Capra Advanced Alpine Running Camp

A Three-Day Advanced Alpine Run Camp

July 28–30, 2017

Capra is excited to partner with Eric Carter (Ridgeline Athletics), Nick Elson (Trail Runner of the Year), and Ross Berg (Altus Mountain Guides) to offer a three-day alpine running and skills camp to a limited group of athletes. Each day will include both a teaching segment—either at Capra and/or on the mountain—and a challenging alpine objective. Those who attend the camp will tackle three exciting and physically challenging days. Each day will contain useful and practical skills for summer adventures in the local alpine.

To move safely and efficiently on foot in the alpine requires a particular set of skills, along with a strong base of aerobic fitness. The goal of this camp is to provide participants with a foundation of skills and knowledge that can be used in almost any alpine running adventures they may tackle, improving their ability to move smoothly through the mountains. The skills taught will be put to use throughout the weekend, giving participants an incredible opportunity to go beyond where their previous skills and confidence previously allowed.

Along with the skills and experience of Nick Elson, Eric Carter, and Mike Murphy—three of the top trail/mountain runners in the country—the knowledge and skills portions of the camp will be lead by Ross Berg, an IFMGA/ ACMG Mountain Guide based out of Squamish. Ross is internationally certified, and when he’s not at home, he routinely guides, climbs, and skis in the European Alps.

Some of the skills that will be covered and practised during the camp will be:

  • Techniques when scrambling over rock
  • Techniques when traversing ice/snow
  • Self arrest on snow
  • Proper crampon/ice axe use
  • Map and compass navigation
  • Spending the night in the event of an emergency
  • Weather: forecasting and planning
  • Mountain Hazards: rock fall, glaciers, cornices, weather
  • Snow climbing/descending techniques
  • Basic rope use/skills

Requirements

If you are interested in attending, we require that you have some mountain running experience, are comfortable scrambling on moderately challenging Class 3 terrain, and can handle three long days of running/scrambling in the mountains. It is not unrealistic that we will be out for at least 8 hours each day.

This not only requires a strong running base and confidence in fueling for multi-day adventures, but also a variety of specific ultra/trail equipment. If you wish to participate in the camp, it is assumed that you can handle approximately 20–30 km per day of alpine terrain, with up to 2500m+ worth of ascent/descent, each of the three days.

Camp Agenda

Day 01: Capra and Blackcomb Glacier

This day will be a teaching and skills day. We will start with an early morning classroom session at Capra before heading out for the day on Blackcomb. This will be the starting point for us to go over several of the skills that will be put into practice during the weekend. Afterwards, we will head over to the Disease Ridge area on Blackcomb, for a skills demonstration and hands-on teaching session. The running objective will be up in the Blackcomb alpine to cap off the day. Day 01 will have a heavy focus on knowledge and skills practice.

Day 02: Habrich–Sky Pilot Alpine Loop

Starting from the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola, we will hike all the way up to the shoulder of Habrich. We will then traverse down, across, and back up to the upper shoulder/snowfield on Sky Pilot, before returning back down to the top of the Gondola. This will a long and challenging day, covering a variety of technical terrain.

Sample route: Habrich–Sky Pilot

Day 03: 19 Mile Creek to Callaghan

This will be the graduation run of the camp, where we’ll get to practice all of the skills and techniques we’ve learned. It’s another long and technical day, but we will be doing a point-to-point adventure through the Whistler area alpine.

Sample Route: Rainbow Lake Loop

Additional Information

Given the large snow accumulation the Sea to Sky corridor received over the winter, it’s likely that we will encounter some surface snow on all three days of the camp. This means the daily routes/objectives may need to be altered without notice, or even fully redirected. Safety takes priority. There is a lot of terrain available for us to tackle however, so there will always be challenging options available… no matter what mother nature throws at us.

The camp will be limited to 12 participants. Cost for the three-day camp is $495.00 (non-refundable). We will provide transportation each day from Capra to the daily objective, and then back to Capra. We will also supply crampons and ice axes (if you don’t have your own) for the Friday skills day on Blackcomb. Lift tickets for Friday are not included.

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