Intro To Alpine Rock: Banff & Canmore Alberta
Banff / Canmore

Intro To Alpine Rock

Intro Alpine Rock Course Mountains, Backcomb Mountain Canada


  • Cost:
  • 2 people: $550 per person (surcharges may apply)

Location: Banff and Canmore   Duration: 2 Days   Fitness: Average   Ability: Intermediate   Prerequisites: Intro to multi-pitch rock climbing  

This 2 day course introduces you to alpine rock climbing. Combine the skills of rock climbing with the additional challenge of an alpine environment in the Canadian Rockies! Imagine climbing an immaculate ridge with amazing views and exposure, seeing the world below as if you were a soaring eagle.

Make a Booking

The following dates are available for this course.

If you would like different dates, or to book a private course, please contact us.

Book Now

Available Dates

View all dates

Course Information

Alpine rock is a majestic sport, providing the physical and technical challenge of rock climbing and the freedom of being high in the hills.

Imagine climbing an immaculate ridge with amazing views and exposure, seeing the world below as if one were a soaring eagle.

Join MSA in our intro to alpine rock course and experience an alpine high!

Alpine Terrain

Alpine routes are varied in technical difficulty, ranging from scrambling type terrain with little exposure to physically demanding climbs with dizzying exposure.

Approaches and descents are often complex, sometimes involving glacier approaches, navigating high alpine hazards such as rockfall, rappels and finding the right drainage or route.

Our Intro to Alpine Rock course teaches participants the critical skills that are required to climb alpine rock safely and efficiently. The curriculum for this course has been carefully crafted into 21 critical lessons including our ‘Light & Fast’ technique developed by pioneering alpinist and Mountain Guide, Eric Dumerac.

Day One

  • Meet and greet, sign waivers
  • Morning Meeting: Discuss current weather, local conditions, objectives, gear check
  • Drive to field location
  • Topics covered include: climbing in alpine boots, placing trad protection, pitons, natural anchors, rope handling skills and how to move in the alpine rock terrain efficiently
  • Evening Meeting: Route descriptions and topos, navigation, equipment needs and packing
  • End of day. Debrief, discuss following day
  • Assignment: Next days route and trip plan

Day Two

  • Meeting time and place TBA by the guide
  • Morning Meeting: Review homework. Discuss current weather and local conditions, gear check
  • Drive to alpine rock objective
  • Participants will apply skills from day one to safely ascend a challenging alpine rock objective. Guides will coach and direct on all group decisions
  • End of day. Debrief, discus next steps


*During the summer months in the Canadian Rockies weather conditions are constantly changing. Be prepared for both hot or cold days and even rain. There are several rain protected climbing venues we endeavour to utilise but it is essential that you pack enough clothing to be prepared for any weather conditions. So please dress according to the forecast for the course days and pack clothes for varied conditions.

We recommend the following:

  • Head lamp with extra batteries
  • Soft shell type climbing pants
  • Warm top and bottom underlayers and socks
  • Synthetic t-shirt
  • Mid layer fleece
  • Weatherproof shell jacket
  • Down or synthetic insulated “puffy” jacket
  • Warm hat
  • Warm mountain or ice climbing gloves
  • Thinner warmer weather gloves
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Daypack 35-45 L
  • Earplugs for hut/hostel
  • Toiletries including toilet paper
  • Camera
  • We recommend that you bring a hiking pole


If you own some or all of this equipment we highly recommend that you use it as it is best to be familiar with your own equipment. Some gear can be rented from Gear Up Sports & Rentals in Canmore.

The following mountaineering equipment is required:

  • Mountaineering boots
  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Mountaineering Axe
  • Crampons
  • 2 x 60m single ropes
  • Belay device
  • Ice screws
  • Snow Picket
  • 4 locking carabiners
  • 6 non-locking carabiners
  • 2 x 5m x 7mm prussic
  • 1 x 1.5 x 7mm prussic
  • 2 x 120cm slings
  • 6 trad draws (1 x 60cm sling + 2 non-locking carabiners = 1 trad draw)

Your instructor will bring:

  • First aid kit with splint
  • Cell phone / satellite phone
  • Guide’s tarp
  • Programmable Radio
  • Navigation
  • Using traditional climbing equipment and protection
  • Hazard awareness
  • Making anchors
  • Rope handling (i.e., taking in coils, short roping)
  • Alpine belay techniques
  • Assessing terrain
  • Transitioning from easy to more difficult terrain

Share this course

We're flexible!

Request ALternative Dates

Request Alternative Dates

Have particular dates in mind? Let us know! If we have enough requests we'll add them to this course.

Request ALternative Dates

Request a Private Course

We organise private courses and trips. Click here to start filling out the request form.

Request ALternative Dates

Buddy Up!

Share the cost of the guide! Let us know which activity you would like to do and we'll do our best to find you a buddy.

Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase insurance for Trip Cancellation, Emergency Evacuation and Adventure Sports Coverage (some backcountry adventures are excluded from coverage).

Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance

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 your provincial health plan (except ambulance/air ambulance transport). We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance.

Emergency evacuation insurance is 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 prices are quoted in Canadian dollars and are exclusive of a 5% tax (GST). Prices are subject to change. Guide gratuities are not included in fees.

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 Wilderness First Aid courses.

Late Arrival Policy

Guests arriving more than 15 minutes late for an activity forfeit 100% of the tour price. Tours leave promptly; it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to sort out gear and sign waivers.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 48 hours of start time:  Cancellation will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, no rescheduling.
  • More than 48 hours:  $25 rescheduling & refunding fee (per booking).
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.

Send this to friend