Glacier Travel Course

This glacier travel course is the ideal program for hikers, scramblers, backcountry skiers and climbers who wish to safely learn the basics of mountaineering in glaciated terrain. Many of the best climbs in the Rockies and throughout the world involve some glacier travel. Rescue and judgement skills are crucial to enjoying these climbs in a safe manner.

Glacier Travel Course at the Columbia Icefields

DATES 2023:

  • Sep 30-Oct 1st, ’23 (1 spot left)
  • 2024 dates coming soon…

COST: $395 + GST per person

Max Group Size: 6 (groups up to 8 welcome for custom bookings)

Prerequisites:  Reasonable hiking fitness and lots of enthusiasm! 

Meeting Place & Time: Columbia Icefields Tent Campground at 9:30am the first day, earlier the next.

Book your spot:  A non-refundable deposit of $150 + GST is required to book your spot on this course. E-mail us ( and we will provide an invoice with options for credit card, e-transfer, or PayPal payments.  Remainder is due 4 weeks before course and can be paid using the same methods. Reading and completing a Waiver form is required to participate in all courses or trips.  A copy of the Waiver will be provided to you before booking and can also be downloaded here: CRAG Waiver Form.  Before booking you must acknowledge that you have read & agree to the Waiver form.  

Crevasse rescue course in the Canadian Rockies
Climbing Mt. Athabasca during a mountaineering course.


Small group sizes allow us to customize the instruction to meet the needs of all participants but this is the typical outline:

Day 1 – After a morning session covering glacier features, hazards, knots and gear, we will begin learning crevasse rescue skills.  The rescue system we learn has an emphasis on simplicity and efficiency and we will spend most of the day practicing these skills. Other topics covered will include use of mountaineering axes, snow anchors, glissading and self-arrest.
Participants usually camp at the Columbia Icefields Campground but there are also nearby hotels, hostels and other campgrounds.

Day 2 – After an earlier start (usually around 7:00am) the day will be spent traveling on a glacier. We will learn how to use the rope appropriately, build ice anchors, avoid crevasses and use crampons on a variety of terrain.  There will be an ongoing discussion throughout the day on route finding, hazard management and other related topics.  During the day everyone will be active participants in all elements of traveling up and down the glacier.  Typically we finish up around 4:00pm.

Gear List

All technical equipment is provided free of charge except for boots. However, if you have any of your own climbing gear feel free to use it! Rental and purchase information for boots, clothing and camping gear can be found here. If you are unable to locate any of these items or have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time for assistance.

  • Boots (mountaineering or ice climbing boots) – these must be fully rigid boots that can accept a snap-on crampon. Please contact us if you have any questions about boots. Hiking boots will NOT work!  Rental information will be provided.
  • Small Pack (30 – 40 litres is best)
  • Harness – provided
  • Helmet – provided
  • Crampons – provided
  • Mountaineering Axe – provided
  • Headlamp
  • Water Bottle
  • Food
  • Long underwear tops and bottoms (not cotton)
  • Waterproof jacket & pants (preferably breathable)
  • Warm tops and bottoms (fleece etc.)
  • Warm toque and gloves
  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Gaiters (optional but highly recommended)
  • Camping gear (if staying at campground)
Glacier travel lessons in the Canadian Rockies