Archive:Glacier school 2012

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Glacier 1 and Glacier 2 will both occur on :September 15th - 16th, 2012

NOTE: MANDATORY dry school for all participants on September 12 at 7:00 PM Location: Buchannan B213

General Information

What is Glacier School?

Glacier School is a 2-day (weekend) course intended to teach safe and efficient means of travelling over glaciers. The school is divided into two courses:

  1. Glacier 1 is designed for beginners to snow and glacier travel. It is expected that you have previous backpacking and camping experience.
  2. Glacier 2 is for students with previous glacier experience that want to learn more advanced skills or to climb a peak.


The point of G1 is to give students enough basic skills that they are not a total liability as a member of a 3 (or more) person glacier rope team, such that more experienced members may feel comfortable trusting their life to them on a rope. For more detailed information check out the info booklet.

The prerequisites for being a student at glacier school are minimal: Students must have overnight backpacking experience, a good attitude, and good general fitness. Some rope skills (such as belaying, common climbing knots, etc) are desirable but not absolutely necessary. In order to cram it all into one weekend we will be on the move all day regardless of the weather - please be prepared for that.

Sign up early as group size will be limited to ensure low student/instructor ratio and minimal environmental impact

Instructors for glacier school are club members who volunteer their time, and are not professional guides, nor are they certified by any recognized school or association. If you don't feel comfortable taking responsibility for your own life in the context of an informal course facilitated by these VOC instructors, you should take a mountaineering course offered by a professional guiding service.

How much does it cost?

The instructors at glacier school are all volunteers, but there are still minor expenses that need to be covered like the glacier school manual you will receive a copy of at Dry school. Also you will need to pay your driver gas money, which can vary depending on how many people you are in the car and what kind of car it is (See the Driver reimbursement guidelines. If you need to borrow gear from the clubroom a deposit is needed, but this will be returned to you again when you return the gear. Please bring CASH for all expenses (preferably small change). Prussik cords and the VOC expenses need to be paid at the dryschool, gas money are paid to your driver on the trip and gear deposit needs to be paid when you pick up your gear either during gear hours or at dryschool.

At the dryschool:

$5 for two prussik cords, unless you already have them. (please specify if you are bringing your own on the signup)
$15 for VOC expenses: Photocopying/booklet, beverages, poo bags, donation to the Flavelles, etc.

On the trip: $25 typical gas money, negotiated with your driver.

Whenever you pick up your gear $0-200 deposit for borrowing club gear, depending how much you need, refundable when the gear is returned.

If the club runs out of gear you may need to rent from MEC or elsewhere.

Who do I ask questions to?

Andrew Primavera is running this trip. If, after reading the glacier school wiki and handout, you can't find an answer to your question you could email him about it - but better yet post on the Glacier School 2012 message board thread, then everybody who has the same question can also read it. There's also some useful general information about the club, membership, and how the club works on the Faq, which is worth a read if you're unfamiliar.

You might also want to look at the Glacier School 2011 message board thread as the same questions tend to get repeated year after year.

What Do I Need?


  • 1 set of non-cotton clothes (the one on your back)
  • 1 additional warm thing (fleece / down jacket. Maybe a 2nd fleece and some long-johns, for the evening)
  • water proof pants and jacket (even if the weather is supposed to be good - being dragged through the snow is wet)
  • toque (best warmth/weight ratio going for clothing. Maybe a 2nd toque, since it's lighter than a 2nd fleece)
  • gloves
  • boots
  • sun hat
  • gaiters


  • Tent (or be friendly with someone who has one)
  • sleeping bag (a summer bag is probably good, depending how warm you think you sleep. 0C or warmer)
  • sleeping pad
  • A tarp for hanging out under while eating dinner wouldn't be the worst idea in the world, if you own one already


  • Burly container / outer bag for carrying poo bags (smell resistance recommended)
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • lip balm
  • sunglasses
  • camera
  • bug net (works way better than bug juice, plus it doesn't wreck the environment or your stuff)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Lighter
  • Bearspray (optional - with such a large, probably noisy, group I'd be highly surprised if any self-respecting bear would go anywhere near us)


  • ice axe
  • crampons (which fit boots! Bring your boots and crampons to dryschool if you need help)
  • climbing harness
  • helmet
  • prussiks (you can buy these at the dry school)
  • 2 locking carabiners (best if one big and one small) and 2 non-locking (or more locking)
  • you can bring more junk, if you like. Sometimes it's the most fun to learn with your own gear
  • trekking poles, if you like, make hiking easier and are worth the weight


  • stove + pot + fuel + lighter (or be friendly)
  • Plastic thing to eat out of (old yogurt container? Or something fancier)
  • spoon
  • Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch (food groups will be arranged at dry school)
  • Water (ability to carry 2L, unless you know otherwise).
  • Water purifier drops (if you're into that)


  • songbook
  • down slippers for camp, aka booties, other lightweight footwear, such as "Crocs" may be appropriate luxury items
  • instrument


And a pack to put it all in.

The VOC has some of the technical gear and will lend it out to students for a minor deposit. See gear list for details. You can borrow gear from the VOC any day during gear hours or after dry school. If there’s not enough VOC rental gear to go around, some borrowing, or renting from MEC will have to fill the voids. Please reserve rental gear early to ensure the gear you need will be available for the weekend.

If you don't have a tent or a stove, don't worry... food and tent groups will be arranged at dry school.


Glacier 1

G1 for 2012 will be held at the glacier on Cypress Mountain so don't go to the Anniversary Glacier.


We will meet just off the highway at the Chance Creek FSR turnoff (on the West [left hand] side of the highway). This is the same location as for Powder Mountain Catskiing as well as the VOC's Brew Hut, and is located just before the Black Tusk / Rubble Creek turnoff for Garibaldi Park. More specifically, it is located here: google map.

Please have all passengers in your vehicle and be heading through West Van on the highway by 6:45am. This timing does not include time for a quick Tim Hortons stop on the way, which takes at least 15min even if you eat in the car - if you want to do this, just head out appropriately earlier (or, easier, make one of your passengers bake you muffins or something). It does include 1 stop for gas, because it's a long drive and we wouldn't want you to run out.

Glacier 2

G2 will be held at the Matier-Joffre col. One group will be ascending from the Joffre Lakes side via Slalok, and one will be ascending via Anniversary Glacier.

Dry School (Mandatory!)

The dry school is mandatory, so if you don't show up to the dry school, you will lose you spot on the trip and someone on the waitlist will get the chance to learn about glaciers instead of you.

When and Where?

Wednesday, September 12th @ 7:00pm Location:Buchannan B213

What Happens at Dry School?

There will be a brief introduction to glacier travel before we outline what’s to be expected for the weekend and cut people who fail to show up and replace them with people on the waitlist who did show up. Then, we’ll arrange transportation, stove and tent groups, collect your fees, sell prussik cords, lend out VOC gear. Finally we'll review knots then put on our harnesses and practice prussiking up ropes (either in a stairwell or up trees). Read the info booklet ahead of time!


  • 7:00 - prussik sales and sorting out "signed up" from "actually coming and paid" begins
  • 7:15 - waitlist opens (I'll just call names down the waitlist, to fill available spots. This means if you're signed up, but show up after 7:15, you may loose your spot)
  • 7:30 - sort out rides, tents, and food
  • 7:45 - review of knots begins
  • later - after individuals have shown they learned all the knots we'll practice prussiking, lowering, and setting up hauling systems in the nice, warm, dry, classroom.

What do I Need to Bring to Dry School?

Glacier 1 students (and others wishing to practice crevasse rescue), please bring your harnesses, biners and prussiks (unless you're buying them at dry school). You will receive a copy of the info booklet, and are expected to have read it ahead of time.

IMPORTANT: Also bring your boots and crampons to ensure they are adjusted correctly if you have not done so previously or are unsure.

Sign up

Please use the sign up tool

  1. 1-35 on the "Committed" list has set spots. #36-50 are on the waitlist but should come to the Dryschool anyway and hope spots free up.

Instructor List


  1. Jeff Taylor
  2. Christian Veenstra
  3. Line Lund Veenstra
  4. Phil Tomlinson
  5. Conrad Koizol
  6. Katherine Valentine
  7. Ben Singleton-Poster
  8. Skyler Des Roches
  9. Samuel Belanger-McKoy
  10. Roland Burton

Instructing Groups

As determined at Dryschool.