Alpine mountaineering is the best! Grand views, lots of hard work and the rewards gained from a well-executed plan. Every trip is an adventure – even the peaks I have climbed a lot. Snow conditions and glaciers change & the guests are always new. And the heights! The views are fabulous and the position on the peaks spectacular. On a fine day where else should you be? I have been actively climbing here in Canada for over 35 seasons and with every summit I stand on I can see more summits that haven’t felt my foot. Let’s get to it!
The mountaineering season in the Rockies starts in late May and can often be great right into October with our famous Indian summer. It mostly comes down to freezing levels and the resulting snow conditions. May and June trips are less predictable than later in the season and as such for early season trips I suggest we devise an alternate “plan B” along with the primary plan rather than fight the conditions.
Below is a small sampling of mountaineering and alpine climbing options graded by difficulty: beginner, intermediate or advanced. Note that I have also provided suggestions as to the “best” season, time frame, guide/guest ratio and a comment about the style of accommodation. Custom trips worldwide can be arranged including the Saint Elias and Mt. Logan, the Waddington Group, Baffin Island, Peru, Nepal and the European Alps!
Beginner: no previous mountaineering experience. Good fitness and a sense of adventure!
Intermediate: Basic knowledge of belays, crevasse rescue, knots and movement on snow and ice using crampons and ice axe. Comfortable moving on rock to 5.4 and on exposed (3rd/4th class) terrain. Comfortable carrying moderate loads to 15 kg.
Advanced: Applied knowledge of belays, crevasse rescue and knots. Comfortable moving on 60 degree snow and ice with short steep sections. Comfortable seconding rock to 5.7 and moves quickly on loose exposed (3rd/4th class) ground. Can carry heavy loads to 20 kg.
Click on a trip name below to learn more about the trip and what is involved.