Mountain Navigation - Whistler and Squamish
MSAA
Whistler / Squamish

Mountain Navigation

Mountain Navigation Course

Summary

  • Cost:
  • $289

Location: Squamish   Duration: 2 Days   Fitness: Average   Ability: Beginner   Prerequisites: None  

Build your toolkit of mountain skills with our comprehensive 2-day mountain navigation course. In this course, you will learn to recognize changing hazards, navigate with a map and compass, and build a travel and safety plan for diverse alpine terrain regardless of conditions and visibility. This course will also cover whiteout navigation and contingency planning, essential skills for backcountry skiers, mountaineers, and alpine hikers.

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The following dates are available for this course.

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

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Available Dates

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Course Information

This course will cover navigation in diverse alpine terrain, regardless of conditions and visibility. Students will learn to create trip plans that include objectives, conditions, avalanche hazard, mountain hazards, terrain, contingency plans, and full white-out navigation plans.

This course will take place over 2 days. The first day will be partially in the classroom in the morning and will focus on basic navigational concepts. The second day will be partially in the classroom in the morning then outdoors in the afternoon, learning and practicing navigational and trip planning skills in the field.

Each day will run from approximately 9:00am-4:00 pm, to be confirmed in the logistics email sent during the week before the course. Meeting location and any additional details will also be outlined in this email.

  • Laptop computer or tablet
  • Rite in the Rain notebook style #311 and pencil (mechanical preferred)
  • Baseplate compass with sighting mirror and graduation markings (suggested models: Silva Ranger CL, Suunto MCA-D CM IN, Brunton O.S.S.)
  • GPS, if you have one
  • Clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather*
  • Food and drink for the day

Part 1: Map and Compass

  • Getting familiar with your compass
  • Reading topographic maps
  • Making a route plan

 

Part 2: Navigation

  • Taking and following bearings on the map and in the field
  • Navigating with a map and compass in good and poor visibility
  • Triangulation
  • Navigating around obstacles

 

Part 3: Trip Planning and Decision Making

  • Route Planning
  • Ranking hazards
  • Contingency planning
  • Building and following a whiteout navigation plan

 

We may cover additional topics as time permits.

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 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.


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