WIM+ Ski Mentorship Program

“Winter In the Mountains Plus” (WIM+) is a new mentorship program designed for backcountry skiers and split boarders that are ready for more challenging backcountry objectives involving powder touring, ski mountaineering, or steep skiing. Most importantly, this program is intended for those that are keen to be on the "sharp end" by coordinating trips with the ACC.

Overview

The program consists of in-town seminars and three (3) mountain trips with program mentors. Mentorship is provided by experienced Edmonton Section volunteers who will share techniques and practices to help you take your backcountry experience to the next level. Topics will include:

  • Route planning, routefinding, track setting, and group management,

  • Hazard identification and terrain management practices in avalanche terrain,

  • Glacier travel techniques and crevasse rescue systems for winter ski touring,

  • Techniques and equipment for safe travel in steep terrain, and

  • Trip planning and administration.

A one-day Winter Leadership Seminar is included in the program, instructed by ACMG Mountain Guide Matt Reynolds. Participants will also be asked to self-organize or support an Edmonton Section trip to gain experience coordinating ACC trips.

Program Dates

Key dates that have been scheduled are as follows:

  • Nov. 18, 2017. Winter Leadership Seminar (Edmonton)

  • Nov. 19, 2017. Crevasse Rescue Systems (Edmonton)

  • Dec. 2-3, 2017. Skills Weekend. Icefields Parkway (Highway 93N)

  • Jan. 4-7, 2018. Powder Touring Weekend. Rogers Pass (Golden, BC)

  • End March / Early April. Steep Skiing and/or Ski Mountaineering Weekend (TBD), based on participant interest and ability.

An additional ski mountaineering trip (with program mentors) may be scheduled for late April or May, depending on interest and conditions. This will be an opportunity to complete a major camp-based ski-mountaineering objective.

Participant Expectations

This program is for skiers/boarders that have at least 1 to 2 seasons of winter backcountry experience. Fit participants with the ability to ski black diamond runs confidently in all conditions will be best suited for the style and difficulty of trips planned for this program, however trip objectives can be selected to match participant interest and ability.

Minimum expectations for participants are:

  • the ability to ski black diamond terrain safely, in all conditions, with a loaded pack,

  • the ability to break trail in powder snow, skin and climb at least 1200 m/day,  

  • willingness to apply judgment and decision making tools for travel in mountain terrain, and

  • AST 1 certificate.

Previous crevasse rescue training is not required, however there will be an opportunity to learn advanced crevasse rescue systems that build on systems taught at SIM.

Costs

$120 in course fees, plus:

  • Pre-booked hostel accommodations for weekend trips: approx $35 per night.

  • Carpooling and meals will be planned as a group and expenses shared.

How To Apply

Please complete the application form FOUND HERE before October 23, 2017. A total of ten (10) participants will be accepted and notified by November 2, 2017. A kickoff meeting in town will be scheduled for early November.

Required Gear

Participants will be expected to supply all of their personal avalanche safety and touring gear, as well as gear specific to glacier and alpine travel. A detailed list of gear requirements will be discussed at the kick-off meeting and will include the following general items:

  • Alpine-Touring (AT) skis or Splitboard with appropriate bindings, boots, and fitted skins

  • Avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel

  • Backpack, ~35 to 45 L, with ski/board carry system

  • Harness, helmet, ice axe, boot crampons (all can be rented)

  • Crevasse rescue equipment (to be discussed, ~ $100)

  • Ski crampons (recommended)

Contact for More Info

Applicants are encouraged to contact wim.plus.yegacc@gmail.com with any questions about the program, including gear, costs, course content, participant expectations, or other details.

Program Limitations

The program does not seek to replace the avalanche safety and technical training offered by ACMG/IFMGA instructors. Rather, this program is based on a mentorship model involving knowledge transfer from volunteers as well as between participants. The Edmonton Section recommends that all participants complete AST 2 with a certified provider before travelling in complex avalanche terrain.

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