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Dreaming of summiting famous mountains like Mt. Baker or Mt. Rainier, but feeling daunted by the challenge and lack of necessary skills? Ignite your alpine aspirations and make your summit dreams reachable! With the Intro to Mountaineering and Advanced Mountaineering courses, you’ll embark on a journey that combines expert instruction, small group size, carefully devised curriculum, and plenty of field application in the iconic locations around Squamish and Whistler. For aspiring mountaineers, the 4-day Intro course provides the essential skills to safely tackle classic alpine routes. Traverse through stunning landscapes, learning rock and snow techniques, and ascending a local peak under expert guidance. For the more daring, the 5-day Advanced course elevates their mountain prowess! From trip planning to technical descents, you’ll take on iconic objectives and refine the alpine knowledge you’ve come with. Unleash your inner adventurer and learn what it takes to reach the summit!

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  • Less is more

    Experience personalized guidance with small group sizes limited to only 4 participants per course

  • Open for all skill levels

    Options for both aspiring and more experienced mountaineers

  • Superb field application

    Master essential alpine skills in the world-famous mountaineering hotspots around Squamish and Whistler

Available itineraries

Intro to Mountaineering

Join this 4-day course for a thrilling beginner-friendly alpine adventure! Learn essential skills to safely tackle classic routes like Mt. Wedge, Baker, or Garibaldi. Your experienced ACMG guide will teach you how to navigate alpine terrain, covering technical rock, steep snow, ice, and glaciers. Gain confidence and mountain awareness as you lead an ascent of a local alpine objective at the end of the course. It's the perfect opportunity to have fun, learn efficiently, and reach the peak of your alpine dreams!

  • The curriculum covers various facets of alpine climbing, including technical rock, steep snow, ice, and glaciers. By the end of the course, participants will gain proficiency in trad gear placement, anchor building, rappelling, belaying, rope systems, basic glacier travel, snow and ice protection, snow and ice anchors, and steep snow climbing. They will also lead an ascent of a local alpine objective, learning to efficiently manage complex alpine terrain while honing their skills in a safe and enjoyable manner.

  • Arrive in Squamish the day before or on the morning of Day 1. After meeting fellow mountaineers and your British Columbia mountaineering guide, do a quick gear check and start the course. The first day focuses on the rock skills where you’ll cover topics like trad gear placement, anchor building, rappelling, belaying, and general rope systems.

  • On the second day, move on to topics like basic glacier travel, snow and ice protection, snow and ice anchors, and steep snow climbing will be covered. Join your guide for the technical snow and ice skills field day and cover everything in practice!

    A mountaineer between a rock wall and an ice wall during a summit in the Tantalus Range.
  • After two days of intensive training, you will put all the skills that you’ve covered to the test and lead an ascent of a local alpine objective under the guidance of your instructor. This overnight experience provides a great opportunity to see how complex alpine terrain can be safely managed while having fun and reaching the summit of a cool peak. Students will lead climbs on alpine routes such as Garibaldi, Sky Pilot, or Wedge, focusing on applying technical systems and developing mountain awareness.

Advanced Mountaineering Course

Whether you seek to refine your alpine skills or take on specific objectives like Rainier or the Tantalus Traverse, we've got you covered. This comprehensive course includes everything from navigation and trip planning to alpine rock, snow, and ice climbing, and technical descents. Based in Squamish, you'll explore stunning locations like the Tantalus Range and Garibaldi during field training and summit objectives. In short, you'll gain invaluable expertise on a 5-day course while surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. Get ready to take your alpine skills to new heights!

  • Participants will gain proficiency in trip planning, navigation, alpine rock, snow, and ice climbing, technical descents, and self-arrest techniques. They will also learn about snow anchors, using ice axes and crampons, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, rock protection, alpine movement, rope usage, emergency response, steep snow climbing, gear preparation, route selection, and improvised descents. This well-rounded course provides the knowledge and expertise needed to confidently tackle challenging alpine terrains and take mountaineering skills to the next level.

  • Arrive in Squamish in the morning/afternoon of Day 1. Upon arrival, you’ll dive straight into trip planning, covering essential topics such as navigation and weather considerations to ensure a safe and successful adventure. Today’s half-day lesson will take place in the afternoon or in the evening (depending on your arrival)

    Mountaineering course takers during a navigation lesson near Squamish, BC.
  • The second day is all about hone in your rock skills. Join your guide for a technical rock skills field day where we’ll focus on trad gear placement, anchor building, multi-pitch climbing, station management, rappelling, and short pitching & simul-climbing techniques.

  • Put your new skills to the test on an alpine rock route like Blackcomb Buttress or Sky Pilot. You’ll gain valuable insights into terrain assessment, smooth transitions, and develop a keen sense of mountain awareness.

    Mountaineers on a technical section during a summit ascent in southern British Columbia.
  • The fourth day is reserved for snow and ice skills. During this field day, your group will delve into glacier travel, snow and ice protection, anchor building, steep snow climbing, and improvised descents, preparing you for the challenges of alpine terrain.

    A mountaineer covering near-vertical snowy terrain in the Tantalus Range, BC.
  • The culmination of your training will be a student-led climb on an alpine route such as Garibaldi, Matier, Dione, or Serratus. This day will test your trip planning abilities, terrain assessment, smooth transitions, and mountain awareness skills.

    A mountaineer moving along a snowy mountain ridge in British Columbia near Squamish and Whistler.
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Meet your guides

Monte Johnston
Monte Johnston
ACMG Ski Guide, ACMG Apprentice Alpine and Rock Guide
ACMG Ski Guide, ACMG Apprentice Alpine and Rock Guide
Monte is a ACMG Ski Guide, ACMG Apprentice Alpine and Rock guide based out of Squamish BC. He’s climbed and skied all over the world but he settled in BC because of the easy access to amazing climbing and skiing.
Black Sheep Adventure Sports
Black Sheep Adventure Sports
Black Sheep Adventure Sports
ACMG Certified Rock, Alpine & Ski Guides
ACMG Certified Rock, Alpine & Ski Guides
Black Sheep Adventures is a team of local ACMG Certified guides and experienced professionals but they’re also a ton of fun and really enjoy what they do! Adventure is personal so you want a guide that will not only help keep you safe, but share the experience and go the extra mile to get you the trip of your dreams. Their range of courses and trips is a great way to get to know people and develop relationships. Once they know someone, they can really work with them to create custom and unique trips that call to their sense of adventure.
5.00 (2 reviews)
Will Somerset (source: Google Reviews)

I have used Black Sheep Adventure Sports for Technical mountaineering courses, guided trips, and rock climbing training. They are always my go to for whenever I am looking into guided trips and I argue they are the best in the business. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for highly trained, fun, and safe guides/instructors.

Ovi Van (source: Google Reviews)

I have done multiple instruction courses and guided trips with BlackSheep Adventure Sports over the past years, and can’t praise Monte’s professionalism and experience as a guide enough. Monte has been my trusted mentor on my journey to become an alpinist. During all the group courses and trips he still paid close attention to my individual development and risk tolerance, and he keeps pushing me to the next level, taking me places I’d never imagine I could go. We are already planning what training and trips we could do next. He also brews a pretty decent alpine coffee, so that’s a plus. 😉

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local ACMG-certified mountaineering guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 4- or 5-day mountaineering course in the Squamish and Whistler areas (depending on the itinerary)
      • Group technical equipment
      • Group safety and emergency equipment
      • Permits

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation (including lift passes and other specialist transportation)
      • Accommodations and meals
      • Travel and medical insurance
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • For both British Columbia mountaineering courses, participants should possess a high level of physical fitness and a passion for outdoor adventures. The specific skills and experience needed, however, vary based on the chosen course.

    In the introductory course, technical skills are not mandatory, but prior climbing and scrambling experience is advantageous. However, some kind of outdoors background with extensive hiking experience is essential. In short, all participants should have enough stamina for potential climbs, while all the technical knowledge and skills will be taught.

    For the advanced mountaineering course, in addition to the aforementioned fitness requirements, some mountaineering experience is required. Participants should also have some training or experience in crevasse rescue.

  • To participate in the intro to mountaineering course in the Squamish and Whistler areas, you don’t need to have any mountaineering experience, but rock climbing and scrambling experience will be beneficial.

    The advanced mountaineering course requires you to have some mountaineering experience, as well as experience/training in crevasse rescue. You should have some basic insights into how to use the technical gear, as well as some basic rock climbing and scrambling skills.

    An outdoors background (hiking and/or backpacking) and very good general level of fitness are required for both courses.

  • Here’s what you need for your mountaineering course in the Squamish and Whistler areas:

    For general equipment, you will need:

      • 45-55 L Backpack
      • Trekking poles
      • Warm single or double boots
      • Sunglasses
      • Sunscreen and lip balm
      • Headlamp and spare batteries
      • Camera (optional)

    For clothing, you will need:

      • Wool and/or synthetic socks
      • Synthetic or wool base layer, top, and bottom
      • Multipurpose climbing pants
      • Waterproof breathable jacket, and pants
      • Light jacket or sweater
      • Warm outer jacket
      • Toque (beanie) – wool or synthetic
      • Brimmed cap
      • Face warmer or buff
      • Light leather gloves
      • Insulated gloves
      • Gaiters (optional)

    For technical mountaineering equipment, you will need:

      • Helmet
      • Harness
      • Belay device
      • Locking carabiner x 4
      • Non-locking carabiner x 3
      • 5m x 7mm Prusik Cord x 1
      • Crampons
      • Ice ax
      • Ice screw

    For personal overnight equipment, you will need:

      • Tent
      • Sleeping bag
      • Sleeping mat
      • Lighter, small stove, and pot
      • Fuel
      • Eating cup and spoon
      • Light camp shoes
      • Reusable lunch bag
      • Water bottle and/or thermos (min. 1L capacity)

    Keep in mind that this is a comprehensive list of all the equipment you may need and that your packing list may differ depending on which course you book. It should also be noted that you will carry your meals during the summit objectives. Most technical equipment can be rented from the guiding service upon request. You’ll get a chance to discuss the equipment list in more detail with your guide prior to the course.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For these group courses, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Mountaineering courses in the Squamish and Whistler areas can be arranged for larger and private groups. Contact us to arrange a custom package with a date that best suits you!

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Squamish, the base for your mountaineering course, most people fly into Vancouver International Airport, which is 1.5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. Depending on whether you’ve booked the introductory or the advanced course, the course will begin in the morning or in the afternoon/evening.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in British Columbia, please refer to the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Travel Information on Canada.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A 20% deposit is due upon booking. Final payments are due sixty (60) calendar days prior to the course start date. Failure to make this final payment by the deadline will result in forfeiture of the trip and deposit. If booking a trip within 60 days of the departure date, full payment is due upon booking.

      • Deposits are non-refundable, but transferable at the discretion of your guiding company as long as the cancellation is made more than sixty (60) days prior to the trip or is initiated by your guiding company.
      • Cancellations to the course made thirty (30) or more days before the trip departure dates are transferable to another trip or course or refundable with 15% admin fee.
      • Cancellations to courses made less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the departure date for any reason are non-refundable and non-transferable.
      • Your guides reserve the right to modify or cancel the course at any time due to unfavorable weather conditions, injury/illness, or other reason without penalty. Clients will be notified as soon as possible and refunded less any sunk costs.
      • If the course extends beyond the scheduled days for any reason these extra days will be charged $570/day, with the cost spread over the members of the group.
    Secure your spot for 2025 with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you can rest assured you’ve booked your dream adventure in time.
    • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you. This can be done by the end of the year.
    • Another 20% needs to be paid by the end of this year.
    • The remaining balance is due 2 months (60 days) prior to departure.
Have more questions? Read our FAQ, or Talk with us
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