Intro to Alpine Rock
ALPINE ROCK CLIMBING, A REVERED SPORT AND A TIMELESS CLIMBING TRADITION.
Summit success on alpine rock routes depends on the safe, well applied and timely management of several specific skill sets, very different from typical rock climbing.
This is the industry's premiere Intro to Alpine Rock course, providing the critical skills required to safely and efficiently climb alpine rock.
Alpine rock often involves easy to moderate, yet complicated approaches, climbing and descents. This can include glacier travel, rappels, tricky route finding and managing many transitions. Unless techniques are otherwise learned, transitions complicate matters as terrain on a typical route involves everything from exposed ridge walking, to scrambling, to both short and full pitch rock climbing, all of it most likely in boots and with a glacier travel approach. As well, the normal mountain hazards are present and need to be mitigated.
The key to alpine rock success is recognizing and managing the above mentioned in a safe, efficient and timely manner. This is what participants will learn from MSAA’s expert ACMG guides and our industry leading curriculum on this 2-day Alpine Rock course.
Day 1: Meet the guide at 8:15am at a predetermined location. The guide will have everyone sign a waiver, before performing a gear check, having a safety discussion and giving a brief overview of the course.
The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a short debrief of the day. The guide will then discuss route descriptions and topos, navigation, gear and packing for the next day. The guide will also assign homework to the students to plan the next day's route and trip plan.
Day 2: Meet the guide at a the Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre. The guide will discuss the weather and conditions with the group and perform a gear check, and discuss the days objective. Student will then take the Whistler Blackcomb Lifts to access the alpine environment
Students will develop and apply alpine rock climbing skills on technical alpine rock terrain. Guides will coach and direct on all group decisions throughout the day.
The day will end at approximately 4:30pm with a course debrief and a discussion of what the next steps will be for 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!
Weather conditions are constantly changing in the Canadian alpine. Be prepared for both hot or cold days and even rain. There are several rain protected climbing venues we endeavour to utilize but it is essential that you pack enough clothing to be prepared for any weather conditions. So please dress according to the forecast for the course days and pack clothes for varying conditions.
We recommend the following:
- Head lamp with extra batteries
- Soft shell type climbing pants
- Insulating top and bottom under-layers and socks
- Synthetic or wool t-shirt
- Mid layer fleece top
- Weatherproof shell jacket
- Down or synthetic insulated “puffy” jacket
- Warm hat and ballcap
- Warm mountain or ice climbing gloves
- Light gloves
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Daypack 35-45 L
- A hiking pole is recommended
- Objective’s map, compass, GPS (optional)
- Mountaineering boots
- Mountaineering axe
- Belay device
- Variations of 1 x 50/60/70 meter single rope or 2 60 meter half ropes depends on objective. (optional)
- Pared down alpine trad rack: alpine draws, hammer/pitons, stoppers/cams (optional)
- Ice screws (optional)
- V-thread hooker (optional)
- Anchor material, knife, quick link (optional)
- Snow Picket (optional)
- 4 locking carabiners
- 4 non-locking carabiners
- 2 x 5m 7mm prussik
- 1 x 1.5m 7mm prussik
- 2 x 120cm slings
- 6 alpine / trad draws (2 non-locking carabiners and 1 60cm sling = 1 draw) (optional)
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.
- Trip Planning: Weather, Conditions, Hazards - mitigation
- Environmental and route condition/changes
- Discussion on approach containing glaciers & snow slopes
- Use of Terrain Belays, Body Belays and Gear Belays in alpine rock terrain
- The Art of Efficient Alpine Transitions
- Alpine rock climbing technique with alpine boots
- Alpine rock route rappelling/lowers
- Choosing an appropriate alpine rock route
- Assignment: Next days route and trip plan
- Approach a moderate alpine rock objective:
The goal of this day is to put into practice the alpine rock skills. We choose terrain will that maximizes skill application and terrain transition management. According to a participants comfort, ability, age, experience and under the supervision and leadership of the guide, participants may lead portions of the ascent.
Click HERE for the full curriculum
The important details:
Season: June – September
Duration: 2 Days (8:30am – 4:30pm)
Max Ratio: 4 Clients to 1 Guide
Prerequisites: Trad and Multi-Pitch Climbing
Price: $439/per person | $1899/private (up to 4ppl)
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