GLACIER SKI MOUNTAINEERING COURSE
Mt. Baker, WA | 4 days | May-June
Learn technical skills for ski mountaineering on Mt. Baker.
This four-day course takes place on Mt. Baker and focuses on technical skills and decision-making for skiing in high alpine glaciated environments. One of the core questions we focus on is when, and when not to use the rope on both the ascent, and the descent. This is a fairly obvious decision in the traditional mountaineering context, that becomes less obvious when skis (or splitboard) are involved.
We learn how to react to a crevasse fall, including catching a crevasse fall on skis, turning your skis or splitboard into a bombproof anchor, and setting up a hauling system using minimal gear.
In addition to the reactive, we focus on the proactive: stacking the odds in our favor with hazard recognition and smart terrain choices. This includes using one of the most basic tools in packs – our avalanche probe – to build a mental model of the snowpack strength and depth over the glacier ice.
In the learning process we'll attempt a ski ascent of Mt. Baker; a perfect opportunity to put it all together.
Who is this course for? No previous mountaineering experience is necessary. You should be an experienced backcountry skier or rider with at least one season of touring under your belt. Excellent physical fitness is required – you should be capable of 4000 vertical foot days of touring.
Mt. Baker, WA
Day 1 — Meet in Glacier or Sedro Woolley, WA; gear check, packing, approach camp. Build camp, warm up ski tour, review knots and hitches.
Day 2 — Rigging for glacier travel, rope management, ski anchors, ski tour
Day 3 — Summit ski ascent, crevasse rescue
Day 4 — Navigation, pack up camp, descend to trailhead
4 days of guiding and instruction
Group gear: tents, stoves, fuel, ropes, etc.
Personal equipment and food
SKILLS COVERED INCLUDE:
RIGGING for GLACIER TRAVEL
CATCHING a CREVASSE FALL on SKIS
CREVASSE RESCUE SYSTEMS
BUILDING A MENTAL MODEL OF THE GLACIER SNOWPACK