The Alpine Club of Canada

Columbia Icefields Ski Mountaineering

Long days and exciting ascents...

This camp proved to be one of our most popular and successful adventures in 2019 with the team successfully summiting Mount Columbia. So we’ve decided to give those who missed out two more opportunities this spring!

Explore and connect with the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains as you camp out under the stars and have the chance to summit 11,000 foot peaks including Mt. Columbia – the highest point in Alberta and second highest on the Canadian side of the range.

We’ll help you along the way with food, tents, ropes and all necessary group equipment. And our Lead Winter Guide, Doug Latimer, will be on hand again to help you navigate the complex terrain safely with his intimate knowledge of the region and a wealth of experience.

Smartwool supports our Powder Program and we thank them for their assistance.
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JULY: 7TH – 9TH, 2023
AUGUST: 4TH – 6TH, 2023

Price: $800 + TAX

Before registering, please review our Waivers and Liability page.


Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues please try to have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

OR Call: (403)-678-3200 ext 213

Backcountry Skiing Hazards

  • Avalanche
      • Avalanches can occur in the terrain you will be entering. Caused by natural forces, or by people travelling through the terrain  
    What are the risks
      • Anyone caught in a avalanche is at risk of personal injury, death, and or property damage or loss
    Hazard Mitigation
    • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
    • Daily risk assessment processes
    • Guest training
  • Terrain
      • Cornices
      • Crevasses
      • Trees, tree wells, and tree stumps
      • Cliffs
      • Creeks
      • Rocks and Boulders
      • Variable and difficult snow conditions
      • Impact or collision with other persons or objects
      • Encounters with domestic or wild animals
      • Loss of balance or control
      • Becoming lost or separated from the group
      • Slips, trips, and falls
    Hazard Mitigation
    • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
    • Radios and/or other communication devices
  • Boots and Binding systems
    • Even when set up correctly, a ski binding might not release during every fall or may release unexpectedly. The ski boot/binding system is no guarantee that the skier will not be injured. Non-DIN-certified bindings, such as pin/tech bindings, present a higher risk of pre-release and/or injury as they are not designed to the same safety standards as a DIN-certified alpine binding.
    • Unlike alpine ski boot/binding systems, snowboard and some telemark boot/binding systems are not designed or intended to release and will not release under normal circumstances. Using such a system increases the risk of injury and/or death when caught in an avalanche.
  • Communication, rescue, and medical treatment
      • Communication can be difficult and in the event of an accident rescue and treatment may not be available
      • Adverse weather may also delay the arrival of treatment or transportation out of the field,
      • Alpine weather conditions can be extreme and change rapidly without warning making travel by helicopter, snowmobile, snowcat, dangerous
      • If an injury occurs in challenging terrain movement to an evacuation point may be slow
    Hazard Mitigation
    • Your guide is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
    • Emergency response plans
    • Satellite communication tools
  • Other
      • Slips trips and falls indoor or outdoor
      • Infectious disease contracted via direct or indirect contact, including but not limited to influenza or Covid-19
      • Equipment failure
      • Negligence of other persons, including other guests
      • Negligence of the guide Including failure to to take reasonable steps to safeguard or protect you from or warn you of risk, dangers, hazards, oh participating in ACC activities
    Hazard Mitigation
    • Your guide is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
    • Satellite communication tools

This camp will see you exploring the various glaciers which make up the Columbia Icefield.  But you’ll also learn valuable winter camping and survival skills from your guide as you spend five days tenting out in this extreme wilderness environment. 

But we also hope to get you up some cool summits! The ski mountaineering objectives on this camp include: 

  • Snowdome (3456m)
  • Mt. Kitchener (3505m)
  • Mt Castleguard (3090m)
  • Mt. Stutfield (3450m)
  • the Twins (3730m)
  • Mt Columbia (3747m)

Whatever the conditions, you’re guaranteed to have amazing experiences while at the same time developing your skills and backcountry knowledge.

  • Day 1: Meet at 8AM (MST) at the Columbia Icefield Visitor Centre parking lot. Review gear, organize vehicles for carpooling (if necessary) and start skiing. Today, your objective is to ski in to your camp location and set up a basecamp. This camp will be your home for the next five days, so you’ll spend some time with the assistance of the guides making it as comfortable as possible. Your group will discuss possible objectives for the next four days.

    Day 2-3: Attempt a summit! Your group will get up early to take advantage of weather windows and snow stability. If you’re lucky, you may be able to tick off more than one Columbia Icefields summit off of your bucket list. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you may get a chance for some skills practice around camp. The peaks on the icefield are big and committing, and your guides’ first priority is making sure that everybody gets back safely.

    Day 4: Ski out: your group may ski out the Saskatchewan Glacier (and possibly tag Castleguard on the way), or ski back the way that you came: it all depends on your guides’ evaluation of conditions and group fitness. You’ll collect in the parking lot, get rid of all of the group gear, and maybe make plans to meet again next year to tag the summits that got away.

  • Intermediate – Advanced

    This camp is designed for people with good all-round backcountry skiing experience who are looking to explore this very remote area with the benefit of logistical support and the guidance and instruction of an ACMG-certified ski guide. 

    The following are all required for your enjoyment:
    – Strong level of fitness
    – Confident downhill ski abilities in variable snow conditions (powder, icy, crust etc.) on the equivalent of blue (intermediate) runs at the ski hill
    – Familiarity with avalanche transceivers (AST 1 or equivalent minimum, AST 2 or equivalent preferred)
    – Several years of experience ski touring or splitboarding

    If you have any concerns about your suitability for this camp, please contact the office before registering.


All food will be provided on the camp. There will be a mix of lightweight but nutritious backpacking meals and snacks to keep you properly fueled and hydrated for your adventure. Food supplies will be carried in by porter to reduce pack weights and increase the quality and enjoyment of skiing. Our food is provided by specialized backcountry caterers based out of the Bow Valley. Check out our sample menu for full details of catering on ACC Adventures camps and courses.


Accommodation for this camp will be in the form of premium Mountain Hardwear tents provided by the Club. The camp is priced for double tent occupancy. If there is an appetite for private tents, this can be arranged for an additional surcharge. Please contact us upon registration to find out more.


Our Lead Winter Guide, Doug Latimer, will ensure your adventure is both safe and enjoyable. Doug has two decades of guiding experience behind him and received rave reviews from members and camp participants through the 2020/2021 season. The maximum ratio of guides to participants will be 6:1 to ensure participants can travel at a pace which is right for them and have the chance to ask questions.

The ACC hires guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Visit the ACMG website to learn more about what they do!

Gear and Rentals

Don’t have everything on the gear list (found on the right hand side of this webpage)? We recommend heading to Gear Up in Canmore to grab any items you might be missing. To ensure availability of items call ahead to book. ACC members get a 10% discount.


Doug Latimer

Doug has 20+ years of guiding experience behind him as an ACMG ski guide and an ACMG apprentice rock guide. As well as his private guiding he has spent a number of years working for the UoC where he taught a range of instructional programs in avalanche training, crevasse rescue and backcountry ski and ski mountaineering. He also somehow finds time to run a multimedia production company! On top of all that, we are lucky to have Doug as our lead winter guide, where he shares his fantastic enthusiasm and extensive knowledge throughout our winter programs.

Doug Latimer

We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips:


  • 3 days of professional guiding at max 6:1 ratios by certified ACMG alpine guides
  • 2 nights accommodation at the Bow and Peyto Hut
  • All Group Gear


  • Transportation to and from the trailhead
  • Food for your trip (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, and snacks!)
  • Personal gear (see gear list)


  • Local Knowledge – based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers, guides and porters
  • Dedicated resources – full-time office staff, ACMG guides and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit – any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community