ACC Vancouver

Club Courses

Our courses are intended to present those with little or no mountaineering experience a foundation sufficient to enable them to participate in club trips. Mountaineering is a skill that takes years to become really experienced at, and our goal for these courses is to simply make you comfortable and confident enough with the basic skills that you can go out, practice, reinforce them and continue to learn from others on the various trips and camps the club puts on.

We run a variety of courses through out the year as listed below:

Read on for a more detailed description of each. Signup’s are via the calendar and a small application form, usually available one month or more prior to the course date.


Introduction to Rock Climbing 

This is a 2 day course intended to give participants an introduction to rock climbing. The goal is to provide a learning environment where people can learn the basic elements of outdoor rock climbing safely.


Building Top-Rope Anchors

This is a 2 day course intended to teach club members:
(a) how to build anchors for top roping, and (b) how to rappel safely.

The course objective it is give participants a chance to learn the different types of anchor setups, and to practice building them while in a controlled setting. The evaluation of anchors with respect to security criteria is an important part of the course.


Sport Climbing

A 2 day course intended to introduce club members to single- pitch sport climbing, i.e. leading on on bolted routes.

Participants will learn how to use quickdraws to protect themselves on lead on a bolted route and how to setup and dismantel anchors when sport climbing. The first day will be instruction and climbing, and the second day mostly supervised climbing.


Trad Climbing

Once you have a year of experience with outdoor climbing you should be ready to start learning to place traditional climbing protection using mechanical camping devices and aluminum chockstones.

This 2 course introduces participants to lead climbing using gear for protection. The emphasis of the weekend is on placing gear (camming devices, nuts, etc.) and evaluating placements.

Participants will be have the opportunity to practice gear placements on mock leads as well as have their placements evaluated by the instructors and other members of the group.


Basic Mountaineering Course

A 4 day course over 2 weekends that is intended to introduce new club members to modern mountaineering techniques.

Participants will learn how the basics of mountaineering, including various techniques that will enable you to travel safely and with confidence in the mountains.

Typical format of the course:

1 night of Dry School
2 Days on Mount Seymour learning fundamentals
2 Days in Joffre/Matier area practicing fundamentals


Course Dates and Prerequisites

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing (IBS):
– Typically runs: Early February (posted December-Early January)
– Length: One weekend (Friday evening – Sunday)
– Prerequisites: Ability to ride blue runs safely under all conditions on the setup you are bringing to the course.
– Notes: This course is not a substitute for proper avalanche training such as AST 1.

Ski Touring and Glacier Travel (STGT):
– Typically runs: Late February, March (posted December-Early January)
– Length: Weeknight gym session and two weekends (Saturday & Sunday)
– Prerequisites: Ability to ski black diamond runs in any condition with a heavy pack, at least 10 backcountry ski days and 1 overnight backpacking trip, mountaineering experience, and recent crevasse rescue training/practice.
– Notes: Applicants must fill out course application form on calendar listing. Participants are required to purchase and read the book “Backcountry Skiing Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering” by Volken, Schell, and Wheeler (ISBN: 978-1-59485-038-7).

Top-Rope Anchor Building and Rappelling:
– Typically runs: Third weekend before May long weekend (posted in March)
– Length: One weekend (Saturday & Sunday)
– Prerequisites: Experience belaying.
– Notes: Applicants must fill out course application form on calendar listing. Course handout.

Introduction to Sport Climbing:
– Typically runs: Second weekend before May long weekend (posted in March)
– Length: One weekend (Saturday & Sunday)
– Prerequisites: Top rope climbing experience (preferably outdoors), comfortable and experienced with belaying, able to tie in securely and check partner, and can confidently climb 5.9 routes indoors.

Introduction to Trad Climbing:
– Typically runs: Weekend before May long weekend (posted in March)
– Length: One weekend (Saturday & Sunday)
– Prerequisites: Top rope climbing experience (belaying and anchor building), can confidently climb 5.9 routes outdoors (10a indoors), crack climbing skills, and ability to tie required knots (clove hitch, munter hutch fig. 8, prussik, etc.).
– Notes: Applicants must fill out course application form on calendar listing. Course handout.

Introduction to Rock Climbing (IRC):
– Typically runs: Weekend after May long weekend (posted in April)
– Length: One weekend (Saturday & Sunday)
– Prerequisites: N/A

Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC):
– Typically runs: Second and third weekends after May long weekend (posted in April)
– Length: Weeknight classroom session and two weekends (Saturday & Sunday)
– Prerequisites: Introduction to Rock Climbing or equivalent experience.
– Notes: Applicants must fill out course application form on calendar listing. Student handbook and 2017 syllabus.