Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glacier Travel Course at Columbia Icefields

Had a great group of 6 climbers join me for a two day Glacier Travel Course at the Columbia Icefields two weekends ago.

We spent Saturday learning crevasse rescue techniques near Parkers Ridge. Everyone had the chance to build snow anchors, set up pulley systems, and rescue each other from the bottom of a drop-off. Once everyone had those skills dialed we practiced holding falls on steeper snow, glissading, and self-arresting.

Crevasse rescue practice at Parkers Ridge. Mt. Athabasca & Mt. Hilda in the background.

For our second day we had good weather so we did a fun tour on the North Glacier below Mt. Athabasca. From near the tongue of the ice we climbed up a snow slope and then roped up and crossed the glacier, finding our way through many crevasses along the way. In the afternoon we rappelled down a steeper section and practiced ice climbing techniques near the base. For a final bit of rescue practice, I climbed down a steep bit of ice and had everyone work together to figure out how to rescue me back up.

Travelling through a crevassed section of the glacier below Mt. Athabasca.

Overall it was a fun & successfull weekend, and everyone seemed to have a good handle on the basics of crevasse rescue and glacier travel by the end. Four of the participants stayed with me for another 5 days of climbing on the Alpine Skills Course. More on that in the next posting...

J. Mills
CRAG Owner & Head Guide

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