Rock Rescue Course: Whistler & Squamish BC

Rock Rescue

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  • Cost:
  • $169

Location: Squamish & Whistler  Duration: 1 Day  Fitness: Good  Ability: Intermediate  Prerequisites: Multi-pitch climbing skills  

This is an intensive 1-day rock rescue course, fully comprehensive with 16 lessons.

As a climber, self-rescue skills are essential. The best way to learn these skills is in a safe and controlled environment under the supervision of experienced guides. After taking this course, you will be prepared to execute an efficient rope rescue in varying situations.

Make a Booking

Dates for 2020 courses are not yet available. Call our office at 1-604-938-9242 for more info.

Course Information

This is an intensive rock rescue course, fully comprehensive with 16 lessons.

As a climber, one needs to be self-sufficient in a high angle climbing environment and rope rescue skills are critical. After taking this course participants will be prepared to execute an efficient rope rescue in varying situations.

This 1-day intensive course is designed to meet the needs of climbers wanting to learn high angle rock rescue or to refresh their rock rescue skills with the latest advanced techniques and new style multi-use belay devices, all in a perfect, safe, and controlled environment.

We will learn how to prepare for rescue situations, escape the climbing system, perform raises, lowers, and self-rescue. We will also cover rope ascending techniques, reversing certain belay methods, and safe decision making. We will also discuss the implications of carrying out a rescue in technical terrain.

The rescue system taught is the same used by professional guides.

We also cover all essentials such as equipment, safety protocols, and hazard management. The result is an understanding of the critical gear required and the knowledge to carry out simple rescue procedures in an emergency situation on rock.

Participants will find it useful to know a variety of knots and hitches for this course. Ie Figure 8, Overhand, Munter hitch, Clove hitch, Prussik hitch, Garda Hitch.

*All Courses subject to a minimum number of participants. 48 hour notice will be given if minimum number has not been reached.

Day 1

  • Introduction to Rock Rescue Kit and equipment check
Equalized anchor, knots and rappelling
  • Ascending the rope – prussik, ratchet, reverse
  • Situational awareness, review hazards
  • Dividing the rope – tying into the rope/triple action carabiner, stowing extra rope
  • The prussik – tying in, daisy chaining and deploying
  • Backing up anchor and extend personal anchor
  • Incorporating a ratchet – different types of ratchets
First raise method, z-pulley raising system, adding advantage
  • Reversing the raise & lowering
Rock Rescue Scenario
  • Problem solving specific scenarios


During the summer months weather conditions are constantly changing – be prepared for hot or cold days and rain. Please dress according to the forecast for the course days.

  • Climbing pants or sweatpants
  • T-shirt
  • Mid layer fleece
  • Weatherproof jacket
  • Down or synthetic “puffy” insulated jacket
  • Warm hat and ballcap
  • Light gloves
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Sturdy hiking shoes or boots.
  • 25-35L daypack


If you have any specialized equipment not listed below feel free to bring it along and ask your guide about it. (Ie micro traxion, grigri, pulleys, etc.)

  • Rock shoes
  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Locking carabiner
  • Chalk bag
  • Hiking pole (optional)

Rock Rescue Kit:

  • 5 x Locking Carabiners
  • 4 x Non-locking Carabiners
  • 1 x 120cm Sling
  • 2 x 5m (7mm) Cordelette
  • 1 x 1.5m (7mm) Cordelette or ‘Hollow block’
  • 1 x Auto-Block Device (Petzl Reverso or BD ATC Guide)

Your instructor will also bring;

Guide’s Gear

  • Group first aid kit
  • Cell phone
  • Guide’s Tarp
  • Ropes
  • Anchor materials

Food & Water

  • Please make sure to pack a lunch, snacks, and water for the day.

We take pride in our concise Rock Rescue curriculum.

In this one-day course, you will learn what gear you need on your harness and how to use every piece of equipment in multiple ways.

The exact content of the course will vary depending on group experience, goals and interest. Rock rescue is a very broad topic with endless amounts of hypotheticals and ‘what-ifs’. Below is a sample of what a typical course will cover.


  • Lesson 1 Equipment: Harness, helmet, and other necessary rescue gear
  • Lesson 2 Environment: Leave no trace and wildlife discussion.
  • Lesson 3 Onsite safety: Current hazards and safety protocols.
  • Lesson 4 The Implications of Rescue: Discussion
  • Lesson 5 Equipment: Being prepared for a rescue
  • Lesson 6 Rope Rescue Components: Knots and Hitches
  • Lesson 7 Rock Rescue Demonstration: Steps in Rope Rescue
  • Lesson 8 Blocking the Belay: To free the hands
  • Lesson 9 TransfeRring the Load: From belayer to anchor
  • Lesson 10 Assessing the Situation: Attend the victim?
  • Lesson 11 Raising: Setting up a basic Z pulley haul system
  • Lesson 12 Lowering: Setting up to lower and injured climber
  • Lesson 13 Counterbalance Rappel: How to descend and retrieve an injured climber
  • Lesson 14 Tandem Rappeling: How to rappel with an injured climber
  • Lesson 15 Reversing the Belay: How to reverse a self-locking plate ie Reverso®
  • Lesson 16 Rope Ascending and Descending: Use of different systems

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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.

Learn about training courses at the academy: 

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.

Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA. We also accept bank e-transfers and cash.

• For 1-2 day adventures/courses booking must be paid in full.
• For longer adventures/courses a deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking.
• The remaining balance is due 30 days before the start date.
• Bookings made less than 30 days before adventure/course must be paid in full.

Next day bookings are taken up until 5pm the day before any tour or course. *Subject to guide availability

Full Terms & Conditions

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 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 Tours

  • With less than 48 hours of the tour start time:  Cancellation will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, no rescheduling.
  • With more than 48 hours notice:  We will reschedule or refund with no penalty.
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 of the course date: 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 of the course date: 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 19) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where a parent or legal guardian is not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well, they must sign a waiver and have a parent 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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