ACC Vancouver

Alpine Instructor Course

As a result of collaboration between the Alpine Club of Canada and the Ecole Nationale d’Escalade du Québec (ENEQ) to make UIAA-certified standards for voluntary leaders and instructors in mountain sports available to ACC members across Canada, an Alpine Instructor course will be organized in the Tantalus Range at the end of August 2014.

Alpine Instructor Course Description
The certification is designed for people wishing to teach autonomous alpine activities, at any site where alpine snow, rock and ice climbing routes are available in both summer and winter conditions. This certification is not specific to a particular site; its holder will be able to lead trips at any site, unless specific access permits are required.

Training Organization
The training will be organized at the Jim Haberl Hut in the Tantalus Range, BC. Ten days of technical and pedagogical training will be conducted for teaching skills on alpine, rock, ice or snow terrain.

To be eligible for the Alpine Instructor course, the candidate will need to have passed the UIAA Rock Instructor exam (multi-pitch on placed protections) or the UIAA Ice Instructor Exam.

A two day technical Assessment Entry Exam will be conducted prior to the training in order to assess the technical level and knowledge of the candidates. This entry exam must be passed by the candidates who do not meet the prerequisites.

Certification Privileges
Successful completion of this course certifies the participant for teaching individuals or groups in recreational climbing activities involving autonomous glacier travel, lead climbing on single and multi-pitch routes on alpine rock, snow and ice terrain.

Criteria and required technical level for admission
Age: 18 years
GTE: Have completed the General Theory Exam (GTE). GTEs can be taken online.
Prerequisites: Hold a UIAA Ice or Rock Instructor certification or challenge the Assessment Entry Exam
Have completed a Four Seasons Survival training and a Navigation training or any recognized equivalent. Have completed the Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 with the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC).
Assessment Entry Exam: The Assessment Entry Exam will consist of multi-pitch climbing, belaying, rope and station management, anchor placement on rock, snow and ice, glacier travel, rock and alpine rescue and decision-making.
Experience: At least one season of teaching or leading climbing trips or activities. All candidates are required to fill out the pre-assessment form. This will contribute to the candidate’s better understanding of the requirements. Pre-assessment forms will be available upon request.
Gear: Have your own gear and know how to use it. A recommended gear list will be sent out prior to the course.
Technical level:
The candidate must be able to lead climb efficiently and comfortably on multi-pitch routes:
‣ Up to 5.8 rock while placing gear.
‣ WI 3+ on ice with anchor placement.
The routes must be done on-sight without falling, or pulling or resting on protection.
The candidate will also be judged on ability to belay safely according to the UIAA standards and with different belay systems (ATC, Reverso, GriGri, Hip belay, Improvised belays, etc.).
Additionally, the candidate must demonstrate a good understanding of the skills needed for decision-making on alpine terrain, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, alpine rock and ice climbing techniques and leadership.

Master the following techniques
‣ Belay and top-rope station installation on placed protections, screws, fixed and natural anchors
‣ Fixed line installation
‣ Alpine climbing techniques on rock, snow, ice terrain and glacier travel
‣ Static and dynamic belay management on single and multi-pitch climbs
‣ Single and multi-pitch rappel
‣ Self-rescue systems on single and multi-pitch climbs (counterbalance system)
‣ Crevasse rescue techniques
These techniques must be mastered in order to teach them. Different methods are used for each technique. You must know at least one method per requested technique and execute it according to the minimum UIAA safety standard. For a more detailed listing of the specific techniques, please refer to the pre-assessment form.

Training Assessment
The assessment is based on four criteria:
1. Formative evaluation: the candidate is assessed during the course based on the following abilities
a. Technical abilities
b. Leadership skills
2. Lesson plan: the candidate is assessed on his/her ability to prepare a lesson plan based on assigned topic
3. Theory exam: the candidate is assessed on a theory exam at the end of the training
4. Teaching exam: the candidate is assessed on a teaching lesson he/ she will execute at the end of the training

UIAA certification
This course will be assessed by a representative of the UIAA Training Standards Panel to award the ENEQ Alpine Instructor with the UIAA Training Standards Label. Based on the ENEQ’s recent collaboration with the Russian Mountaineering Federation Alpine Instructor course, which received this label last year, the ENEQ is confident in fully providing a quality course, which surpasses the UIAA requirements.

Validity of certification
Three years, renewable with a three-day re-certification course.

Course duration and schedule
General Theory Course: Online

Entry Exam: Aug 19 to 20, 2014
Price: $240

Training Alpine: Aug 21 to 31, 2014
Price: $1750, includes training, exam, UIAA assessment, helicopter, hut and food prepared by a cook.

The Jim Haberl Hut is a single storey wood frame structure with metal roofing and cladding. There is a large kitchen and sitting room with wonderful views to the north, south and west. There are also two sleeping rooms with bunks for 6 people each.
Cooking: Food will be prepared by a cook to allow participants to focus on the training. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided either at the hut or as lunch boxes.
Heating: A propane heater keeps the hut cozy on cool days.

About the ENEQ
L’École Nationale d’Escalade du Québec (ENEQ) is a volunteer based non-profit organization, which has trained over 2000 candidates with standardized training courses across Canada since 1999. It is an association of teaching volunteers and professionals who wish to provide quality-training courses that ensure a safer practice of all climbing disciplines.
This association has defined its mandate as one of standardizing the present competence level of climbing instructors. This standardization is done by offering rigorously designed and UIAA approved programs in gym, rock, ice and alpine climbing.

More info on the ENEQ at

About the UIAA Training Standards
The UIAA wants to encourage good practice in the training of voluntary mountaineering leaders and instructors. Therefore the UIAA has developed the UIAA Training Standards for its member associations. With the UIAA Training Label, the associations can prove that their training and assessment schemes have been independently examined by a UIAA expert and endorsed by an international panel. This makes it possible for mountaineers from different countries to recognize each other’s qualifications. The Training Standards are managed by the members of the Training Standards Working Group.

More info on the Training Standards at

Benoit Waller 604 837 3784
Ron Whitehead 450 641 0841

Download the brochure