This is an option is for those who have attended the ‘Snow and Ice Long Weekend’ mountaineering course before but were unable to summit Athabasca.
- Typically a 3:00am meet to begin the Ascent day of Mt. Athabasca or other peak as appropriate
This is an exciting and challenging opportunity to put new-found skills into practice. There are several options for climbing of which 3491m (11,454 Ft.) Mt. Athabasca is best known. Other peaks include A2, Boundary Peak and Mt. Wilcox. All are good introductory mountaineering challenges.
Mount Athabasca: First Ascent: August 17th 1898, N. Collie, H. Wooley, 11,453 feet, 3491 meters “Athabasca” is a Cree word believed to mean “where there are reeds and grasses”
The peak you attempt will depend upon the mountain conditions, the weather and your level of fitness.
We only attempt Athabasca with those fit enough and when conditions/weather permit. Should conditions mean that no peak is suitable we will schedule an extra day of instruction.
Expect a long but rewarding day for your summit attempt. We start very early (well before dawn) meaning you will be exposed to the incredible beauty of a mountain sunrise. The climb is not too technical but requires many of the things mountaineers must have, stamina, fitness, route finding skills and good judgment.
Meeting Time & Place
Meet the guides at the “ICEFIELDS CAMPGROUND” by the cooking shelters at 7.00pm the evening before the climb. Have your gear with you. The campground is located 1 km south of the Icefields Centre on Hwy. 93. It is the closest one to the Centre. The guides will brief you about the climb and tell you where and when to meet in the morning.
Weather & Conditions
Please note that weather may still prevent a safe attempt on the mountain. In this case we will either schedule another peak or an extra day of mountaineering instruction. The mountains call the shots and the wise mountaineer takes heed. Thus we never guarantee climbs.
Equipment & Clothing
We supply group technical gear as well as crampons, ice axe, harness and helmets if needed. When booking please let us know if you already have these.
You will need to bring your own clothing, mountaineering boots (rentals available) and large daypack. The equipment and clothing you bring to this program will have a big impact on the quality of your experience. Please be sure to bring all items requested. If you are unsure about anything please do not hesitate to call and ask us.
We suggest layers of light, easily carried clothing that allow for fast and easy adjustment to best suit fast changing temperature conditions. We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet. Feel free to call us if you have any questions about what to bring. This list covers items needed for all likely conditions during the mountaineering season.
You will need to bring:
- LONG UNDERWEAR, top and bottom, polypro, wool, capilene or fleece.
- WOOL/BLEND SOCKS (extra pairs).
- Warm LONG PANTS to climb in. These should be wool/nylon blend knickers, fleece pants, nylon exercise pants with light long johns or wool trousers.
- Light SHIRT or T-SHIRT.
- Wool or fleece LONG SLEEVE SHIRT with collar.
- FLEECE SWEATER (medium weight).
- Heavyweight fleece or insulated JACKET.
- Waterproof OUTER JACKET with hood (Gore-Tex).
- Waterproof OUTER PANTS, preferably with side zips on legs.
- Waterproof knee-length GAITERS that will fit over large boots .
- Waterproof mountaineering GLOVES or wool / fleece mitts /gloves plus waterproof overmitts.
- WARM HAT (that covers ears).
- SUNHAT with wide brim.
- NECK TUBE.
You will need to bring: (Items in blue are available to rent from Yamnuska) Rental Gear
- MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS: You will need proper mountaineering boots designed specifically for this use. Most hiking boots are not suitable not being firm enough, waterproof and not made to take crampons. Mountaineering boots are made from leather or plastic. Leather boots have either a semi-rigid or a rigid sole. Plastic boots have rigid soles. The most important feature of a mountaineering boot is comfort. Different brands seem to suit different feet. If buying, try a few different pairs and if they are not comfortable don’t buy them. There are many good brands including: Asolo, Kayland, Koflach, la Sportiva and Scarpa.
- DAYPACK. Large enough to carry spare clothing, lunch, water and climbing gear.
- SUNGLASSES with good UV protection, we suggest ‘glacier glasses’.
- Extra Strength SUN CREAM.
- LIP CREAM.
- HEADLAMP with fresh batteries.
- WATERBOTTLE (1L minimum).
- POCKET KNIFE.
- BLISTER KIT (‘moleskin’, ‘Second Skin’)
- FIRST-AID Items (band-aids, ibuprofen & Aspirin/Tylenol is enough as guides have a kit also).
- CAMERA and spare film.
- TREKKING POLE (S) (optional).
We supply the following items, but if you have your own, please feel free to bring along –
- ICE AXE. We suggest a general mountaineering axe optimum 70cm length.
- CRAMPONS. Must fit your boots.
- CLIMBING HARNESS.
- CLIMBING HELMET.
- PRUSSICK SLINGS.
- LOCKING & NON-LOCKING CARABINERS
Contact Yamnuska with gear questions
Apply for a space in advance. We will require full payment of $300 CDN plus GST at time of booking, however we will not process this until your space is confirmed on the Thursday or Friday prior to the ascent day. You can also cancel without penalty prior to then.
Detailed booking instructions and conditions.
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 travelers 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 the 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’s trip.
On the scheduled Snow & Ice Long Weekend courses we may have space for extra people to attend the final ascent day only. This is a last minute opportunity that can only be confirmed on the Thursday or Friday before the course.
$275 CDN includes instruction and use of technical equipment. Park fees, meals, accommodation, transport, GST & gratuities not included.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.