Come Join the Tradition from 1906 to 2023

The ACC's annual General Mountaineering Camp (GMC) has been a fixture of Canadian mountaineering for the last 117 years. Moving to different remote and little explored piece of mountain wilderness each summer, the camp is a excellent introduction to modern-day mountain exploration. Take advantage of our purpose built base camp, so that you can focus on the peaks. 

Riding the success of the 2022 International Basin GMC, we are proud and excited to continue the tradition with a new location the Chess Group. With first assents of the major peaks not occurring until 1978 in a expedition organized by Robert Kruszyna.( Chronicled in CAJ 64:6)  From deep valleys to soaring peaks, this dramatic landscape is the perfect setting for your next mountaineering story. 

 Whether you're looking to challenge yourself on remote alpine summits, savour delicious chef-prepared food at 2000m, or enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals, the GMC offers it all. But the camp sells out every year so register early to avoid disappointment!

If you are an Artist you might want to check out a week designed just for you!

 

Mountain Hardwear sponsors the General Mountaineering Camp and we thank them for their assistance.

Camp Highlights

  • An ACC and Canadian tradition since 1906
  • Purpose built basecamp and basecamp support services
  • Access a remote mountain wilderness by helicopter 
  • Sumptuous meals prepared by on-site chefs
Camp Objectives

Our heli-accessed basecamp will be located at 2010m in the Chess group, under Rook Peak. The adjacent peaks provide a variety of challenges for mountaineers just starting out as well as for seasoned veterans. Depending on participants’ level of experience, fitness, and goals, potential objectives might include:


  • King Peak
  • Queen Peak
  • Bishop Peak
  • Knight Peak
  • and more

    Because of the exploratory nature of the camp, various nearby high points, ridges, and alpine features will also be visited over the course of the summer. The area also provides a perfect setting for our ice, snow and rock schools, an excellent option for those looking to develop their mountaineering abilities and become more autonomous in the alpine environment.
  • Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 

     

    • Day 1: Meet early in the morning at the helicopter staging area from where you and your gear will be flown into the remote basecamp. Upon arrival, you'll be introduced and orientated to the camp by our Camp Manager for the week and assigned a tent. You'll also have the chance to meet some of the week's guides and go on a short hike to explore the immediate area.

     

    • Day 2 - 7 (a typical day)
    • 4.30am: Early breakfast is served

      5am: Rope teams leave camp for longer days/bigger objectives

      6am: General Wake-up Call

      6.30am: General Breakfast is served

      7am: More rope teams leave camp for shorter days, cragging etc.

      Through the day: In the field you will likely spend the day in a group with a Guide and/or amateur leaders. Ratios will vary depending to your chosen objective. Objectives may include prominent peaks in the area, nearby peaks and ridges, or curriculum fine-tune your knowledge and skills. Approaches to climbs may be lengthy with significant elevation gain, and will likely involve roped glacier travel. Many factors (including weather) will determine your groups’ success in reaching any summits. All-in-all the focus of the day is to have fun!

      2-4pm: Rope teams arrive back at camp

      2-6pm: Free time (showers, tea time, etc.), and the choice of objectives for the next day is posted

      6pm: Supper is served

      7.30pm: Grab your lunch and make any final preparations for the next day

    • Day 8: After a final breakfast, photos and goodbyes, you will fly back to civilization via helicopter.

    Is This Camp for Me?
    All Abilities!

    The GMC is open to all! 16 years of age or older, novice to expert, intrepid or laid back. The large camp size (typically 31 participants, 5 guides and 4 volunteer leaders each week) allows for different groups to target a wide ranges of objectives. Each day you get to decide which group you'd like to join depending on your ability, fitness and desired length of day.

    Food, Accommodation and Guiding

    Food

    Evenings will be spent enjoying great food, socializing in the dining or tea tents and resetting for the next day’s climbing. All our food is prepared by a dedicated team of chefs in a dedicated cooking tent. And all ingredients are flown in fresh each week meaning you'll be treated to meat, fruit and vegetables (not to mention some killer desserts) through the week, no dehydrated stuff here! Have you even had a turkey dinner above 2000 meters?


    Accommodation

    During the course of the camp you'll be assigned a Mountain Hardwear Trango tent with a companion of your choice or a fellow guest. The tents are large (3 or 4 person) so there is plenty of space for both of you and your gear. If you prefer your own personal tent, this is also an option although we do charge an extra fee of $200 for this as tents are limited.

    As well as your sleeping tent, there is a communal dining tent, drying tent and tea tent to hang out with your fellow participants. The camp also has two specially prepared outhouses for guests as well as two private showers (now with hot water!)

    Guiding

    Our ACMG certified alpine or full mountain guides will help to orientate you at the camp. Each day they will also be leading different groups to different alpine objectives. Our guides will be welcome to answering questions about the region as well as everything from crampon technique to gear recommendations.

    As of 2022, we added an additional alpine guide to each week of the GMC. Along with full guides and ACC amateur leaders, this means that participants can expect to be in small groups of 3-5 people all day which adds to the enjoyment of the experience and ensures participants can travel at a pace which is right for them and interact closely with their guides.

    Our full guiding roster will be listed below as each guide is confirmed.

    Mountaineering Hazards

    • Rockfall and icefall
      • Rockfall and icefall can be caused by natural forces, or by people travelling through the terrain (Climbing/Scrambling/Hiking) 
      • What are the risks
      • Impact from a falling rock or ice can result in injury or death and can also damage equipment such as ropes.
      • Hazard Mitigation
      • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
      • Your guide will ask you to put on a helmet when in the mountains
    • Avalanche
      • Avalanches can occur in the terrain you will be entering. Caused by natural forces, or by people travelling through the terrain  
      • What are the risks
      • Anyone caught in a avalanche is at risk of personal injury, death, and or property damage or loss
      • Hazard Mitigation
      • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
      • Daily risk assessment processes
      • Guest training if avalanches are a risk on your trip
    • Terrain
      • Cornices
      • Crevasses
      • Trees, tree wells, and tree stumps
      • Creeks
      • Rocks and Boulders
      • Variable and difficult walking terrain
      • Impact or collision with other persons or objects
      • Encounters with domestic or wild animals
      • Contact with poisonous flora or fauna
      • Loss of balance or control
      • Slips, trips, and falls
      • Hazard Mitigation
      • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
      • Radios and/or other communication devices
    • Falls and belaying
      • Mountaineering and ice climbing present the risk of falling from the wall causing the climber to collide with the wall or ground 
      • There is also the risk of a belay failure, which can contribute to a ground fall
      • Hazard Mitigation
      • Your guide will review best belay practices with you or will control the belay
    • Communication, rescue, and medical treatment
      • Communication can be difficult and in the event of an accident rescue and treatment may not be available
      • Adverse weather may also delay the arrival of treatment or transportation out of the field,
      • Alpine weather conditions can be extreme and change rapidly without warning making travel by helicopter, snowmobile, snowcat, dangerous
      • If an injury occurs in challenging terrain movement to an evacuation point may be slow
      • Hazard Mitigation
      • Your guide is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
      • Emergency response plans
      • Satellite communication tools
    • Other
      • Slips trips and falls indoor or outdoor
      • Infectious disease contracted via direct or indirect contact, including but not limited to influenza or Covid-19
      • Equipment failure
      • Negligence of other persons, including other guests
      • Negligence of the guide Including failure to to take reasonable steps to safeguard or protect you from or warn you of risk, dangers, hazards, oh participating in ACC activities
      • Hazard Mitigation
      • Your guide is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
      • Satellite communication tools

    Adventure Map

    Your Guides

    Your Guides Week 1
    Your Guides Week 2
    Your Guides Week 3
    Your Guides Week 4
    Your Guides Week 5
    Your Guides Artists Week

    Details

    Dates of individual weeks

    • July 8th - 15th (Week 1)
    • July 15th - 22nd (Week 2)
    • July 22nd - 29th (Week 3)
    • July 29th - August 5th (Week 4)
    • August 5th - Aug 12th (Week 5)
    • August 12th -17th (Artists Week)
    • $2,995 + Tax
    REGISTER NOW   Artists Week More Info Info Package Coming Soon

    Registration and Cancelation Policy Trip Waivers and Liability Page

    Before registering, please review our Waivers and Liability page as well as the Cancelation policies.

    More Information

    Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues please try to have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

    Email Us  

    (403)-678-3200 ext 312

    We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

    Travel Insurance

     


    Included WITH YOUR CAMP FEE

    • Return helicopter flights
    • 7 days guiding and instruction by ACMG-certified guides supported by ACC amateur leaders
    • Full basecamp setup including: tent accommodation, kitchen, communal tents, outhouses, warm showers, garbage removal etc.
    • Meals prepared by a dedicated team of camp cooks (from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8)
    • All group gear inc. ropes, group first aid kit, emergency communication devices etc.

    Participants Must Provide

    • Transportation between the meeting area in Golden and the staging area (a shuttle bus is available for an additional fee)
    • Personal gear (see gear list)

    BRETT LAWRENCE

    Brett has been guiding in the mountains within Canada and Switzerland since 2001. His passion for the mountains began at the age of 14, when his dad introduced him to rock climbing. Along the cliffs of the Gatineau Park, just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Brett quickly became addicted to the sport. He soon realized that if he wanted to pursue the adventures of climbing, he had to move to a place that was immersed in the mountains. Five years later at the age of 19, he moved to Canmore, Alberta to advance his life in the mountains.

    In 2001, Brett started taking courses and exams through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and in the spring of 2006 finished his last exam, making him fully certified through the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA). Brett now lives in Revelstoke with his very supportive family, who allow him to continue his dreams.


    BRETT LAWRENCE

    Brett has been guiding in the mountains within Canada and Switzerland since 2001. His passion for the mountains began at the age of 14, when his dad introduced him to rock climbing. Along the cliffs of the Gatineau Park, just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Brett quickly became addicted to the sport. He soon realized that if he wanted to pursue the adventures of climbing, he had to move to a place that was immersed in the mountains. Five years later at the age of 19, he moved to Canmore, Alberta to advance his life in the mountains.

    In 2001, Brett started taking courses and exams through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and in the spring of 2006 finished his last exam, making him fully certified through the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA). Brett now lives in Revelstoke with his very supportive family, who allow him to continue his dreams.


    KIRSTEN KNECHTEL

    Kirsten was raised in Banff, AB where her passion for the mountains and mountain adventure began. Kirsten’s family were outdoor enthusiasts and by the age of 6 she began ski racing, age 10 ski touring, and by age 14 she had climbed many classic alpine routes in the Canadian Rockies. Her career as a guide was a natural step. By age 25 she was a fully certified mountain guide. 20 plus years later, Kirsten has a huge variety of guiding experiences behind her. She has worked as a manager of a catskiing operation, guided many heliskiing, catskiing and private ski touring trips and worked as an instructor on the ACMG guides training program. In the summer she has worked with the British military training, run her own private guiding business and spent well over 10 years working at the Alpine Club’s General Mountaineering Camp, Marmot Women’s camps and other ACC programs.


    KIRSTEN KNECHTEL

    Kirsten was raised in Banff, AB where her passion for the mountains and mountain adventure began. Kirsten’s family were outdoor enthusiasts and by the age of 6 she began ski racing, age 10 ski touring, and by age 14 she had climbed many classic alpine routes in the Canadian Rockies. Her career as a guide was a natural step. By age 25 she was a fully certified mountain guide. 20 plus years later, Kirsten has a huge variety of guiding experiences behind her. She has worked as a manager of a catskiing operation, guided many heliskiing, catskiing and private ski touring trips and worked as an instructor on the ACMG guides training program. In the summer she has worked with the British military training, run her own private guiding business and spent well over 10 years working at the Alpine Club’s General Mountaineering Camp, Marmot Women’s camps and other ACC programs.


    PATTI DYMENT AFCA

    Canmore artist Patti Dyment  was already obsessed with painting when she moved to Banff in 1985. Hiking and painting the Rockies has been an endless adventure, education and inspiration since. Patti studied painting in college, university, books, classes, workshops, and the great outdoors, eventually becoming a popular painting instructor herself. She has enjoyed several artists’ residencies, instructing plein air painting, and many excursions with painting friends from alpine huts or tents.

    Patti has been exhibiting in galleries in Western Canada since 1988, and once in Japan. She was awarded Federation of Canadian Artists Signature status in 2012. Her work is represented by the Elevation Gallery in Canmore, AB and Fernie, BC.

    RESIDENCIES:

    Twice Artist in Residence, Brewster Columbia Icefields
    Artist in Residence, Numtijah Lodge, Bow Lake, AB
    Artist in Residence, Alpine Club of Canada Artist Retreat Yoho National Park, AB
    Artist in Residence, Bear and Bison Inn, Canmore, AB

    PUBLIC ART:

    Canmore Utility Box Program, 2015
    Art In Nature Trail, Banff Alberta 2021

    GALLERIES:

    The Mortar and Brick Gallery, Fernie, BC
    The Fallen Leaf Gallery, Canmore, Alberta

    https://elevationgallery.philespace.com

    https://www.fallenleafgallery.com/patti-dyment.html

    instagram patti_dyment


    ROGER LAURILLA

    Raised in Revelstoke B.C., Roger was exposed to the mountains at early age. During his secondary education interests in mountaineering and photography grew simultaneously. "As I began to explore the mountains I saw a lot of areas and natural wonders that I wanted to capture on film". Climbing and skiing became the means to see the mountains and photograph whatever he saw.

    In the late 70’s Roger started to work for Canadian Mountain Holidays in the Bugaboos as a construction helper. From that time his skills developed and the interests in the mountains turned in a professional direction. In 1986 he became a member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and became an internationally Certified Mountain Guide. He guided and managed the CMH Monashees Heli-Skiing operation in Mica Creek B.C. for 32 years. Currently owns and operates Battle Abbey Back Country Lodge in the Selkirk Mountains of BC. In 1976 Roger joined the Alpine Club of Canada and has guided with National Camps since 1988 as well as the GMC in 1998. In off seasons has led photo/trekking and mountain trips to the Arctic, Africa, Europe, New Zealand, South America, Nepal and in Canada.

    Photography has long been a strong creative source for Roger, his images have been published in many magazines such as; Canadian Geographic, Beautiful BC, Ski Canada, Powder Magazine, Climbing, Rock And Ice, Couloir and Back Country. Some of the many books that his images have appeared in are; The Selkirks, The Bugaboos, Place Names in the Canadian Alps, Summits and Secrets, and Canadian Summits. Most of Roger's photography is documenting outdoor sports and mountain related subjects in Canada and the US. His photography and guiding have taken him to the Artic, Antarctic, Africa, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.

     

    • Beautiful location, easy access to all routes, lots of variety for trips to satisfy differing levels of motivation day-to-day.
    • The attitude from the guides and camp staff was infectious and they were all very inspiring.
    • A perfect week...I’m addicted to the GMC!
    - Past GMC Participants-

    "To stand on top of a mountain, to listen to the roar of an avalanche, to see ravens floating in the air and a cascade of alpine flowers was sorely needed. We were not only able to dream, but make memories.

    As always the camp was located in a spectacular location where the worries of our day, was focused on our objectives not on things beyond our control. The camp ran as a normal camp, in a time when normal has been so elusive.

    People laughed and joked, told stories, and worked together as a team to climb mountains. Their expressions were not hidden behind masks, but their joy, excitement and occasionally fear was clearly written across their faces.

    We left camp with memories, new friends and more than just a glimmer of hope for the future.

    With many thanks, Bill Summers - GMC 2021 Week 2"