Introduction to Ski Mountaineering

Introduction to Ski Mountaineering! Learn the skills you need to unlock glaciated, steep, or technical terrain.

Are you ready to take the next step in your backcountry skiing career? This course introduces the fundamentals of glacier travel, trip planning, and group travel techniques. Based out of the Lake Louise Alpine Centre in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, you will be able to access a wide range of lines on the Icefields Parkway with possible objectives including Mt. Hector, Cirque Peak (plus couloir), and Crowfoot Mountain.

Skiing objectives will be chosen in collaboration with the group, depending on weather and avalanche conditions. Evening sessions will depend on learning objectives and energy levels, but may include trip planning, crevasse rescue basics, avalanche hazard evaluation and mitigation, and leadership tactics. 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. The experienced guide 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.

Level of Difficulty

You should have an intermediate level of backcountry ski experience, be comfortable with your touring gear, and have already completed the AST-1 course. 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.


  • April 2-6, 2018

  • $1,295 + Tax / Person
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Camp Itinerary

  • April 2nd: Morning 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.
  • April 3rd - 5th: 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.
  • April 6th: A final field day will be followed by a group debrief with your guide. Participants will then pack up and head home. 
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, travel conditions and other factors.

Gear, Food & Lodging

  • Instruction throughout the course
  • Pre-trip gear and planning advice
  • ACC course materials
  • Accommodation
  • Daily transportation to/from the trailhead (participants will be expected to use their own vehicles and carpool)
  • All meals
  • Personal gear (see equipment list in Info Pack)

Introduction to Ski Mountaineering Staff

- Our guide for the week is confirmed! We are very pleased to welcome Hamish Sanderson on board. Hamish is a fully certified ACMG ski guide.