Women’s Climbing Camp 2017

Dates & Price

  • Adventure Dates: June 24 - 28, 2017
  • Adventure Rates: $1,350 + applicable tax
  • Information Package: Download Info Pack
Marmot sponsors the ACC’s Women’s Program, providing funding to make this camp accessible to as many women as possible. Marmot’s values and those of the ACC coincide, particularly on the issue of developing the skills of female mountaineers. Marmot has supported our Women’s Program since its inception and we thank them for their assistance.


A unique opportunity to climb and build skills in an all-woman setting

Let’s face it – there are certain undeniable differences between men and women that effect how we operate in a backcountry setting. Mixed groups of men and women are awesome, but there should also be opportunities for women to get out with just other women.


Designed and offered for women exclusively, this unique climbing camp provides an opportunity for women to work on summer leading skills and gain valuable mountaineering experience in the beautiful Columbia Icefield area. The instructional sessions will introduce all of the mountaineering skills that will be needed for our days in the mountains.

sonjafindlater12This year’s camp will be based out of the HI-Beauty Creek Wilderness Hostel, just a short distance from the world renowned glaciers and high peaks of this popular area. This area will allow for a variety of mountaineering efforts and will be the ideal place to hone the mountaineering skills of a fabulous group of women.

Daily activities will be organized and supervised by a female ACMG guide, and participants will be given the opportunity to plan daily trips, and to lead in the field according to their abilities. Participants will be encouraged to be a part of the decision making to build skills and enhance the learning experience.


Camp Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Meet group at 9am at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. Intro to snow, ice and glacier travel techniques.
  • Days 2-5 – Potential objectives include: Climb Mt Athabasca, A2 mountain, work on rock climbing techniques at local cragging area, technical alpine rock scrambling and others.

Our climbing days will be tailored to the skills and personal objectives of the group. Instructional sessions may include: crevasse rescue, rope ascending, rock anchors, ice anchors, movement skills with ice axe & crampons, self arrests, route finding on glaciers, ice climbing and alpine belay techniques.

Gear, Food, Lodging


  • Certified guiding throughout the camp. The camp will be lead by female ACMG certified guides
  • Hostel accommodation at the camp at HI-Beauty Creek  (4nights, June 24,25,26,27)
  • All meals starting with lunch on Day 1, ending with lunch on Day 5
  • All group gear

Participants must provide:

  • Transportation to/from the Columbia Icefield and to trailheads throughout the week. Carpooling is encouraged
  • Breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 5
  • Accommodation on Day 5
  • National Park Vehicle Gate Pass (FREE for 2017 from any Parks Gate or Parks Info Centre)
  • Personal Gear (see equipment list in Info Pack)

Level of Difficulty

This camp is designed for women with some mountaineering experience.  You must have a good level of fitness carry a 16 – 18kg (35 – 40lb) pack for several hours.

From past Camp participants

sonjafindlater16“We had a wonderful time on this trip, it was a fantastic location and the company and leadership were outstanding’

– Past Marmot Women’s Climbing Camp Participant

“The knowledge from the 2 guides and the camp manager was beyond my expectations. They were fun, knowledgeable women who motivate and inspire me”

– Past Marmot Women’s Climbing Camp Participant

Marmot Women's Climbing Camp 2015 Guides

  • Kirsten Knechtel pic

    Kirsten Knechtel

    Kirsten was raised in Banff, AB where her passion for the mountains and mountain adventure began. Kirsten’s family were outdoor enthusiasts and by the age of 6 she began ski racing, age 10 ski touring, and by age 14 she had climbed many classic alpine routes in the Canadian Rockies. Her career as a guide was a natural step. By age 25 she was a fully certified mountain guide.

    Kirsten has a variety of guiding experience behind her. She has worked as a manager of a catskiing operation and guided many heliskiing, catskiing and private ski touring trips. In the summer she has worked with the British military training, run her own private guiding business and spent well over 10 years working at the Alpine Club’s General Mountaineering Camp, Marmot Women’s camps and other ACC programs.

    “I really enjoy sharing my love of these wild mountain places and through teamwork and adventure giving people an amazing and unforgettable trip.”

  • SarahHueniken

    Sarah Hueniken

    Ever since I was 15, I understood what being challenged in the outdoors could offer me, and I sought this path to where I am today, where I am able to live it and share it daily.  Currently I live in Canmore, Alberta and guide year round in the surrounding mountains. Ice and mixed climbing fill my winters and rock and alpine adventures compose the summer months. The majority of my work is private guiding, but I also run women-specific rock, ice and alpine camps every year with the emphasis on building the confidence and judgment required to be out front.

    Visit Sarah’s website

  • Sonja Findlater

    Sonja Findlater

    As a farm girl growing up near Red Deer, Alberta, Sonja spent countless hours spellbound by the Rocky Mountains on the western horizon. She still resides in Red Deer, though sometimes feels that she lives in her car as she drives to and from the mountains for as many skiing and climbing days as she can pack into her schedule! Sonja’s love for the mountains, her strong organizational skills, and abundant energy serve her well as a camp manager. Sonja manages alpine climbing, ice climbing and backcountry skiing camps for ACMG guides, the Central Alberta Section, and the National ACC.