There is a thin line between technical climbing and scrambling. We define scrambling as easy climbing requiring use of hands and feet but not usually ropes, belays and protection.
The intent of Scrambling Skills is to give you the skills to safely climb the scramble peaks and not put yourself or partners at unnecessary risk. We will focus on the most important elements of scrambling safety: route finding, hazard assessment and movement skills on loose steep terrain and on snow and iced rock. Most scrambling accidents are the result of bad route choices and poor terrain assessment.
Rope use and technical aspects of mountaineering will not be taught on this program.
Day 1: Meet at Yam office, 8:00 am. Course briefing (intro, goals, objectives etc) followed by departure to field location in lower Bow Valley area. Terrain skills (evaluation, route finding, movement on rock and safety skills).
Day 2: Early departure from Canmore for a local scramble. We will discuss terrain evaluation, route finding, group management, and if possible we will cover snow skills, and basic technical equipment use. Meeting time and place to be determined by guides.
Meeting Time & Place
The course begins at the Yamnuska office at 8.00am on the Saturday morning. The Yamnuska office is located at 200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore. See this map for location.
Be dressed ready for the outdoors.
Instructors & Group Size
Great people to spend a week in the mountains with, your instructors are certified by the internationally-recognized Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. There will be a maximum of 12 participants.
To keep prices down participants are responsible for their own transport to Canmore and during the program. Canmore is a 1 hour (100km) drive west from Calgary.
If you are flying from afar for the program we suggest that you rent a car for your visit. In addition to getting you to the climbing locations it will allow you to explore our region a bit after program hours. For example you can visit Banff and enjoy the hot pools and sample the numerous restaurants.
Frequent shuttles connect Calgary International Airport and Canmore. Greyhound Bus Lines (1 800 661 8747) serves Canmore from points east and west along the Trans-Canada Highway. Call 403 609 0300, 403 609 1490 or 403 609 8897 for taxis in Canmore.
Accommodation & Meals
These are your responsibility. There are lots of options available including the Alpine Clubhouse, campgrounds, hostels, B'n'Bs, motels and hotels! We do suggest you stay in the Canmore area on Saturday night to reduce driving time on Sunday. Check our links page for a range of Canmore accommodations.
You will need to bring a packed lunch, snacks and plenty of liquids each day.
Equipment & Clothing
The equipment and clothing you bring to a course will play a large role in the quality of your experience. Read the following suggestions and list carefully. If you have any questions or need clarification, don't hesitate to call or write. There is room for substitution and changes but if you have any doubts, do contact us.
You will need to bring:
- Sweater or fleece jacket
- Wool / fleece hat or 'balaclava'
- Rain pants & jacket with hood
- Wool / fleece mittens or mountaineering gloves, waterproof overmitts if necessary.
- Warm long pants to climb in. These should be wool/nylon or synthetic blend fabric, fleece pants, nylon exercise pants with light long johns or wool trousers.
- Warm shirt
- Light shirt or T-shirt
- Several sets of socks (wool/synthetic outers, polypro liners)
- Knee length gaiters
- Sunhat with wide brim
- polypro / fleece long underwear
- Extra sweater or fleece jacket or light down jacket or vest
- Boots: You need sturdy boots with plenty of ankle support. Best are leather mountaineering boots. Otherwise a really solid hiking boot will be OK.
- Ice axe (at least 55cm)*
- Good sunglasses
- Sun block
- Water bottle (at least 1 liter)
- Large day pack (should be large enough to carry spare clothing and your lunch)
* Loaners available from Yamnuska, please let us know any gear requirements at the time of booking.
Contact Yamnuska with gear questions
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment on booking.
For detailed Booking Instructions and Conditions, click here.
Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the trip. Click here for waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travelers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the National and provincial Parks, however costs such as air or ground transportation, long term care and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian and International Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.