Winter Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel
Per Person: $325
Private (up to 6 People): $1499
For backcountry skiers & splitboarders to learn efficient, effective, light and fast crevasse rescue systems.
Duration: 2 Days
Prerequisites: Ski touring & knot tying
Learn to be self-sufficient with our Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel course. Backcountry skiers and alpine climbers learn the three all-important skills: rope ascension, crevasse rescue and glacier travel. This is a great next step to start getting into more complex terrain.
Passholders: Please be aware that you are responsible for making your own reservation to access the lifts on course dates. For more information please visit: Whistler Blackcomb or to make a reservation visit: Epic Pass
From experience garnered worldwide and testing many different systems, ours combines the best elements of safety, lightness and ease of use.
An important point that differentiates our course from others is the un-roped victim course component. This includes rappelling and ascending into and out of a crevasse to perform rescue of an un-roped victim – an essential skill considering over 85% of glacier skiing is performed un-roped.
In order to be self-sufficient, backcountry skiers and alpine climbers learn the three all-important components: rope ascension, crevasse rescue and glacier travel.
Practice the following key knots to prepare for the course: Figure 8 on a Bite; Clove-Hitch; Munter-Hitch; Girth-Hitch; Auto-Block; and Munter-Mule.
Lift Ticket: A lift ticket is required for day 2 of this course.**All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if the minimum number has not been reached.
Day 1: Meet at 8:15am at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. The guide will have everyone sign a waiver and give a brief safety briefing along with discussing the day's objectives. This day will take place in the valley, and the guide will take you to an appropriate location to practice rope ascension.
The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a short debrief of the day
Day 2: Meet at 8:15am at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. The guide will start a discussion on the previous day, current conditions and glacier morphology. The group will then head to a local glacier (using the Whistler Blackcomb lift system) for the rest of the day.
The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a course debrief and discussion of next steps for the students.
If you require rentals or need to purchase equipment, we have teamed up with the experts at the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. Follow the link HERE to purchase or rent gear for this course!
- Touring skis or splitboard with skins, poles, and appropriate boots – Day 2 only
- Avalanche safety equipment – shovel, probe and beacon – Day 2 only
- Mountaineering/Ice Axe - Day 2 (optional - necessary for those looking at mountaineering objectives)
A Crevasse rescue kit required* (see complete list below) – both days. Kit can be rented from MSAA
Crevasse Rescue Kit:
- Locking Carabiners x 4
- Non-locking Carabiners x 4
- Sewn Sling 1 x 120cm
- Cordalette’s: 2 x 5m (7mm) for ropes 9mm and up (5mm for ropes 8mm and less, i.e. Petzl Rad Line) if using skinny ropes or Rad line, add 2 locking carabiners, stamped as opposed to round aluminum stock best.
- Cordalette 1 x 1.5m (5mm)
- Ratchet: 1 x Auto-Block Device or Ratcheting pulley (Petzl Reverso, BD ATC Guide, Petzl Micro-traxion (best)). If using micro-traxion, add 1 munter/pearshaped locking carabiner, stamped as opposed to round aluminum stock best.
- Warm clothing (wool/synthetic recommended)
- Warm socks (wool/synthetic recommended)
- Insulating jacket (down or similar)
- Shell jacket (Gore-tex or similar)
- Shell trousers (Gore-tex or similar)
- Warm gloves and shell gloves
- Warm Hat
- Water (approx. 1-2L)
- Hot tea, coffee or hot chocolate in a thermos (optional)
Food and water are not included. Bring lunch, snacks, and plenty of water.
If you do not have your own equipment please contact us to arrange to rent helmets, harness or climbing shoes.
It is beneficial to practice using your own equipment under the supervision of a professional.
- Introduction to Glacier Kit and equipment check
- Situational awareness, review hazards
- Arresting the fall, holding the victim and anchor building
- Crevasse rescue system
- Incorporating a ratchet
- First raise method
- Crevasse Rescue Scenario
- Glacier morphology, physiology, terminology
- Glacier travel, rope handling, route finding & track setting
- Belaying from an anchor over a bridge
- Downhill glacier skiing safety strategy discussion
Click HERE for the full curriculum