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1 Person
2 day
Mountain Skills Academy
  • This fast-paced two-day ski mountaineering course is just what you need to take your backcountry skills to the next level! Master ski mountaineering fundamentals, such as belaying and rappelling, objective selection, and alpine hazard evaluation, with the help of expert ACMG-certified instructors. And when the basics sink in, test your newfound knowledge in British Columbia’s intricate terrain and monumental peaks!

    • Meet your guide at 7:15 am next to the Pemberton Visitor Centre. After a discussion about the weather, avalanche conditions, and the day’s objectives, you’ll undergo an equipment check before heading to the mountain. After a full day of learning ski mountaineering tricks and techniques, end the day with a debrief at approximately 4:30 pm. Learn about creating a ski mountaineering route plan and take part in a discussion on tomorrow’s weather, avalanche forecasts, and mountain conditions.

    • You will once again meet your guide at the Pemberton Visitor Centre at 7:15 am. After another discussion and equipment check, it’s time for a second day in the mountain. Take the chance to practice the skills you’ve learned yesterday before wrapping the tour up at 4:30 pm with a debrief of the day, a course debrief, and a Q&A session. Your guide will leave you with some advice on how to continue your ski mountaineering education.

    • As part of this course, you will cover several crucial topics pertaining to safe and efficient ski mountaineering, such as:

        • Ski mountaineering equipment
        • Belaying and rappelling, anchors
        • Ski mountaineering objectives
        • Glacier travel & alpine hazard evaluation
        • Survival skiing techniques
    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Coast Mountains, British Columbia, please refer to Canada’s COVID-19 travel requirements and British Columbia’s Travel and COVID-19 info website.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

    • What you get in this adventure:

        • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • Two full days of backcountry ski mountaineering lessons and fieldwork

      What’s not included:

    • In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have an advanced level of fitness and backcountry skiing experience. The terrain in Wasatch will be quite steep, ungroomed, and treed. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while hiking uphill for 4000-6000 vertical feet every day.

    • This adventure is best suited for advanced skiers with previous backcountry skiing and riding experience who have already completed their AST Level 1 avalanche course. In order to keep up with your guide’s pace, you should be comfortable hiking uphill for 4000-6000 vertical feet every day and navigating steep, ungroomed, and treed terrain. If you are not experienced in the backcountry, we recommend checking out these beginner-friendly backcountry ski tours in the Canadian Rockies.

    • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

        • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis, or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
        • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
        • Ski crampons — optional and condition-dependent (can be rented)
        • Mountaineering ax (can be rented)
        • Personal prussik — optional
        • Ice screw (22cm) — optional
        • Ski touring rope (50m) — optional
        • Minimal alpine rock rack — optional
        • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
          • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
          • Lightweight snow shovel
          • Avalanche probe
          • Harness
        • Crevasse rescue kit (can be rented):
          • Three locking carabiners and four non-locking carabiners
          • Double length sling
          • Two 5m (7mm) prussiks
          • Auto-block device

      For personal items, we recommend bringing:

        • Helmet
        • Sunglasses or ski goggles
        • Two pairs of gloves
        • Warm hat
        • Balaclava or neck tube — optional
        • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
        • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
        • Down jacket or vest
        • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
        • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
        • Water bottle and 1L of water
        • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
        • Food you can eat on-the-go
        • First aid kit with blister kit
        • Glop stopper — optional
        • Ski scraper
        • Sunscreen
        • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
        • Camera — optional
    • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

        • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel, and probe can be rented from Escape Route
        • Crevasse rescue kit and harness can be rented from your guide.
        • Mountaineering ax can be rented from Escape Route
        • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from Escape Route
        • Splitboards can be rented from Escape Route

      Your guide has partnered with Escape Route to provide you with rentals at a discounted price.
      Ski rental locations are in Whistler and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

    • Group sizes:

        • For the group course, the usual guest-to-guide ratio is 6:1. Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
        • For the private course, the max client to guide ratio is 6:1. Costs per person decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
        • These courses are subject to a minimum number of participants. Your guide will give you a 48-hour notice if the minimum number has not been reached.

      Ski mountaineering group courses in the Coast Mountains can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

        • If you are older than 19, you’re good to go.
        • Eighteen-year-olds and minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

      If your group has skiers under the age of 19, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • To get to the tour in the Coast Mountains, most people fly into Vancouver International Airport 3 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to Pemberton, BC, the starting point of the tour.

      Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, which will usually be near the Pemberton Visitor Centre in Pemberton. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ
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