[gallHave you ever wondered what mountain Guide training was like? Well, Lead Guide and course instructor, Mike Hainault, takes us through a week of training from this year's 2011 Summer Glacier Course.
Monday September 12 – We Approached the Grizzly Hut on a glorious sunny day. Students practiced map, compass & navigation skills. Once at camp, a brief overview of basic rope skills (anchor building, rappelling, lowering,) whilst our chalet hostess Erich Schadinger prepared dinner.
Tuesday September 13 – Another glorious day spent introducing mountaineering skills on French glacier. Students practiced using crampons, ice axes, self-arrest techniques, roping-up, glacier travel, navigation, short-roping, all under the watchful eye of a magnificent mountain goat.
Wednesday September 14 – The weather just kept getting better as students got to practice rope rescue training on Boo-Boo Juice glacier. Students got to see first hand the inside of a crevasse as they rappelled, ascended, and rescued fellow participants.
Thursday September 15 – Students were introduced to ice-climbing techniques. The use of ice screws, improvised ice anchor building techniques, station building, climbing strategies, multi-pitch climbing, glacier travel using staggered protection for improved party safety all while observing the change in weather approaching from the west.
Friday September 16 – Course participants woke up to a dramatic change in weather. A trace of snow was visible above the Grizzly Hut and the goal was to return to Boo Boo Juice glacier for a real “winter-like” simulated rope rescue day. White-out conditions, blowing snow, and sub-zero temperatures in September was just what the instructors hand in mind in order to challenge the students abilities in adverse conditions.
Saturday September 17 – Waking up to winter at “The Hut” in September is stunningly indescribable. The snow line dropped to below 5000 ft., and with 10cm of fresh snow below our feet, we knew the decent from “The Hut” back to the trucks would be challenging. With good route finding and navigation everyone made it out safely; a true testament to the fortitude and safe guiding strategies employed by CSGA guides.