TANTALUS MOUNTAIN SKILLS

As low as:

$1,330.00 / person

(at 3:1 ratio)
  • STRENUOUSNESS
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  • TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY
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About


Join us for three intensive days of learning and practice. Set against a spectacular backdrop of the Tantalus Range, we’ll use a helicopter to swiftly access the area. Each day, we’ll enjoy short approaches from our base camp to some of the finest alpine climbing in the southern coast range. 
 
This intermediate course is perfect for those with basic mountaineering experience looking to take their skills to the next level. 
 
Curriculum

The exact curriculum will be determined by the group and conditions, but below is a general list of skills that are often covered or reviewed: 

  • Advanced movement on snow, ice and rock
  • Route finding
  • Hazard recognition and management including more complex interacting hazards
  • Short roping, short pitching and end roping techniques and application
  • Advanced anchoring in snow, ice and rock
  • Advanced crevasses rescue scenarios

Included in the price

  • 3 days with an ACMG guide
  • Return helicopter flights
  • Group technical gear (harness, helmet, ice axe, crampons)

Not included in the price

  • Transportation to and from starting point
  • Food*
  • Clothing
  • Personal equipment

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

Location


This course is delivered in an alpine setting in the Tantalus Range. Terrain selected will vary, but will all be within close proximity of the Haberl Hut*. Base camp will be set near the hut. We gain access to this area by helicopter, leaving from the Squamish airport.  

*Please visit https://accvancouver.ca/jim-haberl-hut/ for updated Haberl Hut rental rates and policies (March 1 – Sept 30, 2022) . Please request a custom quote if you would like to reserve the Haberl Hut for your course. 

Here are some details to consider when planning for this trip: 

  • Water comes from snow melt near the hut or by melting snow using our stoves
  • You may bring some luxuries, but please keep your luggage under 18kg/40lbs. Everything should also be packed in such a way that you could carry it downhill a significant distance - in the rare instance that weather precludes the helicopter picking us up where it dropped us off. 
  • There is an outhouse at the hut

These courses typically run June to September when conditions are more likely to be optimal for teaching the curriculum effectively. 

Itinerary


We typically start by meeting at the helicopter base at 08:30 on the first day of the trip. For the following days, start and end times of the day will depend on objectives chosen and conditions. 

Day 1 - We’ll fly out of Squamish into the Serratus/Dione Col, near the Haberl hut.  

How much review of technique and climbing we do on this first day will depend on participants’ experience, skill level and group wishes. If we choose to climb a peak, we’ll aim for a shorter objective nearer the hut. 

Day 2 -  We’ll start early and head for one of the longer objectives in the area. Again, the chosen route will depend on experience, skill level and fitness, as well as current conditions of course. 

Day 3  - We’ll aim for yet another alpine objective in the area with a flight out to Squamish to finish the day around 17:00.

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. 

Requirements


This is an intermediate level course, meaning training and/or experience in basic mountain skills are recommended. If you are considering taking this course, you will ideally have:

  • Logged some time hiking and scrambling in the mountains
  • Taken a mountain skills course covering movement on snow and glaciers, crevasse rescue and are comfortable scrambling on rock, or have equivalent experience if you have not taken a course
  • The ability to hike 500-700 m of elevation under a 20 lbs load
  • The capacity to travel on foot for up to 8 hours

Pre-course homework

Please practice these basic knots at home to maximize efficiency on the course: 

  • Figure 8 follow-through 
  • Figure 8 on a bight 
  • Overhand 
  • Double overhand 
  • Double fisherman’s 
  • Clove hitch 
  • Prussik 
  • Munter or Italian 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 whenever possible. 

Gear List


Please ensure that all gear is functioning and in good repair. Temperatures encountered on this trip typically range from -5°C at night to the 20s during the day, depending on the time of year your trip is held.  Inside the hut at night is typically warmer than the outside temperature though the hut is not heated.

Technical

Available as a “Mountaineering Kit” rentaladd on ($45) when you book.

  • Helmet – UIAA approved and adjustable
  • Crampons – simple, ten point general mountaineering crampon (either step-in or strap- on are fine depending on your boots)
  • Ice axe – general mountaineering tool, 60-80cm depending on your height
  • 3x locking carabiners – at least one should be pear-shaped
  • 3x regular carabiners
  • Harness – a simple, lightweight alpine seat harness
  • Belay/rappel device
  • 7mm accessory cords – 2 x 5 metre lengths, 1 x 1.75 metre length
  • Double shoulder length sewn sling – should be rated to 22kn 
  • 1-2 ice screws

Clothing

  • Long underwear (top and bottom) — merino wool preferred, but poly pro will also suffice 
  • 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 
  • Warm toque — for cooler evenings 
  • 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
  • 2x Gloves — one lightweight, one warmer 

Footwear

  • 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 
  • 2 x warm socks — wool or synthetic blend 
  • 2 x sock liners (optional) — silk or poly pro 
  • Hut/camp shoes -- down booties or light shoes for the evening

Sleeping/Food

Groups who book together may choose to share tents, food, and cooking equipment.

  • Sleeping bag — the warmth of your sleeping bag will depend on how you sleep (hot or cold) and the conditions at the time of your course, but at a minimum please bring something warm to at least -5 celcius. 
  • Sleeping pad
  • Tent – 3-season
  • Stove, fuel canister (compatible with stove), and cooking pot – available as an add on 
  • Eating vessels and utensils of choice 
  • Food — 2 breakfasts, 3 ready-made lunches (easily consumable on the go), 2 dinners, enough snacks to suit your individual needs. Dinners can be a little bit luxurious as this is a fly-in but do stick to the weight limits described. For tasty, nutritous and locally pre-made meals check out https://wildedgeketo.com/

Packs

  • 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
  • 60L+ pack — something large enough to fit the items on this list in case of the need to carry to a lower elevation for helicopter pick-up

Other

  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses with 100% UV block
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toilet paper and ziplock
  • 2 x 1 litre water bottles
  • Water purification system — filter, tablets or drops 
  • Pocket knife
  • Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Small first aid kit (optional) 
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Reading material (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Feminine hygiene supplies (if needed) 
  • Spare prescription glasses (if needed) 

Rentals


  • Technical Gear: Our Mountaineering Kit rental add on includes all the items on technical gear list, and is available for $45 ($15/day). These can be purchased when you book or requested later as an add on. 
  • Mountaineering Boots: If you require other from the personal gear list such as mountaineering boots, you can check out Sports Rent based out of Victoria.
  • Camp Kit: (includes tent and sleeping mat) - $45.00
  • Cook Kit: (includes pot, stove and fuel) - $50.00

Questions? Send us an email or read our blog for advice on choosing appropriate gear. 

Testimonials

What a great adventure! The whole experience was fantastic! Thanks for getting us to the top of Serratus. It’s nice after the fact to know you made it to the top, rather than just getting close. There are too many great photos to pick a few right now, so I have burned them all to a disc and will drop it in the mail today. Dale Combs, Advanced Mountain Skills Tantalus Range
We had an incredible time. Jan is so knowledgeable and a terrific teacher. So impressed with him! :) Anna, Vancouver, BC