Ice Climbing Super Course: Banff & Canmore Alberta
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Banff / Canmore

Ice Climbing Super Course

Ice Super Course

Summary

  • Cost:
  • $950

Location: Canmore and Banff, Canadian Rockies   Duration: 5 Days   Fitness: Average   Ability: Introductory   Prerequisites: None   Course Code: ICESPRBanCan

This comprehensive course is designed to produce multi-faceted ice climbers.

Ice Climbing Super Course in Banff and Canmore includes three unique components: Intro to Ice, Intro to Mixed Climbing, and Intro to Multi-Pitch Ice.

Participants can expect to leave the course not only fully independent in all aspects of ice climbing, but with a strong foundation that will propel their ice climbing careers.

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The following dates are available for this course.

We will post up more public dates if there is demand, so please let us know what dates work better for you.

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Available Dates

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Course Information

Our exclusive all-encompassing Ice Super Course is unique in the industry and probably unrivalled anywhere in the world.

The course incorporates the following modules:

  • Intro to Ice (2 Days)
  • Intro to Mixed Climbing (1 Day)
  • Intro to Multi-Pitch Ice (2 Days)

This comprehensive course is designed to produce multi-faceted ice climbers. Participants can expect to leave the course not only fully independent in all aspects of ice climbing, but with a strong foundation that will propel their ice climbing careers.

Perfect for those who have never tried climbing but are outdoor enthusiasts, rock climbers looking to get out during the colder months or those who have tried ice climbing once or twice and want to spend a week really getting to know the technical side of things while having an absolutely incredible time doing it!

Day One

  • 09:00 Meet at Rocky Mountain Bagel Co Bow Valley Trail
  • Meet and greet, sign waivers, discuss current weather, local conditions, gear check
  • Drive to field location, this will be determined by the guide on the day based on conditions
  • Lessons 1 – 10
  • Lunch at around noon
  • 16:30 End of day. Debrief, discuss following day
  • Return to Canmore

Day Two

  • Morning Meeting: Discuss current weather, local conditions, gear check
  • Drive to field location
  • Lessons 11 & 12
  • Safety reminder: Current hazards and safety protocols for ice Climbing.Equipment: Adjust crampons, harnesses, helmets and backpack set up
  • Ice climbing warm up
  • Lessons 13 – 20
  • Lunch at around noon
  • 16:30 End of day. Debrief, discus following day
  • Return to Canmore

Day three

  • 07:30 Morning Meeting: Discuss current weather, local conditions, gear check
  • Lesson 21
  • Drive to field location, to be determined by guide based on conditions
  • Lessons 22 – 30
  • Lunch at around noon
  • 16:30 End of day. Debrief, discuss following day
  • Return to Canmore

Day Four

  • 07:30 Morning Meeting: Discuss current weather, local conditions, gear check
  • Drive to field location
  • Lessons 31 – 39
  • Lunch at around noon
  • 16:30 End of day. Debrief, discuss following day
  • Return to Canmore
  • Evening homework: Evaluate next days Weather & CAA Avalanche Forecast. Choose an appropriate ice route using Parks Canada ATES Scale

Day Five

  • Morning Meeting: Homework review, Q & A session, discuss current weather and local conditions, gear check
  • Drive to field location
  • Safety: Review current hazards and safety protocols & situational awareness
  • Climb a Multi-pitch ice route
  • Lessons 40 & 41
  • Lunch at around noon
  • 16:30 End of day. DebriefCourse debrief and next step recommendations
  • Course Closure and return to Canmore

We are happy to help source any rental gear you need for your trip

Clothing

  • Warm top and bottom under layers and socks
  • Mid layer fleece top
  • Weatherproof shell jacket and pants
  • Down or synthetic insulated “puffy” jacket
  • Gaiters
  • Warm hat
  • Balaclava
  • 2 pairs of gloves, optional mittens
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen

Equipment

  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Mountaineering boots
  • 2 technical ice axes
  • Crampons
  • 2 locking carabiners
  • 1 x 120cm sling
  • Autoblock belay device

Equipment – Multi-Pitch

  • 1 Abalacov Hooker
  • 1 small knife
  • 1 x 1m section of 7mm prussic
  • 5 medium ice screws
  • 4 long ice screws
  • 6 quickdraws, 60cm slings, or screamers with non-locking carabiners
  • 2 x 120cm slings

*We will provide all of the multi-pitch equipment for your use, if you own this gear please let us know when you register and bring it along.

If you do not own the equipment we can arrange rental for you for $20 per day.

At this level we strongly recommend purchasing your own harness, helmet, locking carabiner, belay device, sling, ice axe and crampons. If you own any or all of this please let us know when you register and bring it along to the course so we can teach you the correct usage techniques and get you climbing comfortably in your own gear.

If you require gear rental please let us know exactly what equipment you need to rent so we can quote the best possible price for you and ensure availability.

Day One

  • Lesson 1 Equipment: Adjust crampons, harnesses, helmets and backpack set-ups.
  • Lesson 2 Environment: Leave no trace and wildlife discussion.
  • Lesson 3 Onsite safety: Current hazards and safety protocols.
  • Lesson 4 Crampons: Low angle ice cramponing and front pointing techniques.
  • Lesson 5 Ice & tools: Momentum axe swing, proper stance (shoulders square, elbow up & pointing), ideal ice placement (convexities)
  • Lesson 6: Ice movement, stability, stance and balance.
  • Lesson 7 Knots: Knots and tying into the rope.
  • Lesson 8 Belaying, rope management, commands and safety systems for top rope climbing.
  • Lesson 9 MSA 3PX technique – summarized; Three points of contact, safe & stable position, effortless forward movement, economy of movement – straight arm or locked off position, the perfect swing, the perfect kick, dynamic forward motion
  • Lesson 10 Perfecting 3PX technique towards expert technique (staggered ice axes, pacing and resting, advanced dynamic forward motion, steep ice technique)

Day Two

  • Lesson 11 Evaluate Weather & CAA Avalanche Forecast.
  • Lesson 12 Choose an appropriate venue and route – use Parks Canada ATES Scale
  • Lesson 13 Ice screws, protection placement stances, v-threads, bolted anchors, screamer draws, v-thread hooking tool, screw quick clips
  • Lesson 14 Rappelling system: anchor/testing backing up v-threads
  • Lesson 15 Setting up top ropes
  • Lesson 16 How to best rack up and prepare for lead climbing: belayer position, climbing commands, picking a route, guidebooks
  • Lesson 17 Demo lead climb
  • Lesson 18 Mock leads (this is mock leading with the safety of a top rope)
  • Lesson 19 Cleaning ice screws
  • Lesson 20 Actual lead with safety, feedback and fine-tuning

Day three

  • Lesson 21 Equipment: Adjust crampons, harnesses, helmets and backpack set-ups.
  • Lesson 22 Environment: Leave no trace and wildlife discussion.
  • Lesson 23 Onsite safety: Current hazards and safety protocols.
  • Lesson 24 Safety: Current hazards and safety protocols for mixed climbing.
  • Lesson 25 Equipment: Intro to mixed climbing specific equipment.
  • Lesson 26 Mixed grades explained and the guide book
  • Lesson 27 Belaying and special dry tooling considerations.
  • Lesson 28 Introduction to the MSA Mixed Master Dry Tooling technique: tool and crampon placement, movement, free range tool exchange, resting, strategy, tool stowing technique and more.
  • Lesson 29 Dry tooling demo and practice.
  • Lesson 30 Dry tooling practice with quality feedback and fine-tuning.

Day Four

  • Lesson 31 Environment: Leave no trace and wildlife discussion.
  • Lesson 32 Onsite safety: Current hazards, safety protocols and situational awareness.
  • Lesson 33 Equipment: Intro to multi-pitch ice specific equipment.Ice climbing warm up: Practice the MSA iceXpert ice climbing technique.
  • Lesson 34 Rappelling technique with back up prussic/fireman belay.
  • Lesson 35 Ice screw & v-thread anchors.
  • Lesson 36 Multi-pitch demo and practice.
  • Lesson 37 Participants climb a mini multi-pitch climb.
  • Lesson 38 Multi-pitch ice descent
  • Lesson 39 Ice & avalanche conditions assessment

Day Five

  • Lesson 40 Multi-pitch ascent system in action
  • Lesson 41 Multi-pitch descent system in action

Transport to Field Locations

Participants in this course will meet their guide at an agreed time and location, usually a local cafe, in Canmore on the morning of the first day. From there you will be expected to have private transport to get to the course location. If you don’t have private transport we can arrange transport with the guide for $20 per day.

Accommodation in Canmore

Accommodation is not included in the course price however we offer significantly discounted pricing arrangements through a selection of local providers ranging from hostel dorm beds to hotel suites.

If you require accommodation in Canmore for the length of your course please let us know when you register and we can make the arrangements. Often course participants split the cost of a room and are able to enjoy the amenity of a full service hotel at the price of a hostel dorm bed.

Food for Backcountry Field Days

Please make sure you pack plenty of high energy food and snacks as well as fluids to keep you at your best all day long. There are plenty of restaurants and supermarkets in Canmore, and if you completely forget we start the day at a local coffee shop so you’ll be able to grab something for lunch from there. A thermos of tea or coffee is also a great idea.

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Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance upon booking and Emergency Evacuation insurance.

Emergency Evacuation and Medical

This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by National Health.

We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance. Emergency evacuation insurance is also compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All course prices are quoted in Canadian Dollars and are exclusive of a 5% Federal GST. Prices are subject to change.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA through our online payment portal. We also accept Credit Card payment over the phone, bank transfer and cash.

Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.

Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.

Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability. *Does not apply to First Aid and WFR courses.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 24 hours: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, no reschedule.
  • Outside of 24 hours: $25 rescheduling fee per booking or full refund.
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.

Minors (under the age of 18 for our courses based in Alberta and 19 for those based in BC) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where the parents/legal guardian are not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well as must sign a waiver and have their parents or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.


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