Dust the summer cobwebs off your tools and learn how to train efficiently for ice climbing with our new Drytooling course. Drytooling has emerged as a sport in its own right, with its roots grounded in mixed climbing. Today, drytooling is mostly used as an early-season method of training for ice climbing. The benefit of early-season drytooling is to wipe off the dust and get comfortable moving with your tools and crampons.
Meet at the Yamnuska office at 7:30 a.m.
- Welcome, introduction, goals, and agenda
- Check gear: Go over setting up your equipment (crampon & tool configuration), taping tools, and setting up your crampons in a mono point configuration
- Discussion of safety procedures and hazard awareness
- Knots and harnesses
- Refinement of top rope technique
Introduction to Drytool Movement:
- Tool placements
- Rest positions
- Switching tools
- Footwork precision with crampons
- Steep terrain technique
Meeting Place & Time
Meet at the Yamnuska Office (200-50 Lincoln Park, Canmore) at 7:30 am on the day of the program.
Instructors and Group Size
The “Yam guiding Team” includes some of the best ice climbers, mixed, and drytoolers and course instructors anywhere! Enthusiastic and extremely talented, they hold climbing certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and other International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) countries. Your safety and enjoyment are paramount to them. There will be a maximum of 12 students and a minimum of 4. Instructor/student ratios range down from 1:6. In addition to being expert ice climbers, they are well trained to Yamnuska’s high customer service standards and are highly experienced course instructors.
To keep prices down participants are responsible for their own transport to Canmore and during the program. Canmore is a 1 hour (100km) drive west of Calgary.
If you are flying from afar for the program we suggest that you rent a car for your visit. In addition to getting you to the climbing locations, it will allow you to explore our region afterward.
Frequent shuttles connect Calgary International Airport and Canmore.
Accommodation & Meals
These are not included in the course fees. There are lots of options available including campgrounds, hostels, B’n’Bs, motels, and hotels.
Food is not supplied. Bring plenty to drink and lunch plus energy snacks.
Equipment & Clothing
- Boots (must be crampon compatible)*
- Climbing harness*
- Climbing helmet*
- Ice tools*
- Belay device, carabiners, slings
- Daypack* (30-45 litres)
- Lunch, snacks
- Thermos flask and/or water bottle (1-2 litres combined volume)
- Hand Sanitizer
*These items are available for rent. Please advise us in advance.
There can be prolonged periods of inactivity in very cold temperatures throughout the course. Don’t be afraid to bring too much! We recommend bringing clothing that can be layered to achieve comfort as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest. Cotton clothing is not appropriate as it causes rapid heat loss when wet.
We recommend you bring:
- Long underwear top and bottoms (heavyweight synthetic or wool)
- Socks (synthetic/wool blend)
- Softshell pants and jacket
- Midweight synthetic or down jacket
- Waterproof hardshell jacket with hood
- Waterproof hardshell pants (should have a full-length side zip so they can be put on without taking off boots and crampons)
- Heavyweight parka (big enough to fit over all your other layers)
- Gaiters (big enough to fit over large boots)
- Waterproof mountaineering or ice climbing gloves (at least two pairs)
- Warm hat that fits under a helmet
- Face Mask
Additional gear info:
Boots: A good pair of boots is essential. They need to be warm and crampon compatible. You are welcome to try the Scarpa Mont Blanc boots that Yamnuska provides.
Crampons: A good waterfall ice crampon will have vertically oriented front points, and some have the option to switch to a single point for drytooling. We use the Petzl Lynx for our ice and mixed climbing and drytooling programs.
Climbing harness: A winter climbing harness should be sized to fit over your winter clothing. It is recommended to have a harness with a dedicated spot for an Ice Clipper or Caritool.
Ice tools: It is important to have a tool with a curved hand grip at the bottom. For thin ice and mixed climbing, it is much safer to have a hammer or nothing at all attached to the head of the tool, instead of an adze. For all-around ice and mixed climbing, Yamnuska uses the Petzl Quark. For steep ice and advanced mixed climbing, Yamnuska uses the Petzl Nomic.
Belay device: Many options exist for belay devices. Ensure that your device has two slots for ropes, to facilitate rappelling. We provide the Petzl Verso or Petzl Reverso on our multi-pitch instructional programs.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment at the time of booking. Please read the attached information on booking conditions and cancellation penalties carefully before booking.
We ask that you familiarize yourself with our detailed booking instructions and conditions.
Risk is an inherent part of all mountain activities. We strive to manage and reduce it however, it is impossible to totally eliminate. Learn more about our safety and risk management approach here. Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the program. Please view our sample waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travellers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the national and provincial parks, however, costs such as air or ground transportation, long-term care, and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries, and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical, and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure trip.
$150.00 covers guiding and instruction. GST not included
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Is it for you:
Our Drytooling course is suitable for total beginners, rock climbers and general mountaineers. Drytooling can be a strenuous activity but our instruction will emphasize the development of the technique to reduce the need for brute strength. The drytooling routes will be tailored to your ability and strength as much as possible. A high level of fitness will contribute to enjoyment and achievement however, you need no previous experience.