- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: Canada, United States
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Session Start: June, July
- Session Length: Four Weeks
- Entering Grade: 11th, 12th, PG, College
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Outdoor Adventure
- Sub-Categories: Rock Climbing, Hiking
- Selective: No
- Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
- Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
Find new challenges on an unforgettable adventure in Canada’s beautiful and remote Waddington Range. On this month-long expedition, build the technical mountaineering skills you need to travel on rock, snow, and ice.
British Columbia, Canada’s Waddington Range, a little known and remote mountain range, contains steep cliffs, jagged peaks, and sprawling ice fields that will challenge you on a daily basis. This area has some of the largest glaciers in sub-arctic North America and provides an ideal setting for you to learn the fundamentals of mountaineering and leadership and push you both mentally and physically.
Your development as a mountaineer will begin with the basics. Learning to care for yourself, your fellow expedition members, your equipment, and the environment in a variety of conditions are the foundation for advanced mountaineering and the focus of our core curriculum. As you bushwhack through thick forest and undergrowth on your way to the glaciers, you'll master camping, cooking and basic travel skills. As you travel, your group will be challenged to negotiate slopes of loose scree and dense vegetation or large, crevassed glaciers, and you'll constantly employ techniques to minimize the chance of a confrontation with bears and other wildlife.
Once you reach the glacier, you’ll move into the climbing curriculum, beginning with knots, rope handling, rope team travel, self-arrest and belaying. You’ll spend time practicing these skills and learning to live and travel responsibly in glaciated terrain. As your experience builds and you move into more technically demanding terrain, you’ll be exposed to more advanced skills such as crevasse rescue, route finding on a glacier, avalanche hazard assessment, and the use of 4th and potentially even 5th class rope systems for protection during more exposed travel.
There will be days set aside for classes and skill practice or peak ascents when you will not move camp, but you should be aware that a number of factors often preclude successful summit attempts. Your course will take advantage of every opportunity to prepare you for future expeditions in glaciated ranges, and the primary focus of this course is the development of skills and judgment, not “peak bagging”. By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to pursue a lifetime of exploration in the mountains.