The ability to navigate accurately is the most important skill for anyone heading into the mountains. In the Rockies the weather and visibility can change rapidly, making it especially important for hikers and mountain users to be able to navigate effectively even in limited visibility.
This basic 1-day mountain navigation skills course aims to give you an introduction to planning and navigating with the use of a map and compass. This course will provide you with the skills you require to navigate in both summer and winter, with no trails and in all weather conditions. We’ll provide you with enough information to keep it interesting but not too much where it becomes hard to remember. The course will have a classroom element in the morning followed by a practical session in the field in the afternoon. This course can also be taken along with Navigation 2 (Digital trip planning and electronic navigation). We offer a 10% discount when you book both Navigation courses at the same time.
Meet at the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office at 8:30 am. Coffee and tea will be available. There will be a short introduction, a discussion of goals and objectives, and then an explanation of hazards and risks.
Goals and Objectives:
- Basic Route Planning
- Map Scales
- Grid System and Grid References
- Map Symbols
- Contour Lines and basic interpretation
- Use of the compass to take bearings from a map
- Walking on general compass bearings
- Identifying large features on a map and then finding them in the surrounding area
- Handrailing large features
- Macro or large area navigation techniques
- How to re-orientate yourself if you do get lost
12:00 pm head to the field
- Use of the compass to take bearings on the map
- Intersections / Resections
- Walking on general compass bearings
- Navigation course
Meeting Place & Time
Meet at the Yamnuska Office (200-50 Lincoln Park, Canmore) at 8:30 am on the day of the program.
Instructors and Group Size
Your instructors will be ACMG certified guides. Minimum of 4 participants.
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.
Frequent shuttles connect Calgary International Airport and Canmore.
Please note that program venues may be within National Parks and/or Kananaskis Country. For programs where transportation is not provided by Yamnuska/Canadian Rockies Hiking by Yamnuska, guests will be required to purchase their own pass.
National Park passes are available both online at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/admission and in-person at National park gates and some information centres.
Kananaskis Country conservation passes are available online at https://www.alberta.ca/kananaskis-conservation-pass.aspx
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
The course fee includes the use of topo maps.
You need to bring outdoor clothing and footwear suitable for hiking around in all conditions. The field element will be delivered close to the vehicles.
You need to bring:
- Daypack (large enough for spare clothes, lunch & equipment – all content should fit inside a 30-40L pack)
- Thermos and/or water bottle.
- Sunblock and Lip Cream
- Hand Sanitizer
- Compass with adjustable declination and sighting mirror
- Notebook and pencil
We suggest bringing warm clothing of varying thicknesses that can be ‘layered’ to achieve comfort and versatility, depending on the time of year. The most important consideration for clothing is the ability to regulate temperature whilst moving around on this program.
- Long underwear (top and bottoms) Winter only
- Warm pants (nylon blend, insulated, or fleece) Winter only
- Warm shirt (synthetic or wool)
- Medium weight fleece sweater
- Fleece Jacket
- Light insulated jacket or vest
- Waterproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or nylon)
- Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex or nylon, with side zippers)
- Socks – ski socks (wool or synthetic), several sets
- Wool or fleece hat
- Gloves that have some level of dexterity to be able to handle the equipment
- Sun hat
- Face Mask
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.
$165.00 includes instruction and the use of technical gear. GST not included
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Please note you will be required to sign the Yamnuska Release of Liability, and Waiver of Claims prior to commencing the program. Please review the sample waiver prior to booking and call us with any questions.