Camp Highlights

  • Learn how to attack steep couloirs and technical summits
  • An advanced skills course developed with ACMG guides
  • Stay in the heart of the Rockies at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre
  • Spring course dates maximize chances of favourable conditions

Dates & price

  •  March 23 - 27, 2020
  •  April 6 - 10, 2020
  • $995 + Tax / Person

Learn the Skills Needed to Unlock Glaciated, Steep or Technical Terrain

Are you ready to take the next step in your backcountry skiing career? Sometimes just lapping that great powder field isn't enough and you want to start testing yourself on technical summits or steep couloirs. Like many things in the mountains, increased challenge comes with increased risk. Which is why we've developed a course to teach you the skills needed to progress safely and responsibly.

Based out of Lake Louise, this camp puts you on the doorstep of some of the best ski mountaineering terrain in North America at a time of the year when the snowpack is typically more stable, crevasses have good coverage and the ski quality is at its best. Combine that with accommodation at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre and our highly experienced guides, and the foundations are set for a full week of summits, couloirs and learning. 
 
Come push your winter capabilities further with the ACC this winter!

Camp Objectives
This course aims to teach you core ski mountaineering skills such as: 
  • Use of ski crampons
  • Use of boot crampons and ice axe
  • Rapid transitioning
  • Rapelling and anchor assessment
  • Crevasse rescue techniques
  • Basic rope rescue techniques
  • Roping up for glacier travel 

  • As well as hard skills, there will be opportunity to develop softer skills such as
  • Trip planning
  • Risk assessment and mitigation
  • Navigation and route finding
  • Leadership tactics and decision making

    The focus of this course is on skill development. But we aim to give you first-hand experience on more involved objectives where learning can happen in a realistic environment. These could include:
  • Mt. Hector
  • Cirque Peak (plus couloir)
  • Crowfoot Mountain
  • Crowfoot Couloir
  • Cathedral Mountain
  • Grand Daddy Couloir
  • Many more!

    Our experienced guides will be there to supervise and coach, but this course is meant to get you out and give you the skills you need to be an independent ski mountaineer.
  • Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 
    Day 1
    Meet-up with your guide and group at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre. Introductions, gear checks and a brief companion rescue practice will be followed by an easy day in the backcountry where you can familiarize yourself with the guide and the other participants.

    Day 2, 3 and 4
    Workshops on each of these days will see you tackling local but diverse ski mountaineering objectives.Trip planning will take place the evening before each day with the group then executing each objective in an increasingly independent manner, while always being under the supervision of our experienced guide.

    Evening Workshops
    Short evening sessions are not compulsory but will allow you to debrief your day and plan for your next day based on collaboration with the group and assessment of weather forecasts and avalanche conditions. Your next day’s objectives will be treated as a trip planning workshop: participants are expected to contribute to routefinding, hazard evaluation, and track setting. Our experienced guides will be there to supervise and coach, but this course is meant to get you out and give you the skills you need to be independent.

    Day 5
    A final field day will be followed by a group debrief with your guide. Participants will then pack up and head home.
    Is this Camp For Me?
    Intermediate - Advanced

    As a minimum, you should have an intermediate level of backcountry ski experience, be comfortable with your touring gear, and have already completed the AST-1 course or equivalent (preferably AST-2). You should also have a good level of fitness: some of the bigger objectives will involve an alpine start and a 10+ hour ski day. If you have any questions about your suitability for this course, please contact the National Office before registering.

    Food, Accommodation and Guiding

    Food

    The Lake Louise Alpine Centre has great flexibility for your meals. Either dine in the famous Bill Peyto Cafe - which offers big-portion, hearty, good-value food - or use the self catering kitchen downstairs. Food is not included in this course to allow you the flexibility to do as you please. 

    Accommodation

    The Lake Louise Alpine Centre is part-owned by the ACC and offers the perfect base camp for adventures in and around Lake Louise and up the Icefield Parkway. "Dorm rooms" are comfortable with just four people to a room and typically an en-suit bathroom. The hostel also offers free parking, communal areas with pool tables etc. and a sauna!

    Guiding

    Our highly experienced ski guides have a specialized background in offering instructional and skill development courses. This year we will be reducing the numbers of participants to each full ski guide to a maximum of 6:1 to give you as much time interacting with our guides as possible. If we receive sufficient registrations, this will also mean that the group can split into two based on ability, fitness, ambition or preferred objective. 

    • Our guides were outstanding instructors for this course. They were in teaching mode the entire time, sharing their knowledge and experience non-stop over the 5 days. They are clearly passionate not only about ski mountaineering, but also getting more people to safely engaged in the sport. I would take another course with them any time.
    - 2019 Intro to Ski Mountaineering Participant -

    Adventure Map

    more information

      Email us
       403 678 3200 ext. 213

      Gear list

    Organizing Fantastic ACC Adventures For Over 100 Years

    • 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

    Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

    Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
     
    Cancellation Policy
    We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

    Travel Insurance


    Included WITH YOUR CAMP FEE

    • 5 days instruction by full ACMG ski guides (maximum 6:1 ratio)
    • 4 nights accommodation at Lake Louise Alpine Centre
    • Free copy of the ACC Winter Backcountry Leader Handbook 
    • Group equipment (InReach, emergency equipment, ropes etc.)

    Participants Must Provide

    • Transportation to and from the hostel and field locations
    • Meals (the Bill Peyto cafe in the hostel offers delicious, affordable food) 
    • Personal gear (see gear list)

    Your Guides

    Hamish Sanderson

    Hamish is an ACMG ski guide based just outside of Golden, BC. As well as putting together our Intro to Ski Mountaineering program, Hamish also works at the ACC's annual General Mountaineering Camp as part of the set-up crew and as Camp Manager. 


    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! In 2019, we are excited to announce Doug will be joining us as our on-staff winter guide; the perfect guy to take care of our Intro To, avalanche safety and other ski courses. 


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