The Alpine Club of Canada

Women & Non-Binary Spring Ski Camp: Castle Mountain

Our Ever-Popular Women's Program Returns to the Rockies for Winter 2023

Our women’s ski program has been a long standing tradition at the ACC; offering an opportunity to explore the Rockies by skis in a way that few get the opportunity to.

In an effort to create more opportunities for gender-oppressed populations, we welcome all non-binary folks to join us on this adventure. Please contact the office if you have any concerns about this course being right for you. The Women & Non-Binary Ski week will be run in the Rockies and at the beautiful Hi Castle Mountain Wilderness. 

This is the perfect base for a week of fantastic skiing with the Icefield Parkway, Little Yoho and Highway 93 South all on the doorstep.

Build your confidence, meet lifelong ski buddies, and have adventures that you’ll be talking about for years to come on our 2023 Women & Non-Binary Ski Camp!

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 is traditionally heavy on instruction with learning topics including:

  • Glacier travel
  • Whiteout navigation
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Routefinding
  • Track setting
  • Snow stability evaluation
  • Terrain management

With this year’s camp being in March, there will be a huge number of potential ski objectives ranging from moderate ski mountaineering ascents (Mt. Whymper, Mt. Field, Crowfoot Mountain), through to steep couloir skiing (Bell Couloir, Crowfoot Couloir) and beautiful classic tours (Surprise Pass, Dolomite Circuit). Finger crossed there’ll be plenty of powder turns too!

  • Day 1: You’ll meet your group and guides at 8am at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre. After making introductions and completing any remaining paper work, you’ll get out for a first day of touring and instruction from your guides.
  • Day 2 & 3: Time to up the ante. Weather permitting your guides will get you up into the nearby alpine, skiing open bowls and spectacular day tours of the region. Your guides will seek to strike the right balance between big mountain days and more skills-based learning sessions. 
  • Day 4: Enjoy a final day in this pristine winter playground before packing up, saying goodbyes and taking some final photos before enjoying the views your drive home.

This camp is designed for women and non-binary individuals with some backcountry skiing experience. You must have a good level of fitness and be comfortable skiing the equivalent of blue/intermediate and black/advanced ski runs at downhill ski areas in variable conditions (powder, crust, icy etc.) We require participants to have a good level of fitness and familiarity with touring equipment and avalanche transceivers. Additionally, you must be able to ski in deep powder with a 13-17kg (30-40lb) pack for several hours. Participants will be expected to share in carrying group gear and their own lunch while on the camp. 

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


With a communal kitchen on site, food will not be provided.


Accommodation for this camp is in the form of comfortable women’s dorms at the Castle Mountain Wilderness Hostel. Communal bathrooms are available on site as well as a sauna and a homely lounge to relax, read or try your hand at pool.  


In keeping with the nature of the camp, our highly experienced ACMG certified guides are all women! They will ensure your adventure is both safe and enjoyable as well as being open to answering questions about the region as well as everything from ski technique to gear.

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 your might be missing. To ensure availability of items call ahead to book. ACC members get a 10% discount.


“Thanks for helping me to reach such a stunning location. What I really enjoyed was picking up little bits of knowledge to do this kind of thing on my own. And the hut itself was everything I expected and more!”

“It was an introductory adventure, reasonably priced and went to a spectacular hut. I can understand why it was a hit!”



Erica has been working as a guide since 2005 and became Canada’s 11th Female IFMGA Mountain Guide in 2018. Born in the UK, she spent much of her childhood in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. She moved to Canada with her family in 1998 and fell in love with the mountains of Western Canada. Erica began her ski career as a Ski Patroller at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Wanting to share her passion for the mountains with other people led her to a career in guiding. These days Erica splits her time between guiding, playing in the mountains with friends, and hanging out with her daughter Grace. Erica has worked for a number of different guiding operations throughout the ranges of Western Canada. She loves guiding because she gets to spend time in beautiful places but also because of the people she meets and the experiences she gets to share with them.

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