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The North Face Leadership Course - Summer 2019

Our flagship program for aspiring Section trip leaders, apply now for the opportunity to receive a week of heavily subsidized leadership training based out of our ever-popular GMC


TNF Leadership Courses

Mountain leadership development is part of The Alpine Club of Canada’s mandate. Hundreds of volunteers give of their time at both the Section and National levels to ensure other ACC members have a safe and enjoyable time in the mountains. Twice annually (winter and summer), The North Face and The Alpine Club of Canada offer a Mountain Leadership Course for activity organizers from all ACC sections, in recognition of the leadership training needs of these tireless and invaluable volunteers. The principle objective of these courses is to empower ACC volunteers by enhancing their ‘soft’ leadership skill sets. Through alpine environments and technical travel, these leadership courses emphasize the ‘human-factor’ in leaders’ decision-making, applicable to ACC activities across Canada.

Teaching Leadership Skills

The focus of this course will be to identify and exercise key leadership skills in a summer mountaineering environment. Through adventure, planning, and practice, the objective is to develop each individual’s capabilities, covering a broad range of leadership skills, with emphasis on the following:

  • Rope handling
  • Route planning, selection and finding
  • Navigation
  • Multi-pitch systems
  • Rescue systems
  • Group dynamics, interaction and management
  • Emergency situation management

Please note the course does not cover basic climbing skills or first aid. Conditions permitting, the majority of the daylight hours will be spent actively in the field, building skills and techniques. In the evenings – after dinner and a bit of relaxation – informal presentations and group discussions of the above topics will be held. Based on skills and experience in previous adventures and trip leadership, it is expected that participants will be able to share contributions to these discussions. Participants should be ready to plan, lead and co-ordinate all aspects of trips in the field. This will be an intensive, thought-provoking course with lots of learning for everybody!

Westfall Glacier GMC

The 2019 Summer Mountain Leadership Course will take place during the 5th week of the 2019 Westfall Glacier GMC, in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. For full information on the camp and logistics click here.


If looking for a place to stay over the course of this Camp, the ACC welcomes all participants to join them at the Clubhouse. We’re located just outside of Canmore with breath taking views of the surrounding mountains and a cozy kitchen and common area. You can reach us most hours at 1 (403) 678-3200.

Level of Difficulty: Active/Aspiring Section Trip Leaders

The focus of the ACC Mountain Leadership Course is to provide training for our active section activity organizers. Applicants need to have organized ACC trips and demonstrated the pertinent skills. Participants should be fit, strong and have confidence in their basic abilities. We can’t stress enough the need for a good level of fitness: participants must be prepared to spend long, consecutive days in the field, travelling through alpine terrain. In the evenings, participant attendance is expected at presentations and group discussions on various leadership topics. For those individuals who live at lower elevations (less than 1,000 m/3,300 ft), we recommend that you arrive in the mountains a few days before the camp to do some hiking or climbing on your own. You will be living at and above 2,120 m/7,000 ft for the week.


  •  Aug 3rd - Aug 10th, 2019
  • $1095 + tax
Apply Now Gear List

Camp Itinerary

  • Aug 3rd: Rendezvous at the GMC meeting area, drive or shuttle to staging area and fly into the General Mountaineering Camp. Meet with the Camp Manager upon arrival for orientation.
  • Aug 4th-9th: Climbing and leadership training at the GMC under the supervision of your instructors.
  • August 10th: After debrief, fly out from the camp.

Gear, Food & Lodging

  • Helicopter transport to and from the GMC basecamp
  • Shared-tent accommodation at the GMC basecamp
  • All meals starting with supper on Day 1 and ending with lunch on Day 8
  • Guiding and instruction throughout the week
  • All group technical gear
  • Transportation to and from the staging area (carpooling will be encouraged)
  • Breakfast and lunch on Day 1
  • Supper and accommodation on Day 8
  • Personal gear (see equipment list)

How to Apply

Application Steps

  1. Completed application form (online). By submitting this form, one copy will automatically be sent to the National Office. This must be done by midnight March 22nd.
  2. Short letters of reference from two climbing partners who can attest to your skills and experience. One must be an ACMG guide, Camp Manager or Section Volunteer Leader. References (including name, relationship, and email address) should send their letters directly to [email protected] These must be received by midnight March 22nd.
  3. Section endorsement – your Section Executive should also send their endorsement of your application directly to [email protected] using this template by midnight March 22nd. The requests for endorsements should be made to all sections by March 16th to allow adequate time for response.

Please ensure that your application is complete, and that your letters of reference have been submitted. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

If you have been selected for one of the spots on the Mountain Leadership Course, you will be notified no later than April 12th, and you must complete and return documents including the ACC’s Model Release and Waiver of Liability form as a condition of registration. Payment for this course will be required at your earliest convenience. This form will be sent out to candidates who have been selected. Participants will not be allowed to attend the course if the completed forms are not received prior to the commencement of camp.

Selection Criteria

This leadership course is designed for those members who already have some climbing experience, and may have taken some related courses. The objective of the Mountain Leadership Course is to provide leadership training for our section activity organizers. It should be emphasized that this course is designed to compliment, not replace, technical or leadership training courses offered at the local level; rather, it is an exceptional opportunity for participants from across the country to share a focused learning program.

The following criteria are used when assessing applications:

  • Applicants must submit a complete application, including all requested references and section endorsement;
  • Applicants must have the appropriate basic technical skills and abilities to participate safely in the course and travel through the terrain under professional ACMG guidance;
  • Applicants should be active, contributing members of the ACC, and express a commitment to organizing section activities once they’ve completed the Mountain Leadership Course.

Within these guidelines, the committee strives to balance participants’ representation of different ACC sections

TNF Leadership Summer Camp Staff