Available Courses

Mountain Backcountry Field Skills

Four people climbing mountain

Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation


August 10 - 17, 2019


Westfall Creek, Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia

Class Details

INT D 282 LEC 850

Course description

Using The Alpine Club of Canada’s annual General Mountaineering Camp (GMC) as our base camp, this condensed one-week course is designed to impart an introduction to travel and leadership skills (theoretical, technical, and personal) used in basic mountain backcountry field operations for scientific research, outdoor recreation, tourism, and/or educational purposes.

Our base camp will be situated in the remote high alpine, just above treeline, near alpine meadows, rock slabs, glaciers, and snow slopes that will serve as our classroom for the week. The setting is remote. Access is by helicopter from a staging area near Golden, B.C. Students will be sleeping in small private tents, which will be provided. The camp itself is quite comfortable, with large canvas tea tents, drying tents, dining tents, and a shower. Days will be long – students should expect to be physically active and engaged for much of the day – with instruction provided by a teaching staff that includes two fully certified mountain guides, the GMC Camp Manager, as well as a university field scientist. There will also be a camp physician on site.

This introductory course is open to all University of Alberta students. No prerequisite is required. No prior backcountry skills are required. Registrants must take responsibility for ensuring they are physically and mentally fit to be taking such a course. Students should contact the faculty for further information. This course is capped at 10 students. Registration is first-come, first-serve.

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Accommodation and travel

This course will stage from Golden, BC. Transportation to and from Golden is the student’s responsibility. We encourage students to carpool. Logistics will be discussed at a mandatory pre-course meeting in April 2019.

Anticipated costs

Standard University of Alberta tuition plus a mandatory instructional support fee of $1,950. This covers mountain guide instruction and service for the duration of the course: full food service (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); helicopter flights in and out of base camp; full use of all camp amenities (library/tea tent, washrooms, shower, dining tent); all group gear (ropes, etc.); and, the use of a personal tent (already set up for you).

The instructional support fee does not cover: standard tuition, personal gear requirements, and transportation to and from Golden, BC.