The Alpine Mentorship Program (AMP)
Has Mount Robson been on your bucket list for some time but you don’t feel like you have the skill set to lead or be a confident second? Has the Silverhorn Route on Athabasca been calling to you? Or maybe one day you would like to lead a group of friends up to the top of Mount Rainier? Then the AMP program may be just for you.
The Alpine Committee, initially created by Lida Frydrychova, is now Chaired by Dom d’Argent (email@example.com). The Calgary Section has teamed up with ACMG Guide Brent Peters to develop an Alpine Mentorship Program (AMP) for the Calgary Section of the Alpine Club. The goal of the program is to develop the skills of our current members to learn to lead safe and successful alpine trips.
The program has been broken up into two phases. Phase 1 takes place in the winter and spring and builds your skills and fitness for the summer months. Phase 2 takes place in the spring and summer. This is where you can apply your skills on summer alpine trips. In both phases, you will be mentored along by Brent Peters ACMG guide who will teach you how to do things in the real world, on real objectives and under changing circumstances.
Information on Alpine mountaineering difficulty levels that are referred to below (PD, AD, etc) can be found here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_(climbing)#International_French_adjectival_system_(IFAS)) and here (http://www.alpinist.com/p/climbing_notes/grades).
Participants can join trips and courses where they will build the necessary skill sets to get them ready to move into Phase 2 for the spring and summer mountaineering program. None of these trips are mandatory to move into phase two. These are designed to help you fill the gaps. Examples of trips and courses are as follows:
- Ice, Mixed and Trad Rock Leadership
- Ski Mountaineering
- Improvised Rope Rescue
- Trip and Expedition Planning
- Scrambling – To build the fitness and confidence to move efficiently over 3rd and 4th class terrain
- Practice Sessions
These trips will range anywhere from 1-7 days and are not your ordinary trips. They are not focused on any particular objectives but rather on developing the participants’ skills so they will be ready to lead their own trips in the future or become competent seconds. There are three levels of trips depending on the participants’ skills ranging from beginner to advanced mountaineering. See the breakdown of the skill levels below. The number of participants on these trips will be based on the participants’ skill levels. Trip examples are as follows:
- Rogers Pass Summer Alpine
- Peyto Area – Winter Ski Mountaineering or Summer Alpine
- Athabasca Area – Winter Ski Mountaineering or Summer Alpine
- Fly into Lyells or Fairy Meadows
- International trips such as Peru, The Alps, Sierra or Washington State
The trips will be posted with a skill level number. The skill level breakdowns are as follows:
Level # 3 (Advanced)
Provide practical development opportunities for intermediate members to increase their confidence in leading alpine trips at the PD (peu difficile = slightly difficult)+ and AD (assez difficile = slightly difficult) level. This will be achieved by:
- 2:1, 3:1 or 4:1 trips with a guide who is going to provide real life trips with opportunities for decision making and route leading
- Required Skill Sets to Participate
- Have intermediate to advanced level of fitness to be able to move quickly through varied mountain terrain
- Lead WI3 Ice
- Lead Rockies 5.6 Trad
- 2 Person crevasse rescue
- Have a history of leading and participating in ACC trips, private or other clubs’ trips ski, alpine or scrambling trips.
- Be confident on the sharp end in the above skills
Level # 2 (Intermediate)
Further the skills of “Advanced Beginner” to “Intermediate” mountaineers who have done a handful of alpine and lots of scrambling or ski mountaineering trips in order to allow them to move from PD to AD level.
- Required Skill Sets to Participate
- Previous alpine experience participating in PD trips or difficult and/or winter scrambles
- Ice climber beginner
- Rock climber beginner
- 3-person crevasse rescue
- Fitness level to carry a 45 pound pack over 2 days with 1200m elevation gain per day
Level # 1 (Beginner)
Beginner mountaineers who have been on a glacier once or twice, know 3-person crevasse rescue, completed a 2-day Snow and Ice course and have done steep snow slope climbs as part of their scrambling trips.
These members have done only one alpine trip such as Athabasca and want to do more of similar trips such as Aberdeen, Harrison, Lefroy or similar.