Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue

1 Day in Lake Tahoe, CA / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person

$275
  • Next Available: Jul 05, 2020 -

About this trip

In this course you'll learn the basics of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Take this course in Lake Tahoe, California before tackling your first big summit.

Overview

  • skill level

    Introductory

  • Duration

    1 Day

Traveling on glacial terrain can be inherently dangerous, difficult and complicated due to the variable nature of the terrain, the limited ability to scope out the hazards in advance and the serious consequences of falling into a crevasse.  Even a minor fall into a crevasse can negatively affect the safety and success of the adventure.

Preventing a fall, or limiting the potential severity of a fall, into a crevasse while moving efficiently is the goal of glacier travel and requires practice and attention to detail. Further; if a fall does occur, rapid, organized and safe rescue is the goal of crevasse rescue.

Goals of the day:

  • Introduce basic concepts of glacier travel and crevasse rescue.
  • Become familiar with equipment choices, use and inspection.
  • Practice roped travel, self-rescue and partner rescue.

Choosing how to travel on glaciated terrain is usually the first and often most difficult decision to make. There are two basic ways to address glacier travel safety and they usually depend on the activity and/or the perceived level of hazard:

  • Having the team roped up in advance and pre-equipped for self and team rescue.  This is the more traditional mountaineering glacier travel approach.
  • Traveling unroped and having rescue equipment available for team rescue.  This is most common for heli ski and ski mountaineering descents.

Choosing how to rescue is the next difficult decision to make and requires a specific skillset and significant practice. We will dive into both of these approaches and learn about the intricacies of both travel and rescue in each situation. Basic skills covered throughout the day include:

  • Introduction to the glaciated environment
    • Anatomy of a glacier
    • Hazard recognition
    • Overview of equipment
  • Basic Ropework
    • Knots and hitches
    • Tie in methods and spacing
    • Team size and how that affects security
    • Moving as a team
    • Strategies to increase security
  • Crevasse Rescue
    • Overview of incident response to a crevasse fall
    • Snow anchors and load transfers
    • Lowering systems
    • Raising systems
    • Rope ascending and descending

Who is this course for:

This course is suitable for both skiers/riders and climbers, the fundamental skills are shared. In order to get the most out of the day, students should have a background in basic climbing before taking this course. Taking an Intro to Mountaineering class, or having experience in rock, ice or snow climbing will set you up for success.

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Excellent physical fitness is required. Climbers must be able to hike for a few hours while carrying a pack, be able to lift heavy loads and be an active team member in a challenging environment.

  • Technical Experience

    Climbers should have a good grasp of basic climbing techniques (rock, snow or ice).

    • 8:00 - 9:00am — Introduction to Traveling in Glaciated Terrain

      To start things off, we will begin our day learning about glaciers- their anatomy, typical hazards and the equipment needed to safely travel on them.

    • 9:00 - 3:30pm — Field Session

      Moving to the field, this is where the rubber meets the road. We'll learn things such as rope up procedures, anchoring, rope ascending and descending, lowering and raising systems, and we'll culminate with a full crevasse rescue scenario.

    • 3:30 - 4:00pm — Debrief

      We'll review the day and go over next steps.

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Hat

        Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding. Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

        $25.00
      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Beanie

      • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

        A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy. Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

      • Sunglasses

        Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies). Recommended: Revoi Guide II

      • Goggles

        These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired. Recommended: Smith I/O

      • Hands and Feet

      • Lightweight Gloves

        All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

      • Warm Socks

        A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. NO COTTON. Recommended: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

      • Mountaineering Boot

        Should be warm single boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8 of an inch when walking. Recommended: La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX

      • Upper Body Apparel

      • Lightweight Top

        Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution IR 1/4 Zip

      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

      • Soft Shell Jacket

        While this item isn’t required, we know that those who don’t have one wish they did! More breathable than Gore-tex, these jackets block wind and light precipitation. A windshirt is an option for this layer. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Sandstone

      • Lower Body Apparel

      • Base Layer Bottoms

        Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry Merino Hybrid Baselayer Pants

      • Soft Shell Pants

        You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose Schoeller® or a soft-shell equivalent. Breathable + water-resistant. These pants should have an ankle zip so they will accommodate your mountain boot. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Alpine

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended: Black Diamond Sharp End Pants

      • Technical Equipment

      • Backpack 35-45 Liters

        Internal frame pack that is between 35 and 45 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners to protect from precipitation. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alchemist 40 Pack, or Black Diamond Mission 35 Pack

      • General Mountaineering Axe

        One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. Recommended: Petzl Summit

      • Mountaineering Crampons

        Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail. Crampons are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

      • Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

      • Harness

        Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. Recommended: Petzl Altitude *Harnesses are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine. Recommended: Petzl Spirit

      • Prusik Cord

        20’ of 6mm. This will be used to make prusiks. This cord should be uncut and not kevlar. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

      • Belay Device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes. Recommended: Petzl Reverso

    • What is your cancellation policy?

      When you book a course with Alpenglow Expeditions you are agreeing to our cancellation policy. Please realize that if your travel does not go according to plan in any way and for any reason, we are unable to provide credits or refunds outside of what is described below. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to protect your activity purchase against unforeseeable circumstances.

      If you cancel for any reason prior to 30 days before the course start, you may rebook a later date for 100% credit, subject to availability, or you may receive a refund minus a 5% cancellation fee. If you cancel between 14 and 30 days prior to the course start, you may reschedule, subject to availability. Between 14 and 30 days there are no refunds. If you cancel inside of 14 days from the course start, there are no refunds or reschedules available. In light of this, Alpenglow strongly recommends all guests purchase trip insurance to protect against any unforeseen circumstances. This includes but is not limited to:

      -Injury/illness
      -Weather, Mountain and Travel Conditions
      -Personal scheduling changes

      To review our entire policy, please click here

Tim Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North-East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has spent the last 10 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing. He is currently an AMGA Ski Guide, Rock Guide, and AIARE course leader. He is working towards becoming an IFMGA mountain guide. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Ben Mitchell

Ben has been in love with the mountains from a young age. He began hiking and skiing with his family and quickly decided he never wanted to stop. After finishing university in Portland, OR Ben moved back to Washington State and began guiding on Mt. Rainier and around the Cascades. For the next many years he followed the seasons, skiing, climbing and pursuing the art of human flight through out the world. He has made expeditions into both polar circles, skied first descents in Afghanistan and climbed throughout the Americas and Europe. When not looking forward to the next adventure he thoroughly enjoys roasting coffee, reading and taking his dog out for walks.

Ben is an IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Dave Nettle

Dave’s love for outdoor challenge, adventure and fun began early in his life with Boy Scout backpacking and mountaineering trips in the Pacific Northwest.

In 1972 he started his lifelong pursuit and joy of rock climbing with his first climbs deep in the Sierra Nevada backcountry, which remains his favorite mountain range to share and enjoy.

In 1975, at age 17 he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail solo from Mexico to Canada and the following year hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico, sealing his passion for grand adventure and determination to accomplish what he sets out to do.

Dave’s underlying philosophy of living life fully and approaching the world of adventure travel and alpinism with “confident uncertainty” has led him to the mountain ranges of the world where his climbing accomplishments are just a part of what he values.  At the heart and soul of it all is the experience of interacting with, and learning from, the people, places and cultures along the way and sharing the challenge and beauty of wilderness with friends.

In addition to five decades of rock and alpine climbing which have included new routes and significant ascents throughout North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, Dave is an accomplished ski mountaineer who hangs up his climbing shoes each winter in favor of backcountry alpine ski touring and hut to hut ski tours in the European Alps.

Dave brings 15 years of technical Rope Access and Rescue Training experience to the team.  He has helped pioneer the use of Rope Access methods to complement traditional mountaineering based techniques to improve the safety and efficiency of ski lift, gondola, high angle and crevasse rescue procedures.  He has been a SPRAT certified Rope Access Level 3 Technician since 2002.

His blend of outdoor skills, professionalism and sense of humor make for memorable trips, not to mention epic slide show presentations which he loves to share with others. Dave is the founder of a free community slideshow series in the Tahoe area that has been ongoing since 1988 and continues to inform, entertain and inspire everyone to seek out and accomplish their dreams and goals. You can learn more about the Alpenglow Winter Film Series here.

Guide Certifications
  • IRATA

Ben Weaver

Ben comes to guiding after being a professional ski patroller for several years. Three of those seasons were spent working as part of the snow safety department at Mt. Hood Meadows.  Ben is now in his fourth winter season with Alpenglow Expeditions here in Squaw Valley.   He is a professional member of the AMGA, has his AIARE level 3 certification and is also an AIARE Course Leader. After successful completion of the Aspirant ski course/exam he is an AMGA Assistant ski guide and will be participating in the AMGA Alpine Guide Course later this spring.  Ben has spent three spring climbing seasons in Alaska volunteering with the National Park Service climbing rangers on Denali.   He is a Board Member of the Denali Rescue Volunteers organization and will be back on Denali this coming May.  He has skied in the Western US, Alaska, Canada, and two seasons in Chamonix & La Grave.   Ben has a Master’s Degree in Anesthesia and he works as a CRNA in the summer.  Ben lives here in the Tahoe area with his lovely wife Katie and their two dogs, Roscoe & Murdock.

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Ray Hughes

Ray is an IFMGA / AMGA Licensed Mountain Guide. His passion for the mountains ignited while growing up in Northern California, exploring the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges, followed by years honing his mountain skills in Colorado and Switzerland. As one of our core guides, Ray brings the same excitement to guiding and instructing in Lake Tahoe as skiing and alpine guiding in Europe to expeditions anywhere in the world. Sharing experiences, culture, and beautiful places with others blurs the line between work and play.

He is an AIARE Avalanche Course Leader and an American Avalanche Association professional member. Ray also works as a snow safety consultant for professional winter sport athletes and photographers.

He was a 4 x All American in Track and Field and the 250th American to ever run the Mile under 4:00, but now enjoys being an average trail jogger.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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    Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue

Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue

In this course you'll learn the basics of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Take this course in Lake Tahoe, California before tackling your first big summit.