Contact us today to create your custom course, tour or expedition!Canada West Mountain School specializes in private, customized training and Guided trips. DescriptionThe emphasis of our Intermediate Mountaineering program is to help participants develop and refine their technical alpine climbing skills. Visit Guides and Instructors Page for complete details and background on each of our Guide Team.ItineraryThe following is a brief possible schedule for the Canada West Mountain School 5-day Intermediate Mountaineering course.
You will receive a comprehensive package after you have registered, detailing all of the critical areas to plan and prepare for. Skills covered: introductions, course objectives, gear review, communication, safety awareness, logistics planning. Skills covered: Application of all relevant skills while climbing a peak with a variety of terrain options. Skills covered: Navigation, map reading, pacing, group management, route finding, hazard awareness. Plan on using the same personal clothing and camping equipment that you would take on an overnight backpacking trip. You will be working each day in and on snow, so it is important to have proper boots suitable for snow travel. Your first goal is to determine what you will be using your boots for after the course, where you will get the most use of them. You will next want to consider the type of "welt" (the lip on the toe and heel of the boot). After you determine the general style of boot, you will need to try a lot of different boots on, and go with the one that has the best fit. For Canada West Mountaineering courses, any boot that accepts crampons and is designed for mountaineering or light mountaineering will be fine. Lastly, please make sure that you spend enough time in the boots to break them in before your course or trip! Canada West Mountain School will supply all specialised technical climbing safety equipment (with the exception of Crampons).


You will need to supply your own personal clothing, boots, crampons and overnight camping gear (see Equipment, above).
Weather conditions in the mountains are constantly changing and are one of the many facets of Alpine climbing that mountaineers need to contend with.
The best way to ensure that weather does not take away from your course is to be well prepared with good quality gear. Our Mountaineering and Alpine-based courses are conducted at a variety of Alpine locations in the Coast Mountains of BC. A typical day on our Mountaineering courses begins with a departure from camp at 0800 and a return to camp around 5 pm. We work extensively with schools, clubs, companies and individuals to arrange everything from 1-day class sessions to International expeditions. You will spend 5 days in a low-ratio group learning and challenging yourself in alpine terrain. Private dates also available, contact us for details on arranging a Custom Intermediate Mountaineering course.
Previous outdoor rock climbing experience and basic rope management skills, should be comfortable top-rope climbing 5.8. Many different variables (such as weather, snow conditions, group experience levels, etc) influence the actual day-to-day schedule and the order in which topics are presented, so the following should be considered a general outline only. Your Base Camp on the Mountaineering courses will often be in an alpine or sub-alpine location and exposed to the weather. Students are asked to supply their own basic slings and cords, as these items may experience wear on each course. If you will use them for a lot of backpacking trips, a boot with a more flexible sole is ideal. A boot that fits well is more important than almost any other factor, as long as it is a decently built boot suitable for the activity. Even many sturdier backpacking boots are fine as long as they are reasonably stiff and can accept a crampon.


All the skills on our mountaineering courses can be taught in virtually any conditions, without compromising the safety or integrity of the course. Specific locations are chosen close to the course date, based on current conditions and weather forecasts. Of course, this will vary due to weather and daily objectives, but plan on 8 hours away from camp each day. This course is for climbers with previous mountaineering background who want to challenge themselves and improve their skills for bigger alpine climbing routes.
Each course will include multiple summit attempts in order to allow participants to apply skills in a real setting.LocationThis course is conducted wholly in an Alpine region to give you the best opportunity to learn and practice Alpine Climbing skills.
Be aware that this is a trade-off for better security while kicking steps and travelling on steeper snow, where a rigid boot performs better. For general snow use, a “strap on” style of crampon is fine and can go onto any boot, regardless of welt. The actual location of the Alpine portion of this course will be decided one week prior to the course start date, as there are many variables that need to be considered, including weather, snow conditions, previous experience of the group, and road conditions. Another very popular crampon system is a “Hybrid strap-on”, that uses a step-in style for the heel and a strap-on style for the toe. Great for climbers looking to increase their technical skills and knowledge through practical experience in an alpine environment. This Hybrid style only requires a heel welt, and is one of the most popular systems for general mountaineering and on our Mountaineering courses. All are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) and each one has a passion for teaching that will inspire you in your climbing pursuits. If you are looking at more technical mountaineering and ice climbing, a boot with a heel and toe welt is a good idea as it will allow a technical “step-in” style of crampon attachment, much simpler and more secure for technical climbing (though these boots are often more rigid and less comfortable for extended walking).



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