Introduction to Mountaineering (A1) Course

Student to Guide Ratio — Maximum 6:1

Thu, Jun 10/21 - Sun, Jun 13/21 (4 days)

1075 / Person
Icefields. Based on min 4 Participants.

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Introduction to Mountaineering teaches the foundational skills of glacier travel, crevasse rescue, navigation and mountaineering for safe travel in the mountains. It is designed for the hiker or scrambler who wants to travel through glaciated terrain to reach summits. No prior experience is necessary for this course. You will learn to move safely across glaciers and scramble snow and rock peaks. This course is typically run on the Wapta Icefield, located north of Lake Louise, Alberta. The Wapta Icefield straddles the Continental Divide and is a world renown destination for mountaineering in all seasons. The summits are more accessible than those near the Columbia Icefield and are perfect for the novice mountaineer to learn on.


Develop the necessary skills to travel safely and enjoyable through glaciated and mountainous terrain.

    • Confident navigating using map, compass, and GPS.
    • Confident with Peak Planning ProcedureTM including data collection and analysis, white out navigation plans, emergency response plans, developing GO/NoGO criteria, time appreciations, decision making during execution and debriefing.
    • Confident identifying hazards in glaciated mountainous terrain.
    • Confident with glacier rope systems for safe travel in crevassed terrain.
    • Comfortable with the crevasse rescue systems in case of a crevasse fall.
    • Comfortable with self arrest and self belay techniques.
    • Comfortable walking and scrambling in crampons.
    • Comfortable using a technical mountaineering tool aka “mountain axe”.
    • Comfortable moving through 3rd and 4th class alpine terrain aka “scrambling”.
    • Comfortable with glacier morphology assist in route selection and hazard avoidance.
    • Comfortable with T-slot snow anchors to be used in conjunction with crevasse rescue systems.
    • Comfortable placing and removing ice screws in alpine terrain to be used in conjunction with crevasse rescue systems.
    • Comfortable building and using v-threads for anchors in glacier ice.
    • Understand terrain belays and the difference between terrain belays and short roping.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course is a prerequisite for Introduction to Alpinism (A2).

What is provided

All the climbing gear you need for this course is included in the course fee except for mountaineering boots. If you need to rent boots, we recommend Gear Up in Canmore, Alberta. We can coordinate pick up for you if needed. Food is included starting with lunch and snacks on the first day and ending with lunch and snacks on the last day. Please make sure to fill out the food preference and food allergy questions when you fill in the medical questionnaire that is part of the waiver so that we can cater to your needs. Visit PeakEATS to check out our food partner and see what tasty and healthy meals our guides will be preparing for you. We do not provide beverages with the food pack out, so please remember to bring your own coffee, tea, and juice crystals for the duration of your course.

Download our guide recommended Gear Lists and Logistics Details. Print out your coursed gear list and use it as a checklist for packing.

20211010-13 PeakSTRATAGEM A1 Intro to Mountaineering Gear List

Click here to complete the waiver, medical information, and food allergies/preferences.

Columbia Icefields 11×17 1-50K

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