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Glacier School (G1) · Sat. Sep. 14th - Sun. Sep. 15th

Warning: This is an old trip - it already happened

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Organized by: Robert Shilton.

Start: Saturday, Sep. 14th
End: Sunday, Sep. 15th
Pre-trip meeting: Tuesday, Sep. 10th, 6:00 pm
Pre-trip meeting location: ESB 1012


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Hello Glacier People!

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

Glacier 1 is designed for beginners to snow and glacier travel. It is expected that you have previous backpacking and camping experience. This is the signup page for Glacier 1.

Glacier 2 is for students with previous glacier experience that want to learn more advanced skills or to climb a peak. Signup is on another VOC event page.

G1 aims give students enough basic skills that they are not a 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. Which is important, generally.


1) Overnight backcountry camping experience

2) Backpacking experience

3) VOC Rock 2 or equivalent (anchor-building and introductory rope system skills) *

4) Getting 80% or higher on the google quiz (see information section). Instructors do not have to take the quiz. 

Attending this trip without ALL prerequisites is not possible. 

Glacier School is a large investment of time and dedication by the experienced members of the VOC. At the same time, during the school year, there is constant unmet demand for trips by club members, especially "easy" trips. So, I (on behalf of the VOC) ask that participants of Glacier School give back to the club by organizing a minimum of one trip the upcoming year, or signing up as an instructor at a future event.

The trip that you organize does not need to be "hardcore"- there is huge demand for day hikes and scrambles throughout the year. A day trip up Hollyburn, the 3 peaks of the Chief, a bike trip on Bowen Island, or a multi-day traverse, anything goes. Alternatively get involved with being an instructor on another trip. It’s really fun and if you feel you have the skills, why not! There will be lots of chances to do this across the coming year(s). Contact me for help with help with this.

Basic Curriculum

 Glacier school will offer you the opportunity to learn how to:

- Self arrest

- Learn knots for mountaineering

- Basic hauling systems for rescue

- Glacier travel basics

- Get more tips your instructor may wish to teach you


The glacier school will include a pre-trip, with a dry school in the same evening. This dry school will be mandatory, with no exemptions. At the pre-trip/dry school, the details of the trip will be explained. Equipment required will be explained and there will be gear hours afterwards to get the required items. 

This year as part of the preparation, I have made a google quiz that must be filled in. All the questions have been taken from the glacier manual, the idea being you will read the manual so your instructor can spend more time teaching practical skills and not explaining theory. The link is here: 

Instructors do not have to take the quiz.

The school involves 20 co-instructors with 40 students (2 co-instructors with every 4 students). If you have taken G1 before and feel confident with your glacier skills, have extensive glacier experience, have taken the alpine skills course, or G2 before; consider signing up as an instructor. If you sign up as an instructor for G1, then you will be prioritised for taking the G2 course. 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.

More information can be found in the glacier manual which was kindly updated last year by Heather Hughes-Adams.

Some useful links-


2016 Glacier School:


60 Second Breakdown

Who: Passionate outdoor adventurers who have all of the prerequisites and want to travel on glaciers!

What: Instructional trip focusing on basics of glacier travel, crevasse rescue, snow skills, and alpine mountaineering skills. See above handbook and curriculum for more information. 

Where: Cypress Peak (TBC) 

When:14th - 15th Sept 2019 

If you have questions: use your common sense first, read the page second, check the glacier manual third, then feel free to contact me if you’re still not sure. 

Posted: 2019-07-16 07:51:28
Last modified: 2019-09-04 09:28:27