Introduction to Mountaineering

June 12th 2021


NOTE: Course is now FULL


We are excited to offer the Introduction to Mountaineering (ITM) course this season as an alternative to the our traditional Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) given ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. This one weekend course is designed for new club members (novice climbers/mountaineers) to learn the skills necessary for safe travel in mountainous terrain. Mountaineering is a skill that takes years to become really experienced at, so our goal for this courses is to simply make you confident enough with the basic skills. Following that, you can go out and practice yourself, as well as continue to learn from others on the various trips and camps the club puts on.

Note that while this course runs over two days on a weekend, there will not be an overnight/camping component to the course this year. Each day will be a separate day trip with a group rendezvous arranged for the start of each morning. Participants are encouraged to review the course material in advance of the weekend (both the ACC/UIAA Alpine Skills: Summer course book and the ACC Vancouver Section BMC Handbook).

The course can accommodate 18 participants who will be supervised by 6 instructors. Registration preference will be given to members who have not previously completed the ACC Vancouver Basic Mountaineering Course.

Course cost is $85.00 per person. Payment is required in advance and no refunds are available for cancellations. Payments must be made through e-transfer to [email protected]    If you have paid by other means it will be refunded and requested payment by made by e-transfer.  You will be contacted.


  • Wednesday,  June 2nd 2021, 7:00PM-9:00PM: ITM course kickoff meeting online using Zoom, introductions, planning, gear discussion, Q&A
    • Course overview
    • Identification and evaluation of equipment appropriate to various excursion plans
    • 10 Essentials
    • Basic equipment lists (included & modified for each planned excursion)
    • The Trip Plan – leaving notification – establish turn around time
    • Waivers (to be reviewed & signed)
  • Saturday, June 12th 2021, 8:00AM-6:00PM: Skills practice day on Mount Seymour, North Vancouver
    • Rope work belaying and rappelling review: coils, slings, cordelette, Prusiks, carabiners, belay devices
    • Knots: Figure eight (on a bite, & follow-through), Munter hitch, girth hitch, clove hitch, Prusik & alpine butterfly knots
    • Moving on snow and ice, assessing conditions, walking with (& without) crampons use of ice axe
    • Self arrest practice (from several positions)
    • Snow and ice anchors, ice axe belays, snow pickets, T-slot anchors, bollards, ice screws
    • Glacier travel: roping up, tying in, using prusiks, travelling as a team
  • Sunday, June 13th 2021, duration and meet-up time TBD: Mountaineering ascent day trip, objective and location TBD
    • Practice travelling over snowfields and navigating alpine terrain as a team
    • Summit objective (snow climb/scramble)
    • If time and conditions permit an introduction into crevasse rescue may be given

The location for the second day of the weekend will be confirmed prior to the course kickoff based on the experience and fitness of registered participants, current travel restrictions, etc… A mountaineering summit objective is intended but not guaranteed.  All potential destinations are within day trip vehicle travel distance of Vancouver.


Participants are expected to have top rope climbing and belaying experience and be confident in safely providing an unsupervised top rope belay. Participants should further have experience performing a rappel using a belay/rappel device and prusik backup, and be confident in tying basic knots for top rope belay and rappel scenarios (overhand, figure eight, figure eight follow-through, double fisherman’s, prusik). For those wanting to gain these skills in advance of the course, the ACC Vancouver Section is offering an Introduction to Rock Climbing course on the weekend of May 29-30, 2021.

Members who register will be screened to verify that they satisfy the prerequisites and contacted to confirm details of rock climbing course instruction (when course was taken, with whom, and climbing activity since).

Our team will review and approve sign-ups as fast as we can and provide instructions for payment to secure a spot on the course.


$85.00 course fee must be paid in full prior to the online kick-off meeting on Tuesday,  June 2nd 2021. Refunds will not be provided for cancellations. Payments must be made through e-transfer to [email protected]    If you have paid by other means it will be refunded and requested payment by made by e-transfer.  You will be contacted. The cost includes the following:

  • ACC/UIAA Alpine Skills: Summer course book (paperback available for pick up prior to course start or delivery on the course weekend, electronic copy available upon registration and course payment)
  • Contribution to ACC Vancouver Section leadership development fund
  • Transportation costs for course instructors

Course fee does not include travel costs to venue sites. For the Sunday mountaineering objective it is possible that the destination will involve travel by gondola (Sea to Sky Gondola or Whistler Blackcomb). Participants will be required to purchase their own ticket should such a trip be selected.

Gear List

Mountaineering Gear
    • Climbing helmet
    • Climbing harness
    • Ice axe
    • Crampons
    • Prusik cord: 6mm or 7mm cordelette 1 x 5m plus 1 x 1.5m
    • 3 Locking carabiners (at least one pear-shaped Munter carabiner)
    • 2 Double length slings (120 cm)
    • Rappel/belay device
    • 30-50L backpack
    • Trekking poles (optional)
    • Boots – sturdy ankle height (backpacking or mountaineering boots that are compatible with your crampons)
    • Gaiters (recommended)
    • Socks – 1 poly & 1 wool
    • Polypro or wool base layer (tops & bottoms)
    • Mid-layer shirt/fleece or insulated puffy
    • Outer shell jacket and pants (rain/wind protection)
    • Climbing pants (not cotton, may be optional if bib pants & shorts used)
    • Shorts (optional if climbing pants are used)
    • Hat or cap for sun exposure
    • Toque or neck gaiter for warmth
    • Sunglasses
    • Gloves/mitts (with insulation, for use on snow)
Personal Accessories
    • Small, personal first-aid kit (bandages, blister tape, personal medications)
    • Sunscreen
    • Lip balm
    • Insect repellent
    • Knife/multi-tool
    • Headlamp and spare batteries
    • Small field notebook and pen/pencil (bring your own pen for signing course waiver/health declaration)
    • Personal toiletries (waste bag, toilet paper, plastic garbage bag)
    • 2x three-layer disposable masks or cloth masks composed of three layers
    • Hand sanitizer

Each participant is responsible for providing their own personal mountaineering equipment as listed above. Group gear (ropes, snow/rock protection) will be provided by the ACC Vancouver Section. If you need or want to rent gear we urge you to make arrangements in advance.


Carpooling is not recommended. Please ensure you have your own reliable transportation to travel to both days of the course (destinations within the Sea to Sky corridor and Fraser Valley). The Sunday destination may involve travel on lose surface forest service roads to reach the trailhead.

Member Cost: $85

NOTE: Course is now FULL

Guest sign-up

Sign-ups are no longer available for this event.