Last minute chance to take Mountaineering First Aid in YEG May 13-14.

posted May 10, 2017, 9:24 AM by Paul-Emile Trudeau

We've got space available on this weekend's, May 13-14, Emergency Mountaineering First Aid course held HERE in Edmonton. To register, please go to our website. Fill in the google form to register, and navigate to our online store to pay. ( ). Don't forget we have special subsidies for trip coordinators taking first aid courses!!

May 17: Trip Coordinator Orientation and Trip Planning Meeting

posted May 7, 2017, 8:47 AM by Dustin McLachlan   [ updated May 8, 2017, 8:37 AM ]

May 17, 7:00 pm @ McKernan Community Hall. Click here to RSVP!

The Edmonton Section of the ACC is hosting an open-door Trip Coordinator Orientation and Trip Planning session for members and the public. This event is geared towards current and aspiring volunteers interested in the following topics:

  • Coordinating and co-leading trips in Spring/Summer/Fall 2017

  • Mentorship opportunities

  • Updated guidelines and section policies regarding first aid training

  • Trip management (planning, communications, and waiver administration)

  • How to submit a trip or event

  • Booking section equipment for your trip

  • Benefits for volunteers (e.g. course subsidies, advanced booking at ACC huts, pro deals)

  • Volunteer opportunities such as assisting on section courses and urban events

  • Open discussion (questions, feedback, interest in courses, etc)

There will be a presentation followed by an open discussion. This is a great opportunity to talk to other experienced coordinators and to plan your next trip, so bring your trip ideas, maps, and stoke!

Please RSVP by clicking HERE. If you can’t make it, but are still interested in volunteering, please click HERE to complete a short questionnaire and to be added to the volunteer mailing list.

The McKernan Community Hall is located at the corner of 114 St. and 78 Ave (click for MAP), only 2 blocks from the Mckernan-Belgravia LRT Station and with ample parking on site as well as along 78 ave. If driving, access to the Hall is from 114 St (northbound only) at 78 Ave, or directly from 78 Ave (westbound).

May Monthly Meeting - TUESDAY MAY 23RD @ 7pm-9pm

posted Apr 25, 2017, 7:37 AM by Jackie Pearce



From Bushwhacking to Book Writing
An Evening with Ben and Eric of "A Peakbagger's Guide to the Canadian Rockies: North"

Ben and Eric will share some slides of interesting and amusing moments from trips in the book and share some tidbits of extra info. Their book will hopefully be just hot off the press and available for purchase (and autographs) too!

"Ben Nearingburg is an instructor, author, and guide who often roams the hills of the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Ranges.  Ben hopes his passion for the hills, both on and off the written page, helps others to experience and respect the rugged splendor of the natural world."

"Eric Coulthard is a computer scientist. He is the founder and developer of Many of his top treks are exploratory jaunts with little or no beta. His passion for exploration began in the Edmonton section."

Our April 26th edition of the Breeze will have a Q&A with Ben and Eric in it - make sure to check your inboxes!


Meeting Location

All monthly meetings for the Section will occur at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre (8426 Gateway Boulevard). See the below map for details.

Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre

Free Indoor Climbing Afternoon at the UofA Sunday April 9th is MODIFIED

posted Apr 4, 2017, 1:23 PM by Jackie Pearce   [ updated Apr 4, 2017, 1:29 PM ]

The UofA Wilson Climbing Center's high wall is closed from April 4th - April 12th. As a result there will be no roped climbing for our upcoming free climbing afternoon on Sunday April 9th.

We hope to see you every Thursday night at VIRG for our informal climbing night!

Edmonton Section Members recognized with ACC National Awards!

posted Mar 30, 2017, 12:35 PM by Dustin McLachlan   [ updated Mar 30, 2017, 8:58 PM ]

Back in December, eight exceptional volunteers were nominated for the ACC’s national-level leadership and service awards. We are thrilled to announce that all of these nominations were successful! Read below for details and some highlights from their nomination entries.

The Silver Rope for Leadership Award was awarded to both Robert Denson and Rick Checkland, for demonstrating technical skills and leadership abilities of a high caliber in mountaineering (alpine, ice, rock, and ski), over many years. Both are past recipients of the Eric Brooks Leadership Award. Rob, an active trip coordinator for 8 years now, is described as “a strong technical leader within the Edmonton Section [with] skills that match or exceed some of the highest standards within the Alpine Club”. Rick is “recognized for his lifelong contribution to the technical aspects of mountaineering. He has taken his high caliber experience and has given back to the club and the mountaineering community for over 40 years”.

The Eric Brooks Leader Award is presented to members who have demonstrated a strong, consistent commitment to learn and apply technical and leadership skills in mountaineering, usually for a period of less than 5 years. This year’s recipients include Thomas McElroy, Steven Rockarts, and Paul-Emile Trudeau. The Edmonton Section is privileged to have such leaders in its ranks!

The Distinguished Service Award has been awarded to John Booth, for giving outstanding service to the ACC in “matters other than mountaineering” for a period greater than 5 years. Described as “a great mentor to many aspiring hikers, scramblers, rock climbers and ice climbers”, John’s award recognizes his central role in organizing the Edmonton Section Summer Mountaineering camp for over 20 years and instructing on the Summer in the Mountains course for 10 years. He is also a past recipient of the Don Forest Service Award.

The Don Forest Service Award has been award to Donna McColl and Lil Lezarre, for their significant service to the Edmonton Section. Donna and Lil were co-creators of two women-only programs We Women Rock and Chicks with Picks, which have provided an ongoing opportunity “to empower women by increasing their confidence and abilities in their rock and ice climbing skills”. Donna, described as “a woman of integrity and authenticity with great visionary qualities”, is recognized for “showing her commitment to the section and her desire to be a part of something larger than her own needs and goals”. Lil “has been one of the main contributors to the Edmonton section and is a big part of why our section is as vibrant and cohesive as it is…[her] legacy is one of supporting all members who are interested in mountain activities, as well as recognizing all who volunteer for the club.”

Awards will be presented at the Summer BBQ (June 20). Come out and help congratulate these awesome volunteers!

Special thanks to the Edmonton members who prepared these nominations: David Zemrau, Foster Karcha, Konstantin Stoletov, Craig Hartmetz, Kirk Bishop, Jackie Pearce, Ann Revill, and Dustin McLachlan.

Anyone can nominate an exceptional ACC member for a national award! More information about each award, along with nomination forms, can be found on the Alpine Club of Canada website. If you have any questions or need any support, I encourage you to contact to help coordinate your nomination.

Dustin McLachlan

Volunteer Coordinator

April Monthly Meeting - Tuesday April 18th @ 7pm-9pm

posted Mar 20, 2017, 8:55 AM by Jackie Pearce


Moulins - Exploring a Glacier from the Inside Out

Kevin comes to talk to us about his moulin journey. What’s it like down there? When’s the best time to explore them? What are the biggest risks and how can you mitigate them? What can these moulins tell us about the glacier as a whole? 

Kevin Abma has been exploring moulins for the past 3 years. His goal has been to get from the glacier’s surface down to the bedrock below by descending through a moulin.
Kevin’s background makes him particularly well suited for exploring moulins. 

He has been an active caver for over 10 years, serving on the Alberta Speleological Society's Executive for 2 years. He’s a member of Alberta and BC’s Cave Rescue Organization and has participated in countless cave and rope rescue scenarios. 

5 years ago, Kevin turned his attention to climbing the eleven-thousanders of the Canadian Rockies. During this time, Kevin’s passion turned to glaciers, as they are an essential component to every big mountain. 

With a background in caving and a passion for glaciers, it’s only natural to assume that he would progress to caving in a glacier. 


Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre

New Course Subsidy Policy for Section Volunteers

posted Mar 9, 2017, 9:39 PM by Dustin McLachlan   [ updated Mar 9, 2017, 9:41 PM ]

The Section has developed a new course subsidy policy for Section Volunteers that can be viewed here or on the website at (scroll to bottom). 

A few highlights:
  • Total available subsidy funding has been doubled for 2017. This is a great year to take a course and expand on your first aid, leadership, and technical training!
  • A new $200 subsidy for Wilderness First Aid is introduced, to promote the minimum required training for trip coordinators. Equivalencies are discussed in the policy.
  • The available subsidy for technical and leadership courses starts at $200 and increases based on your contribution to the Section. Eligibility and available subsidy amounts are discussed in detail in the new policy.
  • Applications can be submitted at any time, prior to Oct. 1 of 2017.
Please read the new policy to understand these and other important changes, and to determine eligibility for courses you have taken this year or plan to take. 

The policy is retroactive for courses taken after Oct. 31 of 2016. In most cases, it is expected that the new policy will increase subsidy amounts as compared to the prior policy. Please contact the volunteer coordinator if you have any questions or concerns.

Dustin McLachlan, Volunteer Coordinator

Top Rope Rockclimbing Leadership Course

posted Mar 5, 2017, 7:06 PM by Dustin McLachlan

Great opportunity for aspiring and active Trip Coordinators here!

The ACC's National Leadership Development Committee is offering a free training course, Top Rope Rock Climbing Leaderership, to be held in Canmore. And yes, it's free! 

This course is intended for experienced or aspiring ACC volunteer leaders who wish to lead successful top rope rock climbing outings for their Sections, and who are interested in serving as a resource within their Sections for training other volunteer trip leaders to enhance their skills and competencies. For Edmonton Section, this would fit really well for those keen to help on our Summer in the Mountains program, and/or those looking to regularly lead rock climbing outings for the Section.

The course dates are evening of April 27th (Thurs) to Evening of May 1 (Sunday). Course fees and accommodation are covered by National.

Applications are due to National no later than Friday, March 24th, and require endorsement from Edmonton Section. As such, please send your application to by Friday, March 17. This will give us a chance to review applications for endorsement and provide feedback to strengthen your application.

All course info is linked below.

Please free free to contact me to express your interest and with any questions.

Dustin McLachlan
Volunteer Coordinator 

March Monthly Meeting - Tuesday March 21st @ 7pm-9pm

posted Feb 27, 2017, 10:45 AM by Paul-Emile Trudeau   [ updated Feb 27, 2017, 10:48 AM ]


Location: Old Strathcona Performing Arts Center

Day Trip Speed Traverses in the Canadian Rockies
by Peter Knight

Peter will share a slide or two on the history in the area (Original Great Divide traverse done on cross country style skis, Skoki Lodge races)

Inspiration (Europe: Mt. Blanc, Haute Route, West Coast: Spearhead, Mt. Rainier, McBride Traverse)

Equipment, Food, Safety, Training/Fitness

Planning Strategies (Route selection, weather, timing)

Past Successful completed traverses

Mt. Joffre

Kicking Horse Pass to Lake Louise via Lake O'Hara and Moraine Lake

Wapta Traverse

Mt. Columbia

Future Plans? (increased complexity of overnight trips)

Routes that make good stepping stones for people looking to get into speed traversing (Dolomite Circuit, French-Haig-Robertson

Peter Knight is a 27 year old weekend warrior from Edmonton. Weeknights, he can be found in Edmonton's river valley. Weekends, he is often in the mountains. Along with being a mountain bike racer in the summer, Peter has been a member of the Canadian Ski Mountaineering Team since 2012 and has attended the bi-annual world championships 3 times. Speed traverses are a great way for Peter to cap off a ski mountaineering race season.

Chicks With Picks 2017

posted Feb 16, 2017, 10:59 AM by Liz Bolt   [ updated Feb 16, 2017, 1:50 PM ]

Join trip co-ordinators Ann, Donna and Lil for their annual Chicks With Picks ice climbing weekend. Stepping up this year, the 2017 CWP features two days instruction and practice with ACMG guide Sarah Hueniken. This is an opportunity to build your ice climbing skills, which includes everything from the principals of movement, efficient tool & crampon techniques, to developing the confidence for safe ice lead climbing, such as ice screw placement, building & backing up ice anchors and making V-threads.

This is a beginner friendly, women-only skill development weekend. A high level of fitness will contribute to your enjoyment and achievement. Ability to tie a figure eight knot and experience belaying is necessary for this trip. You need NO previous ice experience. Maximum number of participants including trip co-ordinators is 12.

March 18: Haffner Creek (Bow Valley)

A great place for novice ice climbers to learn, as well as more advance climbers who would like to work on proper steep ice techniques. Only a short 20 minute hike from the parking lot, there is plenty of ice from WI 3 to 4+.

  • Learn to swing tools, and kick using at proper steep ice technique, resting, and good form. Practice with coaching.
  • Learn basic mixed skills and technique. Practice with coaching.
  • Learn how to place and remove screws
  • Learn how to build an anchor
  • Learn how to build a v-thread
  • Learn how to properly coil a rope 
March 19: Bear Spirit (Bow Valley)

Another cragging location, offering generally more challenging routes than Haffner, especially of mixed lines. Great for advanced ice and mixed technique sessions. Never as busy as Haffner.

  • Learn how to set up your own top ropes
  • More movement practice and coaching on steep ice and mixed
  • Learn how to place screws while climbing
  • Learn how to properly lead ice
  • Practice mock ice leads
  • Rappel practice and skills 

Fees – Payment Required by Feb 29, 2017 

Guide: The low cost for this ACMG facilitated trip reflects a Section investment towards engaging more women in alpine activities, a recognized benefit to section membership overall. Assuming the trip is full will 12 participants, the cost will be about $150/pp for 2 days of facilitated learning with Sarah and her assistant guide. If there are only 10 participants the cost would be about $180. As a subsidy is provided upfront, the 2017 Chicks with Picks trip is not eligible for the Volunteer Course Subsidy Program.

Accommodation: We have pre-booked 12 beds at Banff Hostel. The cost $77/pp for 2 nights.
Meals: Food and beverage costs are up to the individual. Breakfast and lunch on your own both days. The CWP tradition has been to have a Saturday potluck dinner at the hostel. Given the Banff hostel is walkable to town for food services, group interest will determine if a potluck is a go.

Please Note: If you cancel and we are unable to fill your spot you will be responsible for your guide fees and accommodation costs.

To sign up email:

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