There is a distinct educational difference between crevasse rescue for ski mountaineering versus summer mountaineering and even if you have taken a course before, this is a must-have course to safely and efficiently speed up the process for when you may need to use it.
This one-day course is designed specifically to teach skiers and snowboarders how to perform glacier crevasse rescue in a winter travel context. We will look at the tools that are available on the market today to make you an efficient rescue partner when travelling in the backcountry. We will emphasize learning and practicing rescue techniques where you will understand what to do if one of your party does fall into a crevasse, how to secure the rest of the group, set up a belay using your skis or snowboard, and the different systems for pulling someone out.
This is a classroom and field-based program. We will not be on glaciated terrain for this course.
Meeting at 08:00 am at the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office in Canmore. Coffee and tea are available. There will be a morning session in the classroom and on our practice, anchor boards utilizing the rescue systems.
8:00 am: Meet in the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures classroom
Introductions, goals, and objectives of the course, agenda, hazards and risks, and waivers.
Much of the discussion to start with will be theoretical scenarios. The what-if factor. Our approach is to teach you the base skills of rescue so that they can be built upon and advanced as your experience increases. We will have an in-depth gear discussion, roped systems for travelling on the glacier, dual ropes VS single ropes, skiing / riding with harnesses. How to protect yourself from falling into a crevasse, approaching crevasses for rescue.
We will be teaching systems to deal with an unroped fall in a crevasse. Anchoring and building a zed pulley rescue system for extraction from a crevasse.
12:00 pm: Lunch
12:30 pm: Regroup at designated practice site (a short drive from the office)
- Practice Ice and snow anchors
- Practice rescue systems and scenarios
4:00 pm: Return to Yamnuska office, debrief and equipment de-issue
5:00 pm: Course ends
Meeting Place & Time
Meet at the Yamnuska Office (200-50 Lincoln Park, Canmore) at 8:00 am on the day of the program. Please be dressed for the outdoors and have your gear handy so the instructors can check it with you.
Instructors and Group Size
Your instructors will be ACMG certified guides. There will be a maximum of 8 participants per instructor, and a minimum of 5.
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.
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
Yamnuska will supply ropes and technical gear for the program. If you have your own personal gear please bring it as it is best to practice with. If you bring your own gear we recommend that it is marked with colour tape for easy identification. Please note that ski equipment is NOT required.
The afternoon is spent at a practice site so you will need warm clothing that is suitable for the weather that day. We recommend at least two pairs of gloves with good dexterity. Winter boots for walking in snow are suitable. Check the weather prior to the program and dress accordingly for the afternoon.
You will need to bring:
- Daypack (35 litres or greater so as to fit spare clothes, water and gear.)
- Sunglasses ( we will be in snow)
- Water Bottle or Thermos
- Lunch for the day
- Notebook and pencil/ pen
- Camera (optional but great for taking pictures of the system)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Face Mask
We can supply the following gear but if you have your own please bring it along.
- Rope: 30 meters in length minimum. We will be teaching systems that use 8mm to 6mm ropes but larger diameter ropes are fine.
- Harness: Sit Harness
- Locking carabiners (Minimum of 3)
- Non-locking Carabiners (minimum of 2)
- Sewn slings 120 cm or larger tape sling
- Prussik cord (Cordelette) (5mm to 7mm X five meters in length) X 2
- Prussik loop (or Hollow block loop) 1.5 meters in length X 1
- Petzl Micro traxion® or Petzl Mini traxion®
- Climbing rescue pulley
- Petzl Tibloc®
- Ice screw
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.
$175.00 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.
Is it for you?
This is a course for those who are already familiar with roped glacier travel, knots and basic crevasse rescue techniques. Prerequisites include tying figure eight on a bight, clove hitch, prussik hitch, and general anchor building principles. The program primarily focuses on extracting un-roped skiers and splitboarders from crevasses using best practice methods.