Winter Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel
MSAA
Whistler / Squamish

Winter Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel

Crevasse Rescue Training Courses

Summary

  • Cost:
  • $349

Location: Whistler   Duration: 2 Days   Fitness: Good   Ability: Intermediate   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.

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The following dates are available for this course.

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Course Information

This fully comprehensive crevasse rescue course for backcountry skiers & splitboarders features our very own efficient, effective, light and fast crevasse rescue system.

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 Bight; Clove-Hitch; Munter-Hitch; Girth-Hitch; Auto-Block; and Munter-Mule.

Day 1

  • Introductions, safety discussion, harness fitting, sign waivers.
  • Drive to the field location.
  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Glacier Kit and equipment check
  • Lesson 2: Equalized anchor, knots, and rappelling
  • Lesson 3: Ascending the rope – prussic, ratchet, reverse
  • Lesson 4: Situational awareness, review hazards
  • Lesson 5: Glacier travel rope handling & crevasse rescue
  • Lesson 6: Dividing the rope – tying into the rope/triple action carabiner, stowing extra rope
  • Lesson 7: The prussic – tying in, daisy chaining and deploying
  • Lesson 8: Arresting the fall, holding the victim and anchor building
  • Lesson 9: Backing up anchor and approaching the lip
  • Lesson 10: Canadian drop loop system demo – measuring, dropping and clipping the drop loop.
  • Lesson 11: Incorporating a ratchet – different types of ratchets
  • Lesson 12: First raise method, z-pulley raising system, adding advantage.
  • Lesson 13: Reversing the raise & lowering
  • Lunch Break
  • Lesson 14: Crevasse Rescue Scenario
  • Lesson 15: Problem-solving specific scenarios
  • Course Finish: 16:00 +/-

Day 2

  • Review current weather, avalanche forecast & day plan
  • Take lifts up to Blackcomb Glacier (or other location if specified)
  • Lesson 16: Rope up point strategy (map & altimeter) & white out plan
  • Lesson 17: Glacier formation, physiology, terminology and travel including rope handling and taking coils
  • Lesson 18: Safe glacier travel route finding & track setting – crevasse avoidance, serac hazard mitigation, dealing with avalanche terrain, crevasse bridge integrity, and evaluation
  • Lesson 19: Traveling in echelon & belaying across crevasse bridges
  • Lunch Break
  • Lesson 20: Downhill glacier skiing safety strategy
  • Course debrief

Weather conditions are constantly changing in the alpine so be prepared for both cold days, snow and even rain. It is essential that you pack enough clothing to be prepared for any weather conditions. Dress according to the forecast for the course days and pack layers for varying conditions.

We recommend the following:

  • Warm hat and balaclava
  • Warm top and bottom under layers and socks
  • Mid layer fleece top
  • Weatherproof shell jacket & pants
  • 2 pairs of gloves, optional mittens
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Write in the rain book and mechanical pencil (optional)
  • Map, compass, GPS (optional)
  • Crevasse Rescue Kit
    • Harness
    • 1 Auto-block device (Petzl Reverso or Black Diamond ATC Guide)
    • 4 locking carabiners
    • 4 non-locking carabiners
    • 1 x 120cm sling
    • 2 x 5m 7mm prussik
    • 1 x 1.5m 7mm prussik
  • Backcountry Equipment
    • Backpack-25-35 Litres
    • Touring skis / splitboard and skins
    • Ski /snowboard boots
    • Poles
    • Avalanche Safety Kit (Probe, Transceiver, Shovel)
    • Goggles
    • Helmet

We have rental equipment available if needed, but we highly recommend using your own gear so you can get comfortable with it under the guide’s instruction.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Glacier Kit and equipment check
  • Lesson 2: Equalized anchor, knots, and rappelling
  • Lesson 3: Ascending the rope – prussic, ratchet, reverse
  • Lesson 4: Situational awareness, review hazards
  • Lesson 5: Glacier travel rope handling & crevasse rescue
  • Lesson 6: Dividing the rope – tying into the rope/triple action carabiner, stowing extra rope
  • Lesson 7: The prussic – tying in, daisy chaining and deploying
  • Lesson 8: Arresting the fall, holding the victim and anchor building
  • Lesson 9: Backing up anchor and approaching the lip
  • Lesson 10: Canadian drop loop system demo – measuring, dropping and clipping the drop loop.
  • Lesson 11: Incorporating a ratchet – different types of ratchets
  • Lesson 12: First raise method, z-pulley raising system, adding advantage.
  • Lesson 13: Reversing the raise & lowering
  • Lesson 14: Crevasse Rescue Scenario
  • Lesson 15: Problem-solving specific scenarios
  • Lesson 16: Rope up point strategy (map & altimeter) & white out plan
  • Lesson 17: Glacier formation, physiology, terminology and travel including rope handling and taking coils
  • Lesson 18: Safe glacier travel route finding & track setting – crevasse avoidance, serac hazard mitigation, dealing with avalanche terrain, crevasse bridge integrity, and evaluation
  • Lesson 19: Traveling in echelon & belaying across crevasse bridges
  • Lesson 20: Downhill glacier skiing safety strategy

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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 24 hours: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, 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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