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Title image - Build your mountaineering skills with BAI

Mountain School – Expedition Training Program

This course is specifically designed for those who want to participate in or lead an expedition. The goal is to develop skills to be able to handle the challenges of alpine terrain and learn to be aware of mountains hazards. The participants will camp throughout the eight days, changing campsites on regular basis. They should finish the course with a good knowledge of glacier travel, route-finding, and techniques for summit approach and climbing. Due to the advantages of helicopter access we will be able to go directly to a more remote area and have a better use of our time in the mountains.

Course Skill Goals:

Climbing on Glacier
  • Self-arrest techniques
  • Crampon technique
  • Rope / belay techniques
  • Rappelling
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Glacier travel
  • Route-finding
  • Acclimatization and physical self-awareness
  • Mountain decision-making
  • Snow camping
  • Expedition meal planning
  • Packing and load-carrying
  • Stove use and wilderness kitchen skills

Course Objectives:

  • Develop expedition travel and climbing skills.
  • Develop confidence with load carrying, moving camps in mountains
  • Cover all technical snow climbing skills necessary for climbing a major peak.
  • Learn wilderness and glacier navigation skills
  • Learn about climbing at high altitudes and proper acclimatization processes.

Course Itinerary:

Practising Crevasse Rescue

Day 1 – Check out of hotel. Meet at BAI office in Canmore at 7:30 AM for gear check and briefing. Travel to Golden, British Columbia, arrive at Heliport by 11:00 AM, helicopter briefing, fly to the Selkirk Mountains (weather permitting). After setting-up camp we will go for a hike and we will practice rope handling, knot tying and other related subjects. Begin snow school if time permits.

Day 2 – SNOW SCHOOL: Students will learn walking techniques on snow, proper use of ice axe, self-arrest techniques, snow anchors, snow climb in rope team and other related subjects. Evening lecture will discuss day’s course and explain wilderness navegation.

Day 3 – CREVASSE RESCUE: Basic crevasse rescue and glacier travel techniques. . Instruction will include basic ice climbing techniques, prussiking, pulley systems and placing rescue anchors on snow and ice.

Day 4 – GLACIER TRAVEL: We will have a chance to review the skills we have learned climbing on a rope team and practice some ice climbing.

Day 5 – SUMMIT ATTEMPT: We will have 2 full days to summit a few of the surrounding peaks. It will be a chance to apply the skills that you have been taught during the course. These summits days will be long and very demanding; some may require an alpine start.

Day 6 – Last day on the glacier, morning open to participants needs. Review the week and break camp, possibly climb a small summit. Weather permitting fly out by 12:00. Back to Canmore by approximately 4:00 PM.