There is a distinct educational difference for 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. It will explain how to plan a trip on a glacier, how to identify and avoid crevasses and seracs, as well as how to conduct a crevasse rescue. 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.
Meet at the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office at 08:00am. Coffee and tea will be available. There will be an AM classroom session before heading to a local venue to cover the practical elements of this program. Please note this program is not delivered on glaciated terrain.
8:00am in the classroom
- Group introductions, goals and objectives for the Course, backcountry risks, agenda review, waivers
- Communication devices
- Group shelters & tarps
- Different types, diameter, length of rope
- Dividing the rope and clipping in (Fig 8, locker & non locker)
- Joining 2 ropes together
- Discuss when and why to travel with knots in the rope
- Instructional video in case the snow doesn’t lend itself to demonstrate snow anchors
- Lockers/Non Lockers
- Micro Traxion
- 2 x 5 m cordlette (7mm)
- 1 x short prusik loop (7mm)
- Ice Screw (discuss use for someone that falls in a crevasse)
Attaching equipment to the rope:
- 5 m cordlette (7mm): Classic prusik tied off with a double Fig 8.
- 1 x short prusik loop (7mm) with a karabiner. French prusik & karabiner
- Micro Traxion
12:00 pm head to the field
- Glacier travel & risk management in ascent/descent
- Rope work for glacier travel
- Building and testing of snow anchors
- Crevasse rescue systems (tractor pull / 3 to 1 pulley system)
- Crevasse self-rescue using shorter ropes
Meeting Place & Time
Meet at the Yamnuska Office (200-50 Lincoln Park, Canmore) at 8:00am 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, 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 from 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 afterwards.
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. We would be happy to make arrangements for you.
Food is not supplied. Bring plenty to drink and a lunch plus energy snacks.
Equipment & Clothing
The course fee includes use of ropes and other technical gear although you should bring any crevasse rescue gear you already have (eg. Petzl crevasse rescue kit, rad line)
You need to bring warm outdoor clothing and footwear suitable for standing around in winter conditions. The field element will be delivered close to the vehicles. You do not need to bring any ski equipment.
You need to bring:
- Daypack(large enough for spare clothes, lunch & equipment – all content should fit inside a 30-40L pack)
- Sunglassesand ski goggles
- Thermos flaskand water bottle.
- Sun blockand Lip Cream
We suggest bringing warm clothing of varying thicknesses that can be ‘layered’ to achieve comfort and versatility. The most important consideration for clothing is the ability to regulate temperature as this program is quite static.
- Long underwear top and bottoms (light weight synthetic or wool)
- Warm pants (nylon blend, insulated or fleece)
- 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
- Waterproof ski mountaineering gloves that have some level of dexterity to be able to handle the equipment
- Mitts (optional)
- Sun hat
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.
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.
$130.00 includes instruction and use of technical gear. GST not included
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Is it for you?
Participants will ideally be familiar with basic crevasse rescue techniques (can already tie a prussic and other knots, familiar with general anchor building principles).