Alpine Skills Development: Become the Mountaineer You Aspire to Be!

Apply for the Progressive Climbing Education (PCE) Alpine Skills Development program and join us in Canmore, Alberta, to enhance your technical ice climbing skills.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
November 22, 2017
Alpine Skills Development: Become the Mountaineer You Aspire to Be!
Photo by Ryan Creary.

The Progressive Climbing Education (PCE) initiative is an organization-wide, multi-faceted approach to developing leaders, enhancing skills for our volunteers, growing curriculum, conserving climbing areas, and fostering the highest quality climbing programs. In 2018, we're introducing the new Alpine Skills Development Program aimed at skilled climbers who've given a substantial amount of their time to help new climbers through The Mountaineers, and who want to take their own climbing skills to the next level. 

Through a series of structured, educational field trips with support from peers, volunteers, and professional guides, the Alpine Skills Development Program will help you develop your skills to benefit our greater community.

In the coming year, we will offer two paths of customized skill building within the Alpine Skills Development Program: one for rock climbing and one for ice climbing. Each program will offer a combination of challenging climbs with guides and instructional climbs with volunteers to get you outside, pushing your grades and skills to the next level. We'll also have trips to give you opportunities to lead and spend time in groups with your peers. The education will be rounded out with a combination of evening sessions, classes, and slideshows to help hone your skills. This will be an intensive, but highly educational, experience. 

Right now we're launching the Ice Climbing Program, with more information to come on the Rock Climbing Program. 

Ice Climbing Skills Development

If you are a highly dedicated Mountaineers climbing volunteer and would benefit from  opportunities to expand your skills and increase your comfort zone in steep ice terrain, this opportunity may be for you. We'll pair you with more experienced climbers who can "show you the ropes" of technical ice climbing and give you opportunities to lead climb with peers.

Who should apply?

Highly motivated climbers who have a substantial resume of Mountaineers leading and instructing and who are excited to improve as climbers and Mountaineers Leaders! You should be a Basic Climbing graduate (or higher) and have experience leading water ice to be eligible for the ice climbing portion of the program. All who can lead water ice are encouraged to apply, as our priority is assembling a group of highly motivated volunteers & climbers who will benefit from this opportunity. Ability to lead Water Ice III or higher is advantageous, and technical rock climbing ability will also be considered. This advanced training is well suited for skilled climbers wanting to get to the next level.

We will select applicants from our different branches who are committed to giving back to the Mountaineers by using their skills to lead trips, teach classes, and infuse our climbing programs with energy and experience.  We will take the following into consideration when selecting applicants: 

  • Recent history of volunteerism within The Mountaineers
  • Relevant climbing skills and experience
  • Desire to use this experience to further your leadership within The Mountaineers
  • Mountaineers references

Program Details

The program will have an ice climbing phase based in Canmore, Alberta, in February 2018 and several options for rock climbing in Squamish in late summer. 

  • Canmore: Feb 10-16, 2018
  • Squamish: Aug-Sep 2018 (TBD)


We're now accepting applications for the ice climbing phase, and will roll out an application for the rock climbing phase separately. Ice Climbing Application due Dec 4, 2017.

apply for the ice climbing program

A special thanks to Steve Swenson for his vision and personal time invested to make this program come to life. 

Questions? Contact Climbing Education Manager Steve Smith

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