Glacier School G1 2016

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This is the sign up and organization page for an old trip. It already happened. Please do not sign up for it.


Glacier 1 will happen on September 10th - 11th, 2016.

NOTE: MANDATORY: Pre-Trip Meeting and Dry School for all participants of G1.
Date & Time: Wednesday, Sep. 7th, 6:00 pm, Location: UBC Campus @ Irving K. Barber Learning Ctr - Room 182.

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 (G1) is designed for beginners to snow and glacier travel. It is expected that you have previous backpacking and camping experience.
  2. Glacier 2 (G2) is for students with previous glacier experience that want to learn more advanced skills or to climb a peak.

If G2 should take place just after G1, recent G1 graduates are not permitted to take G2. It is highly recommended that G1 graduates practice their recently learned skills for a season before they attend a G2 session.


The goal 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 - the mandatory Dry School will cover many of these skills. In order to fit it all into one weekend, we will be on the move all day regardless of the weather - please be prepared for any adverse mountain conditions.

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. Please see below for a list of these expenses. 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 Dry School:

$10 for two prussik cords, unless you already have them. (please specify if you are bringing your own on the signup)
$5 for VOC expenses: Beverages, poo bags, etc.

On the trip:
Up to $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. The VOC rents mountaineering boots, crampons, ropes, and ice axes. For the most up to date Gear Hours and rental information, please see Gear rental.

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

Who do I ask questions to?

Zack is running this trip, but will be out of reception till August 30th. Contact Kelsey for any questions you have up until then. If, after reading the glacier school wiki and handout, you can't find an answer to your question, you could email Zack or Kelsey about it - but better yet, post on the Message Board, 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.

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


  • Sunglasses
  • Burly container / outer bag for carrying poo bags (smell resistance recommended)
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • Lip balm - look for ones with SPF 15+ in them
  • 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 or spork
  • 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 at the gear 'rental' rotation of 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

TBA (based highly on glacier conditions at the time of the course).

Glacier 2


Pre-Trip Meeting (Mandatory!)

The pre-trip meeting is mandatory, so if you don't show up to the meeting or have your friend represent you, you will not be allowed to attend the trip on the weekend. The goal of this meeting will be to figure out who all from the Signup list is 'Going;' handle logistics such as: food groups, car groups, instructional groups, and tent groups; as well as give a general mountaineering primer for the risks and rewards we deal with in the mountains.

When and Where?

Wednesday, Sep. 7th, 6:00 pm Location: UBC Campus @ Irving K. Barber Learning Ctr - Room 182.


  • 6:00pm: Brief introduction. Mark members from Signup list as 'Going.' These members stick around for remainder of meeting, dismiss those who were unable to be marked as 'Going.'
  • 6:15pm: Begin slideshow: basics of glacier school, what is it, risks of glaciated mountain travel, etc.
  • 6:30pm: Discuss logistics for weekend. Begin with instructor groups.
  • 6:40pm: Discuss car groups. Recommend that car groups remain consistent with instructor group if at all possible.
  • 6:50pm: Discuss food groups and tent groups.
  • 6:55pm: Prussik-cord purchasing ($10) for those who need them. Instructors facilitate migration to the Aviary with groups to begin Dry School.

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?

Wednesday, Sep. 7th, 7:00 pm Location: The Aviary/Norm Theater

What Happens at Dry School?

Dry School provides students with a hands-on, experiential environment to practice the technical skills taught at G1 in a comfortable indoor environment before moving to a mountain environment. Therefore, we will be practicing rope ascension and Z-pulley systems with facilitation by your group's instructors.


  • 7:00pm: Arrive at/outside the Aviary or Norm (depending on your group assignment) from pre-trip meeting location. Split into instructor groups and begin crevasse rescue drill.
  • 9:00pm: Clean up rescue drill. Extended gear hours will be available at this time to obtain any gear for this trip.

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). Please have read this attached booklet prior to DrySchool, and come prepared to learn/ask questions: info booklet.

IMPORTANT: Also bring your boots and crampons to ensure they are adjusted correctly if you have not done so previously or are unsure. You can ask questions that you have about your gear on the extended gear hours period.

Participant sign up

Please use the sign up tool G1.

Instructor List

Primary Instructors:

  1. Philip Daoust
  2. Elliott Skierszkan
  3. Zack Wentz
  4. Tiff Stephens
  5. Bryan Starick
  6. Julien Renard
  7. Cassandra Elphinstone
  8. Matt Kennedy
  9. Line Veenstra
  10. Jeff Taylor
  11. Richard Shaw

This year we are introducing the Instructor Mentorship System. Each assistant instructor will be paired with a highly experienced instructor - the primary instructor - to learn to teach future Glacier Schools and help students where necessary.

Assistant Instructors:

  1. Kelsey Miller
  2. Birgit Rogalla
  3. Dakotah Fozzard
  4. Liz Lund
  5. Martin Cermak
  6. Carly Peterson
  7. Artem Babaian
  8. Luca Malaguti
  9. Enrique Colomes
  10. Mirko
  11. Simon Litchwark?