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Banff Alpine Skills Course in the Canadian Rockies | undefined
Banff mountain climbing
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climbers N face AthaB b
Descending the Sickle

Banff Alpine Skills Course in the Canadian Rockies

Join Jeff, an ACMG-certified mountain guide, for this informative, scenic and exciting 6-day Banff mountain climbing initiation course in the Canadian Rockies. Learn necessary technical and safety skills on the Columbia Ice field and around Lake Louise while getting the chance to summit Mount Athabasca.




6 Days


Jun - Sep






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Based on 2 reviews

  • Enjoy the stunning scenery of British Columbia.
  • Get the chance to climb Mount Athabasca.
  • Learn necessary climbing and safety skills throughout the trip.


Have you ever dreamt of climbing the high peaks in and around Banff, Lake Louise, and the Columbia icefields? There are so many classic Rockies high points with a variety of routes to choose from, but the complexity may be overwhelming. The Banff Alpine Skills Week is designed to take you from being a hiker and scrambler to a confident alpinist. Armed with these skills, you can explore further and higher than you may have ever imagined!

The Alpine Skills Week will cover many facets of alpine climbing with a safe, organized, and easy-to-understand approach. The group will spend time on both rock and snow & ice terrain to round out the skill set.

The course typically begins at the Columbia icefields, where both snow & ice climbing and crevasse rescue skills will be taught, followed by a summit attempt of Mt Athabasca. After the snow & ice portion, the group will then head to Lake Louise for a comprehensive rock school. This includes instruction at both single-pitch and alpine rock venues, and skills taught will be adapted to the group's ability.

Accommodations will be at the Hilda Hostel or Icefields Campground, Lake Louise Hostel, and the Castle Mountain Hut if needed. The cost of accommodations is not included in the price.

Skills taught:

  • Pre-trip planning, Route selection, Navigation, Leadership
  • Crevasse Rescue & Glacier travel
  • Snow & Ice
  • Anchors - V-threads, Ice screws, T-slots, Snow pickets
  • Rappelling
  • Using crampons and an ice axe
  • Rock
  • Anchors - using bolts and traditional gear
  • Lead climbing - on bolts and traditional gear
  • Multi-pitch climbing skills
  • Moving on Alpine rock terrain

So what are you waiting for? Book now for this informative and scenic Banff mountain climbing initiation course in the stunning Canadian Rockies!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Rope

- Belay and rappel devices

- Quickdraws

Price details


Cost includes:

Guides - 3:1 ratio on Athabasca summit attempt, 2:1 on Alpine rock routes, 6:1 for instructional days

Group technical gear.


Mountain boots

Personal climbing equipment




Secure your spot with just 25% payment

48-hour free cancellation with 30-day advance booking


More info

Please contact me for a complete equipment list.

Meeting point

To be determined upon completion of booking.

Equipment you will need to bring

mountaineering boots


What is the guide-to-client ratio to climb this mountain?

Maximum 3:1 ratio on Athabasca summit attempts, and 2:1 on alpine rock routes.

How far in advance should I start training and what kind of training do you suggest?

Alpinism aims to be self-sufficient, which means you carry everything yourself and travel quickly and lightly. The best approach to getting ready for alpine climbing is to focus on your cardiovascular and muscular systems. Try to build up endurance in the same muscle groups that you'll be using, particularly your core and major leg muscles. By trekking uphill or downhill, scrambling, and trail running while carrying a burden, you can improve your general endurance. Training in flexibility and balance will also enable you to get the most out of the course. Start gradually rising earlier two weeks ahead to the course; for summits, it's common to rise between two and three in the morning.

What if I've never climbed before?

To participate in this course, you don't need any prior alpine climbing experience. You must, however, be in top aerobic shape and have previous mountaineering or scrambling experience.

Is gear included in the price, or is there specific gear I need for this?

All technical gear is included except crampons, harness, axe & helmet which can be rented from us. Alpine kits can be rented for $30.00/day/person. We also rent mountaineering boots for $20.00/day/person.

What's included in the price? What's not?

The guiding service and the group climbing equipment (rope, etc.) are included in the price.

The following items are not included in the price:

  • accommodations
  • transportation
  • food
  • your personal equipment. Part of it such as crampons, harness, ice axe & helmet can be rented with us.

What equipment should I bring with me?

We'll send you a detailed list of equipment to take after you book the tour.

What skills does this course cover?

Pre-trip planning, route selection, navigation, leadership, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, snow, using anchors, rappelling, and using crampons and ice axe.

What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre Canmore Canada
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Blackstone Mountain Lodge by CLIQUE Canmore Canada
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Solara Resort and Spa Canmore Canada
See rooms

About the guide: Jeff

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Mountain Guide

Alpine Air Adventures is an independent mountain guiding business run by Jeff Bullock. I am a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, with my training and certification through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, and the Canadian Avalanche Association.

We specialize in outdoor Banff adventures including: rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, backcountry skiing and snowboarding, avalanche courses and improvised rope rescue courses.

Based out of Banff, Alberta, Canada in the heart of the rugged Canadian Rocky Mountains, Alpine Air offers everything mountain. My main emphasize is to offer safe and unforgettable Banff adventures to my guests. With the allure of the mountains right at my doorstep I am always keen to take on any adventure and I am excited to have you along. Contact me to begin organizing your dream mountain ascent or descent.


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What people are saying about Jeff



I had a superb time and Jerry my guide was brilliant with safety being always paramount.



Our guide was Jason (not Jeff) and although he was a great guy, he appeared to not be very familiar with the location in which we skied. I was also surprised by the fact that he never asked us about our skiing abilities or the type of terrain we hoped to ski. Due to the avalanche conditions and snow cover, we were in terrain where the trees were too tight to ski and so we skied down an avalanche path (with minimal hazard from above) that was quite steep with a lot of exposed vegetation and small cliff bands. For two of the three of us, this terrain was at the edge of our comfort zones and so the ski down was not very enjoyable. Afterwards, I couldn't help wondering if we had been asked about our interests and skiing level, if we might have found lower angle terrain with a less dense forest cover. Having said all this, once Jason realized I was in a place I was not happy about, he was very attentive to assisting me through the terrain. In summary, the three of us paid a lot of money for a ski tour that was not great and we wondered whether it should have been cancelled if this was the best terrain to be found given the conditions.



Wonderful expedition in the Rockies! My guide Brendan taught me loads on ice climbing technique and now I feel reasonably confident to ice climb again! Word of warning though, it's very hard and the guide will push you to your limits if you have only done little bits of ice climbing in the past. I climbed on the inside of a literal ice palace at one point! I am happy that I did this course and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to really test what they are made of on the ice!



Jeff was a great teacher and learned way more than I expected. Will definitely go again.



Can someone please contact me regarding this tour. I have emailed explore-share and have also spoken to the tour guide regarding a refund. I have tried calling via a WhatsApp but couldn’t get through. Jeff Bullock has assured that you reply quickly and has also assured us a full refund due to extreme cold weather forecast. Please respond. Helen Pascoe

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