3-day program designed to teach you the basics of glacier travel and crevasse rescue.

This is a 3-day program designed to teach you the basics of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. This course is scheduled during the summer season and can be arranged with custom dates.
Program Details

Below are a few videos from NCMG owners Jeff Ward and Larry Goldie.  These videos are an example of some of the techniques you will learn on your Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel Course and are a good reference to use in preparation for your course.  You will be learning a lot of information on this course the and more prepared you are the more information you will retain.    

 

Crevasse Rescue: Transfer the Load from American Mountain Guides Assoc on Vimeo.

Crevasse Rescue: Backing Up a Picket from American Mountain Guides Assoc on Vimeo.

Crevasse Rescue: Prepping the Lip from American Mountain Guides Assoc on Vimeo.

Crevasse Rescue: Hauling from American Mountain Guides Assoc on Vimeo.

Itinerary

Day One: Depending on the conditions and time of year, there are several areas we may choose for this program. On the first day, we will hike into a base camp, set up camp and spend the afternoon on several topics.

These will include:

  • Various rope configurations
  • Roping up – How far apart
  • Tying off excess rope
  • Prussik systems
  • Ascending the rope
  • Snow anchors
  • Team rope travel

Day Two: We will use the previous day’s skills and venture out onto a glacier. We will discuss route finding and rope management. Touring around on the glacier will eventually lead us to a suitable crevasse for rescue practice. Here we will cover the following topics:

  • Probing for hidden crevasses
  • Arresting a crevasse fall
  • Multiple rescue and pulley systems; 2:1, 3:1, 6:1, 9:1 etc.
Students will have the majority of the day to practice crevasse rescue in a variety of teams. The most difficult being the two-person team where the entire rescue is performed by one person. We feel it is important to have each student run through this life-saving rescue procedure at least once.

Day Three: We will leave early for a final glacier tour with a student out front, route finding and managing the team.  There will be time for several students to have a turn on the front of the rope before heading down to break camp.  Back at camp we will debrief the morning’s tour and answer any remaining questions. Afterward we will pack up and hike out the trailhead.

Gear List

Overnight Mountaineering

A note about gear lists: Remember, nothing can ruin a trip faster than having the wrong gear for the conditions at hand.  All our programs are subject to rapid and severe changes in the weather.  Select garments that are warm, lightweight and durable.  Generally speaking, the best arrangement is to think in terms of layers – a system that dries quickly, allow flexibility and resists wind, water and abrasion. All of us have different tolerances for heat or cold; for example, you might choose warmer gloves than specified here if you tend to get cold hands. If you have doubts about a specific garment’s appropriateness confer with your guide in advance about conditions you are most likely to experience. This list is built for a trip with an unsettle weather forecast.  With a good weather forecast some of these items may be left behind to save weight.  Make sure you check with your guide a few days before the start of the trip to see what type of weather the forecast calls for.  In many circumstances we have recommended specific products or brand names.  There are many comparable products out there: these are only personal favorites.  We are more than happy to advise you on equipment if you have questions.

 

Clothing

 

Item Description Example
Hat (warm) Wool or Synthetic hat that fits underneath helmet Patagonia Beanie Hat
Hat (sun) Baseball Hat NCMG Trucker Cap or visor
Gloves Bring one insulated and one light pair.

Black Diamond Terminator

Black Diamond Soloist

Socks (2 pair) Wool or synthetic. Patagonia Midweight Merino Hiking Crew Sock
Jacket (softshell) Breathable and water resistant

Patagonia Levitation Hoody

Patagonia Houdini

Jacket (insulation) Synthetic or down insulation Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody

Long Underwear Top (lightweight)

Lightweight or silkweight synthetic or wool Patagonia Capilene or Merino
Fleece top (midweight) Midweight synthetic or wool Patagonia R1 Hoody
Pants (softshell) Breathable and water resistant Patagonia Simul Alpine Pants

 

Optional/Weather Dependant

Item Description Example
Jacket (waterproof hardshell) Waterproof Breathable. Patagonia Alpine Houdini or M10 Jackets
Sun Shirt Hooded Sun Shirt Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody
Pants (waterproof hardshell) Waterproof Breathable with full or ¾ side zips.  
Neck Gaiter/Buff Used for both wind protection and sun protection. Patagonia Merino Mid-Weight Neck Gaiter

 

Technical Equipment

 

Item Description Example
Boots Sturdy insulated leather or synthetic mountaineering boots in the early season such as the La Sportiva Nepal and an uninsulated Sturdy leather boot such as the Trango

LaSportiva Nepal

LaSportiva Trango

Crampons Must be compatible with your boots Black Diamond Serac Strap
Ice Axe Lightweight and short 50 cm, idealy but no longer than 60 cm.

 

Black Diamond Venom
Harness With belay loop and gear loops.

 

Black Diamond Ozone or Aura
Helmet

 

UIAA approved and in good shape. Must be able to fit warm hat underneath. Black Diamond Vapor, Vector or Half Dome
Belay Device Belay and Rappel device. Black Diamond ATC Guide
2 Locking Carabiners Large pear-shaped carabiners are best. Black Diamond Magnetron Vaporlock
Non-locking Carabiners Optional. Some people like to bring one or two non-locking carabiners for organization. Black Diamond OZ
Overnight Pack

45 – 65 Liters depending on the objective and your personal kit.  With a very “dialed” kit most overnight trips in the North Cascades can be done with a 45-liter pack.  With poor weather or with a less dialed kit (i.e. large sleeping bag, pad, etc.…) you may need a pack as large as 65 liters.

Black Diamond Speed 55

 

Patagonia Ascensionist 45

Trekking Pole(s) 3-Section Pole that can fit inside your pack is ideal, but a 2-section pole can work if you are not carrying your poles on the technical portion of the climb. Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

 

Miscellaneous

Item Description Example
Headlamp Lightweight LED model Black Diamond Storm
Water Bottles and/or thermos At least 2 liters of fluid.  Collapsible containers are recommended because they take up less space in your pack MSR Dromlite 2 liter Bag
Sunglasses UVA & UVB protection. Dark lenses are required.  

 

Sun Protection Sunscreen and SPF lip balm Neutrogena Ultra Sheer 70
Blister Kit A small amount of moleskin and tape  
Coffee/Hot Drinks If you are addicted to caffeine, like most of our guides are, make sure you bring more than enough. Starbucks Via
Dinner and Breakfast Freeze Dried Dinners and Oatmeal are the standard alpine meals.  Cold pizza and Danishes can also work well.  Breakfast and dinner will be quick and efficient, so meals with only adding hot water are advised.  
Snack Food Bring a variety of food with plenty of calories for big days in the mountains. 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day in snack food works for most people.  

 

Bowl Collapsible Bowls are preferred because they take up less room in your pack and are easy to clean in the backcountry. Fozzils Bowlz
Spoon Lexan camping spoon  
Cup Optional. If you want to go light skip the cup and drink out of your bowl.  
Toiletries Toilet paper, a tiny tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush and possibly some earplugs are all you should need.  
Tent Single Wall or Double Wall. Tents can be shared with team members.  Contact your guide to coordinate Black Diamond Firstlight or Black Diamond Skylight
Sleeping Bag Typically 15 to 30 degree bag works for most climbs depending on weather and personal sleeping temperature.  Down is much more compressible than synthetic. Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 or Phantasia 15
Sleeping Pad Inflatable pads are typically more comfortable and packable. Closed cell pads are more durable and less expensive. Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm
Stove Often this can be shared with your guide. MSR Windburner Stove or Jetboil Flash Stove
Fuel For canister stoves budget a minimum of 1 oz. per person per day in warm conditions with running water.  Double that for colder conditions or for melting snow for drinking water.  
Lighter    
Camera Optional but recommended  
Garbage Bags (2) Used for lining sleeping bag stuff sack and pack for wet conditions.  
Tip for Guides Optional Guides work hard to ensure you have a fun and safe day and a 10-15% tip is a great way to thank them  
Available Guides
  • Profile picture for user Jeff Ward

    Jeff Ward

  • Profile picture for user Sid Pattison

    Sid Pattison

  • Profile picture for user Larry Goldie

    Larry Goldie

  • Profile picture for user Paul Butler

    Paul Butler

  • Profile picture for user Drew Lovell

    Drew Lovell

  • Profile picture for user Josh Cole

    Joshua Cole

  • Profile picture for user Steph Williams

    Steph Williams

  • Profile picture for user Jere Burrell

    Jere Burrell

  • Profile picture for user Matt Skorina

    Matt Skorina

Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel
Skills Required

To get the most out of a program like this it is important for climbers to arrive with some basic skills.  If you feel like you lack these skills consider adding an extra day before the start of this program to cover these core skills.

  • Basic snow climbing and descending techniques
  • Self-arrest
  • Use of crampons
  • Basic knots – figure eight, clove hitch, double fisherman’s
Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel