Archive:Introduction to mountaineering 2013

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June 8th, 2013

  • Instructor's Meeting Time/Location TBD

Mandatory dry school for all participants on June 4 at 6:30 Location Buch A203

General Information

What is Introduction to Mountaineering?

Introduction to Mountaineering (ItM) is a 1-day course intended to teach safe and efficient means of travelling over glaciers, and is designed for beginners to snow and glacier travel. It is expected that you have previous backpacking and camping experience. This course is designed for people who have yet to take Glacier School. However, if you have taken Glacier School and want a refresher, the dry school will be a great opportunity for that. Please refrain from signing up for the trip itself until we've exhausted the possibility of bringing people who haven't taken G1. We'll be travelling for a day to learn how to self arrest, perform crevasse rescues, how to walk around on a rope team, and understand the mountains a little better.


The point of ItM 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 ItM 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 ItM 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 ItM are all volunteers, but there are still minor expenses that need to be covered. 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). Prusik cords will be available for purchase at the dry school, 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: $6 for two prussik cords, unless you already have them. (please specify if you are bringing your own on the signup)

On the trip: $5-8 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?

Omid Javadi is running this trip. If, after reading the ItM wiki and handout, you can't find an answer to your question you could email him about it - but better yet post on the Intro to Mountaineering 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)
  • water proof (or water resistant) pants and jacket (even if the weather is supposed to be good - being dragged through the snow is wet)
  • gloves
  • boots
  • sun hat
  • gaiters


  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • lip balm
  • sunglasses
  • camera
  • Toilet Paper


  • 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


  • Lunch and snacks
  • Water (ability to carry 2L, unless you know otherwise).


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.


Location for ItM is going to be at Hollyburn Mountain at Cypress Resort.


Take Exit 8 on Highway 1 to Cypress Mountain Ski Resort. Turn off for the cross country ski area, and park near the ticket office. We will meet there.

Dry School (Mandatory!)

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

When and Where?

Tuesday, June 4th @ 6:30pm BUCH B315

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, collect your fees, sell prussik cords, lend out VOC gear. Finally we'll review knots then put on our harnesses and practice prusiking up ropes (either in a stairwell or up trees). Read the info booklet ahead of time!

The dry school is open to everyone, not just people taking ItM. If you have taken G1 and want a knot/crevasse rescue refresher, come on by.


  • 6:30 - prusik sales and sorting out "signed up" from "actually coming and paid" begins
  • 6:45 - 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 6:45, you may loose your spot)
  • 7:00 - sort out rides, tents, and food
  • 7:15 - review of knots begins
  • later - after individuals have shown they learned all the knots we'll practice prusiking, lowering, and setting up hauling systems in the nice, warm, dry, classroom.

What do I Need to Bring to Dry School?

ItM students (and others wishing to practise crevasse rescue), please bring your harnesses, biners and prusiks (unless you're buying them at dryschool). Make sure you have read the info booklet 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. 1-24 on the "Committed" list has set spots. #25-35 are on the waitlist but should come to the Dryschool anyway and hope spots free up.

Instructor List

  1. Omid Javadi
  2. Line Veenstra
  3. David Newton
  4. Fisal Elstone
  5. Stephanie Grothe (G1 Refresher)
  6. Nick Matwyuk (tentative)
  7. Christian Veenstra