for us to get out on to suitable instruction terrain every day. It's a perfect area for instruction. We may do a tour to one of the other huts in the region where we can spend a night or two. Peaks often climbed on the course include Mt. Olive (10,200 ft.), Mt. Gordon (10,000 ft.) and Mt. Rhonda (10,000 ft.). Our focus is on giving you skills in ski mountaineering and all associated components...and climb some peaks!

Day 6: Final day. We ski back down to Bow Lake and return to Canmore in the late afternoon.


There is considerable flexibility built into the delivery of this course, no course is exactly the same. Snow and weather conditions will dictate the order of presentation to some degree. Key topics will be constantly revisited during the program.

Topics include:

  • Avalanche awareness emphasizing hazard recognition, route finding and emergency procedures.
  • Winter medical issues and emergency response.
  • Trip planning.
  • Equipment for ski mountaineering.
  • Glacier travel and crevasse rescue.
  • Snow Shelters.
  • Mountain weather.
  • Navigation and route planning.
  • Decision making process.
  • Ski techniques for powder and crud.
  • Track setting.
  • Ski tours! There are lots of great day climbs and tours in addition to possible overnight trips between huts. You just happen to be learning these skills in a terrific ski mountaineering area. You will find yourself in the lead, solving route finding problems and using new skills to face the challenges of successful tours and the rewards of great ski descents!
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