Combined Alpine Skills

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$855.00 / person

(at 6:1 ratio) Next Trip: May 23 - 26, 2024

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  • May 23 - 26, 2024
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    1 spot available. $855.00

    Course Location: Mount Cain

  • May 24 - 27, 2024
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    3 spots available. $855.00

    Course Location: Mount Cain

  • Jun 7 - 10, 2024
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    2 spots available. $855.00

    Course Location: Mount Cain

  • Jun 8 - 11, 2024
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    3 spots available. $855.00

    Course Location: Mount Cain

  • Jun 14 - 17, 2024
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    2 spots available. $855.00

    Course Location: Mount Cain


Mountaineering Kit Rental $60.00

Ice Axe, Crampons, Helmet, Harness, Carabiners, Cords and Sling. All these items are required to participate in the course. See the precise technical gear requirements in the 'Gear List' tab within this course information webpage. Once purchased - our rentals are non-refundable.

Crampons only - Rental $20.00

Ice Axe only - Rental $14.00

Mountaineering Helmet only - Rental $14.00

Harness only - Rental $14.00

Carabiners, Belay/Rappel Device, Sling, and Cord Kit only - Rental $14.00

IAG Cancellation Coverage $45.00

As per our Cancellation Policy, your trip or course is 100% non-refundable after 30 days prior to the trip/course start date. Purchasing this addon will allow you to cancel your trip/course within that 30 day time period for reasons of injury, illness or family emergency, and will provide you with a credit for the full value of your trip/course fee which can be be used on any Island Alpine Guides or Hike Vancouver Island trip or course or trip for up to one year from the start date of the trip/course originally booked.


Perfect for the budding mountaineer! Over four days, participants will gain the basic skills necessary to begin exploring a wide variety of mountain terrain. This course offers a time-efficient combination of our 3-Day Alpine Skills and Alpine Rock Skills courses, with a curriculum that covers techniques for both travel on rock, as well as snow and glacier.

From our base camp at Mount Cain Alpine Park, we will take advantage of quick access to stunning alpine terrain and one of the best outdoor classrooms around.

During the summer (once the snow has melted at Mount Cain), we offer our Combined Alpine Skills and 3- Day Alpine Skills course via heli-access:!


  • Snow climbing
  • Snow anchors
  • Glacier travel
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Rock anchors
  • Short-roping and short-pitching techniques for alpine rock
  • Route-finding skills
  • Transitions from snow to rock
  • And more depending on time and group experience 

Included in the price

  • 4 days of instruction with an ACMG guide
  • Group technical gear

Not included in the price

  • Transportation to and from the meeting point
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Personal equipment
  • Personal technical gear (available as add on, see Gear List tab)

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details about our booking and cancellation policy, and other commonly asked questions.


To allow quick and efficient access to excellent alpine terrain, we will use Mount Cain as our base camp. 

About Mount Cain & Amenities

  • Volunteer-run ski hill located 20 km from Woss
  • Washroom facilities available
  • No potable water (bring what you require)
  • Parking lot is used for car camping, so feel free to bring a few luxuries if camping (there may be other groups using this area, so please be respectful of others by keeping the noise to a minimum and packing out what you pack in)

If you enjoy using these facilities, you may consider donating or volunteering for this volunteer run operation. Learn more about Mount Cain here, and read driving directions to Mount Cain here.


A typical day starts at 09:00 and ends around 17:00. If time allows on the final day, we will put our skills together to climb a nearby peak. 

The order of curriculum delivery will entirely depend on factors such as weather, course location, students abilities and wishes and the guide assigned to your course. 

Exact meeting details will be provided in a pre-trip email sent one-week prior to your course. Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details, or send us an email. 


This is an entry level course but participants are expected to have logged some time hiking or scrambling in the mountains prior to registering. To participate safely and/or get the most out of this course, you are expected to:

  • Have hiking/scrambling experience 
  • Have taken Intro to Rock of have equivalent experience 
  • Be comfortable spending time outside in variable conditions
  • Travel uphill, covering up to 600 metres of vertical gain while carrying a load of approximately 20 lbs

Pre-course homework:

Please ensure you are comfortable with the following basic knots: 

  • Figure 8 follow-through 
  • Figure 8 on a bight 
  • Overhand 
  • Double overhand 
  • Double fisherman’s 
  • Clove hitch 
  • Prussik 
  • Munter hitch 

We recommend checking out the “Animated Knots” website for instructions. 

Questions about the suitability of this course? Send us an email. We’re happy to help you find or customize courses to suit your needs. 

Gear List

Please ensure that all gear is functioning and in good repair. Temperatures encountered on this trip typically can range from -5°C at night to the 20s during the day, but this will depend on the time of year your trip is held.  
Available as a “Mountaineering Kit” rental-add on ($60) or as individual rentals when you book.
  • Helmet – UIAA approved and adjustable
  • 4x locking carabiners – at least one should be pear-shaped
  • 3x regular carabiners
  • Harness – a simple, lightweight alpine seat harness
  • Belay/rappel device
  • 7mm accessory cord – 2 x 5 metre lengths, 1 x 1.5m length
  • Double shoulder length (120cm) sewn sling – should be rated to 22kn
  • Crampons – simple, 10-point general mountaineering crampon (either step-in or strap- on are fine depending on your boots)
  • Ice axe – general mountaineering tool, 50-80cm depending on your height
  • Long underwear (top and bottom) — wool or polypropylene
  • Mid-weight soft-shell jacket — down, wool, fleece or synthetic
  • Insulated jacket - down or synthetic
  • Waterproof shells (jacket and pants) — especially necessary for practicing self-arrests 
  • T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt – white cotton can be excellent for cooling and sun protection during the height of summer
  • Hiking pants – nylon or similar
  • Toque
  • 2x Gloves — one lightweight, one warmer 

If possible, mountaineering boots should not be brand new. It is highly advised that participants have hiked a bit with their boots before and know where/how the boot might fit - and on which places on the foot it is recommended to put tape (in case some blisters form). Even with the seemingly best fitting boot it can happen that when they are new, blisters form, which can highly distract and hurt.

  • Mountaineering boots — stiff, with a sharp cutting edge on the sole to effectively kick steps in snow
  • Gaiters — optional if pants stay over boots with elastic cuff 
  • Warm socks — wool or synthetic blend 
  • Sock liners (optional) — silk or polypropylene


This is car camping, so participants are encouraged to bring a few luxuries. Groups who book together may choose to share tents, food, and cooking equipment. 

  • Tent - 3 season 
  • Sleeping bag —At a minimum please bring something warm to -5 (recommended warmth rating will depend on the conditions at the time of your course)
  • Sleeping pad 
  • Camp stove, fuel and pot 
  • Lighter 
  • Eating vessels and utensils 
  • Food - 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches (pre-prepared and easy to consume on the go), 2 dinners, and whatever snacks you require. For tasty, nutritous and locally pre-made meals check out
  • Water Reservoir – there is no potable water at Mount Cain, so please bring whatever water you will require for the duration of the trip

  • 30L+ day pack (with waist belt) — big enough to carry your rain gear, fleece, water, lunch, and some of the group technical gear and ropes 
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses with 100% UV block 
  • 2 x 1 litre water bottles
  • Camera (optional)
  • Head-lamp with spare batteries 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper and sanitizer
  • Face mask (optional but nice when using the outhouse!)
  • Pocket knife
  • Small personal first aid kit - blister supplies, bandaids, personal meds, etc.
  • Reading material (optional)
  • Feminine hygiene supplies (if needed) 
  • Spare prescription glasses (a good idea as back-up for contact lenses) 


Technical Gear: All items on our technical gear list can be purchased as a “Mountaineering Kit” add-on or as individual rentals when you book. 
Questions? Send us an email or read our blog for advice on choosing appropriate gear. 


We had an amazing weekend and learned so much. Helene was fabulous! She was so positive, knowledgeable and encouraging. She instilled so much confidence in us. We feel so fortunate to have been able to take this course with her! Dave and Pamela,
Our instructor was amazing!! Anon,
I went from having 0 rope skills to confidently understanding the process of a crevasse rescue, bellaying, ascending, climbing and many other skills we learnt in a short but great 4 days. We love Helene. "Thanks for the fun time, and special shout out to Helene for being such a great instructor!" Anon. ,
We had an amazing weekend and learned so much. Helene was fabulous! She was so positive, knowledgeable and encouraging. She instilled so much confidence in us. We feel so fortunate to have been able to take this course with her! Pamela and David Blaikie, Nanaimo, BC.
First the communication was great our guide checking in as far comfort level or what we would like to learn more about. I really appreciated the flexibility of instruction depending on the overall experience level in the group. Because of that we were really able to go above and beyond my expectations and I feel I got a lot from this course. Plus receiving some notes by email as a refresher is super helpful. Elie Hernandez-Lacroix ,
Hands on learning! Graham did an excellent job of building on course material. He explained our tasks well and provided great reasoning as to why certain knot/procedures are necessary in the alpine. I also REALLY appreciated the hands-on practice approach we had immediately after every explanation. It helped me solidify my learning, and formulate questions. I truly feel more prepared for the alpine now. Kristen,