Trip-Specific Safety Notes
This trip is unguided and you are responsible for your own safety. In the case of an incident of some kind you may also find yourself responsible for a partners rescue/well-being. This is a long way in, an outside response will most likely be measured in days. A VHF radio will be available in the hut or at basecamp. At this time I do not have any information on what repeaters, if any, we can reach from the area. I will obtain this information and program the radio accordingly as the trip approaches.
A group first aid kit will be brought and kept in camp, although it is not intended to replace personal first aid kits.
The following notes are for those interested in alpine climbing from a camp and/or doing the traverse out to Rogers Pass. It is possible to enjoy a great deal of hiking, backpacking, and easy scrambling routes without glacier travel or the need for a rope.
Note that routes in the Selkirks are often not continuous climbing at the rating. Many routes contain long sections of 4th class climbing which must be negotiated quickly and efficiently to achieve the objective and to avoid an unplanned bivy. Climbing and belaying one pitch at a time from beginning to end are not realistic on many routes in this region.
Most climbs (as opposed to easier scrambles) involve glacier travel on the approach if not on the climb itself. Climbers often climb in pairs since a team of two is most efficient in many regards. However, travel as a team of two on a crevassed glacier should really be undertaken by people with sound crevasse rescue knowledge beyond what is usually memorized in a basic class. Keep this in mind and consider either traveling as part of a group of three or more where appropriate and/or obtaining some additional training. Last summer (2000) I taught a class on advanced crevasse rescue techniques prior to the trip. While this was in no way a requirement everyone who went on that trip opted to take it.
Of particular concern are glacier hazards, especially crevasses. Learn about basic crevasse rescue/extrication if you don't have that skill already. Take a class and get some practice before this trip. The traverse will only be undertaken as a group, so advanced knowledge or experience are not necessary. The ability to work as part of team in an emergency situation and some basic knowledge of crevasse rescue are expected.
While much of the route is not steep there will be snow slopes to ascend and descend. Knowledge of self-arrest is essential. This, along with basic glacier travel skills, can be obtained in any half-decent introductory mountaineering course.
Serious exposure should be minimal, but expect at least one rappel in the Deville Chimney. Everyone will be double-checked by somebody else to see that all is set up correctly, and help rigging the rappel will be available. However, it is important not to be too bothered by exposure and also to have rappelled at least once before. If you haven't done this let me know, we can take care of that before you go on this trip.