Mountain Navigation - Whistler and Squamish
MSAA
Whistler / Squamish

Mountain Navigation

Mountain Navigation Course

Summary

  • Cost:
  • $282

Location: Whistler or Squamish   Duration: 2 Days   Fitness: Good   Ability: Intermediate   Prerequisites: None  

Our Mountain Navigation course will give you the skills to navigate diverse alpine terrain regardless of conditions and weather.

Become highly proficient using Topographical Maps, Compass, additional on-line tools such as Google Earth, blogs/conditions reports, Guidebooks and GPS.

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Course Information

Our Mountain Navigation course will give you the skills to navigate diverse alpine terrain regardless of conditions and weather.

Become highly proficient using Topographical Maps, Compass, additional on-line tools such as Google Earth, blogs/conditions reports, Guidebooks and GPS.

Students will practice the learned skill sets and methodology to create a next day safety travel plan that includes objectives, weather, conditions, avalanche hazard, mountain hazards, terrain and full white-out navigation plan. In addition, you will be performing complex outdoor navigation exercises such as tracking a bearing, circumnavigating a hazard and getting back on bearing.

This course runs immediately after our one day Mountain Weather Course. We strongly recommend taking these two courses together.

*Day 1

  • 09:00 – 16:00 Meet at TBD in logistics email
  •  Morning Meeting: Coffee or tea, review local weather, conditions and avalanche forecast
  • Topographical Map & Compass Tutorial
  • Trip Planning Tutorial
  • See Curriculum Tab for full curriculum overview

*Day 2

  • 09:00 – 16:00 Meet at TBD in logistics email
  • Morning Meeting: Coffee or tea, review local weather and avalanche forecast
  • Introducing the GPS
  •  Navigation: Drive to local area for navigation skills
  • Navigation exercises
  • See Curriculum Tab for full curriculum overview
  • i.e res-sect position, taking a bearing from map or route plan, following a bearing, bearing correction and more
  •  Navigate to assignment route plan location using map and compass
  •  Navigation obstacle course and exercises
  •  Circumnavigating around obstacles and getting back on bearing
  •  Warning bearings and aiming off, navigation with and without references tips and more
  •  Problem solving, review, resolve and practice any misunderstood skill
  • Course Closure

*Disclaimer:  Mountain weather and conditions are unpredictable as are participant abilities and getting to field course venues. For these reasons, our instructors reserve the right to alter, remove or delay lessons that are judged impractical due to weather, conditions, participant ability or timing.

We are happy to help source any rental gear that you need for your course.

Day 1

Classroom Equipment

Please note we may go outside so please dress for the conditions

  • Rite in the Rain notebook style # 311 and mechanical pencil
  • Laptop computer
  • Baseplate compass with sighting mirror and graduation markings (suggested brands: Silva Ranger CL, Suunto MCA-D CM or MCA-D IN, Brunton O.S.S. models)
  • Map: Backcountry Whistler 1:50,000 and or Squamish 1:50,000 TBD in logistics email

Clothing:

  • Dress for the forecast as some of the lessons are held outdoors.

Day 2

Field Day Equipment

  • Rite in the Rain notebook style # 311 and mechanical pencil
  • Baseplate compass with sighting mirror, graduation markings and adjustable declination (suggested brands: Silva Ranger CL, Suunto MCA-D CM or MCA-D IN, Brunton O.S.S. models)
  • Map: Backcountry Whistler and or Squamish 1:50,000 TBD
  • Backpack-25-35 Litres
  • Approach shoes, Touring skis / splitboard and skins or Snowshoes. This is dependent on conditions TBD
  • Poles
  • Avalanche Safety Kit (probe, transceiver, shovel) – conditions dependent TBD
  • Goggles – TBD
  • First Aid Kit with blister kit
  • Glop stopper
  • GPS (optional but recommended)
  • Be prepared to be outdoors all day
  • Weatherproof shell jacket and pants
  • Warm hat, balaclava
  • 2 pairs of gloves, optional mittens
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen

Food and Water

Be sure to have a packed lunch for the field session as well as snacks and fluids. For the classroom day there are several fast food options close by or bring along a packed lunch.

Curriculum

*Day 1

  • Understanding the topographical map, calculating declination, UTM grid and more
  •   Introducing the Compass
  •   Map & Compass use – the UTM grid reference & plotting a course: basic trip plan
  •   Terrain to Map referencing and Resection (triangulation)
  •  Estimating: (D&T) Distance & Time estimation/measurement. Travel Time estimation/measurement by foot, ski and climbing in various terrain, conditions and weather
  •  Recognizing mountain hazard from topographical map & route plan considerations
  •  Map & Compass exercises, resecting position, finding point position, plotting a bearing from the map to field and vice versa
  •  Topographic terrain hazards and cruxes – cliffs, gorges, steep slopes, scree slopes, avalanche slopes, moraines, alder slopes, undulating terrain with difficult elevation gain/loss, high elevation, and river crossings
  •  Bringing it all together. Mountain Objective: Weather & Avalanche forecast + Mountain Hazards + Topo Map = Creating a Route Plan – This at a full whiteout plan standard (highest standard).
  •   Exercise: Complete a Route plan utilizing the topographical map, weather & navigation curriculum
  •   Exercise: Complete a Whiteout Navigation plan utilizing the Mountain Weather & Navigation curriculum
  •  Whiteout Navigation Plan and Route Plan assignment

*Day 2

  • Morning Meeting: Coffee or tea, review local weather and avalanche forecast
  • Introducing the GPS
  •  Navigation: Drive to local area for navigation skills –
  • Navigation exercises: i.e resect position, taking a bearing from map or route plan, following a bearing, bearing correction and more
  •  Navigate to assignment route plan location using map and compass
  •  Navigation obstacle course and exercises
  •  Circumnavigating around obstacles and getting back on bearing
  •  Warning bearings and aiming off, navigation with and without references tips and more
  •  Problem solving, review, resolve and practice any misunderstood skill
  • Course Closure

*Disclaimer:  Mountain weather, mountain conditions, participant abilities and delays getting to field course venues are unpredictable. For these reasons, our instructors reserve the right to alter, remove or delay lessons that are judged impractical or hazardous due to weather, conditions, participant ability or timing.

Participants will receive a logistics email prior to trip start date with all requisite course information.

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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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