Activities

Rock Climb

Climbing at Montagne D'Argent

Climbing trips, organized by volunteer leaders, are held throughout the year. Gatineau Park offers numerous cliffs with good quality rock and shorter routes. Trips are also organized to Bon Echo (west of Ottawa on Highway 41) and to the Adirondacks,NY, White Mountains, NH and to Maine.

These trips are not training events, so if you are unfamiliar with a listed location, please check with the designated trip leader to ensure the trip is suitable for your skill level.

For all information on climbing outings and learning opportunities, please contact our climbing coordinator at : climb@alpineclubottawa.ca and reference “Climb” in your subject line.

Trip Leaders

Trips can’t happen without trip leaders — leaders are always needed, and new ones are always encouraged to participate. Can’t find a regular climbing partner? or ditched by your partner who went west in search of the mythical “big wall”? Volunteer to lead a trip! Chances are, there’s probably someone else in the club in the same boat as you are. Leading a trip is a great way to meet other members.

If you don’t think you have the experience to lead, then  a great way to learn, is to volunteer to be an assistant leader to an experienced club member. Being mentored by an experienced climber is an excellent way to learn from the seasoned pros in the club. Unlike guiding schools where it will likely cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in course fees, it could be as easy as joining a friendly climb or leave a “tip” with a beer at one of our pub nights. Once you get to know a few of our members, you can easily find  one of the experienced club members for trip ideas, and to get involved! 

Ice Climb

There are a large number of very enthusiastic ice climbers in the Ottawa section. If there is any ice around to climb on, the chances are that someone is leading a climbing trip that weekend. Ottawa is blessed with a lot of very good ice within a one to two hour drive. Trips for beginners are usually held at nearby Gatineau Park, or in the Calabogie hills, two hours west of Ottawa. Each season, several trips are run to more distant venues such as Val David near Montreal, the Adirondacks in New York and Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont.

Ice climbing trips typically provide options for a wide variety of climbing at many different degrees of difficulty. Those with limited experience can hone their skills with the safety of a top rope, while more experienced climbers can attempt more difficult routes.

Attending an Outing

Local trips are for the day only. If you want join a climb, you must call the trip organizer by the Thursday before the scheduled weekend outing. The organizer will decide by then whether it runs on Saturday or Sunday. Normally, if heading to the Gatineau Park, we meet at one of the Champlain bridge parking lots at 9 AM. If you have to cancel, please call the trip organizer who will have shared their number with you.

Out-of-town trips are organized on weekends as well. Participants often leave the Friday evening to meet at a trailhead on Saturday morning. Contact the trip organizer for details and to arrange car pooling if needed.

For any inquiries about ice climbing, please contact our ice climbing coordinator at climb@alpineottawa.ca and reference “Ice” in your subject line. Each of our climbs are also listed in under our Events Calendar for your convenience.

Trip Leaders

Trips can’t happen without trip leaders — leaders are always needed, and new ones are always encouraged to participate. Can’t find a regular climbing partner? or ditched by your partner who went west in search of the mythical “big wall”? Volunteer to lead a trip! Chances are, there’s probably someone else in the club in the same boat as you are. Leading a trip is a great way to meet other members.

If you don’t think you have the experience to lead, then  a great way to learn, is to volunteer to be an assistant leader to an experienced club member. Being mentored by an experienced climber is an excellent way to learn from the seasoned pros in the club. Unlike guiding schools where it will likely cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in course fees, it could be as easy as joining a friendly climb or leave a “tip” with a beer at one of our pub nights. Once you get to know a few of our members, you can easily find  one of the experienced club members for trip ideas, and to get involved!

NOTICE RE: CLIMBING AT MONTAGNE D’ARGENT
The following policy describes the Montagne d’Argent access guidelines for ACC members:
•    Climbing at Montagne d’Argent is free for all ACC members from any Section. You must bring your ACC membership card as proof.
•    In addition, camping is free for those ACC members who have either a Laurentian Section add-on to their ACC membership, or have purchased a Montagne d’Argent membership for $24 on-site.

Fees apply to:
Non-Members: Daily access fee : $8 per climber.
Non-Members and ACC Members without Laurentian Section Access added to membership card : applicable camping fee.
We’re looking forward to seeing you on site. We thank you for your support and understanding.
Gaetan Castilloux, Director, ACC Laurentian Section

Please contact one of our climbing coordinators if you have any questions about access to Montage d’Argent:  climb@alpineottawa.ca

 

Mountaineering

[tab title="Hike"] The Ottawa section has a prolific hiking program that caters to all levels from beginner to seasoned veteran. At least one hiking trip is scheduled every weekend, and much of the time there are several trips to choose from, both in the Ottawa area and further a field. Hiking takes place all year long; when the snow flies, we just strap on the skis and snowshoes.

The extensive trail system and excellent terrain in Gatineau Park has given us a hiker’s paradise right in our own back yard, and we make full use of it. Our beginner and intermediate hikes in the Park can range from 3 hours to 8 hours with the average hike being 5.5 hours. Hikes usually include an initial climb up the escarpment of about 800 feet and will have lots of creek crossings, great views and beaver dam traverses. Most routes are reasonably marked on trails whereas some trails are faintly marked. In addition the hiking trips often have route finding, map and compass challenges to solve.

Intermediate and advanced weekend hiking trips are run in the Adirondacks NY, White Mountains NH and other areas on a regular basis. Some of the highest peaks in the east, including Mt Marcy, Mt Washington, Mt Mansfield and Mt Katahdin, have all been club objectives in recent seasons.

Backpacking and camping out weekend trips have been organized in the Adirondaks and Algonquin Park.

In addition to recreational hiking, training hikes are also offered in the spring and summer. These hikes are designed to be more strenuous and are intended to assist club members to get in shape for the section camp in the Rockies or for their own adventures. Weekly or bi-weekly scheduled training hikes take place on the Gatineau escarpment and are supplemented with occasional forays to high level traverses in the Adirondacks and White Mountains.

Some summers, the Ottawa Section heads out west for a one-week section camp at one of the ACC mountain huts. While out west, members of the Ottawa ACC Section get to experience high altitude high elevation gain hikes in fantastic scenery.

For all inquiries about mountaineering with the club, please contact our mountaineering coordinator at: mountaineer@alpineclubottawa.ca. We also list any activities and outings in our Calendar for your quick reference

Transceivers, shovelling and probing

BackcountrySkiingCanada.com has prepared a series of backcountry skiing tips and 101 videos.

 

Avalanche Safety 

The National Avalanche Center (US) has published the North American Avalanche Danger Scale tool. It is used by avalanche forecasters to communicate the potential for avalanches to cause harm or injury to backcountry travelers. The video below provides an overview of the scale, as well as a quick illustration of how it applies to backcountry risk assessment.

Ski and Snowshoe

AlpineClubOttawa_DarrelNewmanThe Club’s winter skiing activities are based in Gatineau Park and include trips on established trails as well as more adventurous off-trail outings. The level of difficulty involved in a trip will vary, with specific outings suited to all skill levels from novice to expert.

Snowshoeing is a natural continuation of summer hiking as well as being a Canadian tradition. It’s great exercise, loads of fun, and the perfect way to spend some outdoor time on a winter’s day. The same Gatineau Park trails that provide great summer hiking also lead to snowshoeing for all experience levels. Intermediate and advanced trips are occasionally offered to more challenging snowshoeing terrain, such as that found in the Adirondacks.

members can join any of the varied winter outings:

  • Cross-country skiing every weekend in the Gatineau Park – for beginners to intermediate
  • Gatineau Traverse backcountry ski adventure for very strong skiers
  • Intermediate level off-trail backcountry ski excursions in the Gatineau Park
  • Visit the Montreal Ski House, Keene Farm for weekend skiing and snowshoeing
  • Once a month, evening ski trips leading to candle light dinners in Gatineau Park huts
  • Snowshoe and Boot & Crampon excursions

Please contact our Ski and Snowshoe coordinator if you would like more information about our club activities in this area: hike@alpinclubotawa.ca. Visit our Events Calender for a list of all scheduled outings.

Check out today’s Gatineau Park Ski Conditions here.

 

Trips & 'Summer Camps'

In the past, the Ottawa Section has offered a range of longer trips:

  • several ‘summer camps’ at Elizabeth Parker Hut, Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park
  • several ‘summer camps’ at A.O. Wheeler Hut, Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park
  • a couple of ‘summer camps’ based at the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore
  • a ‘summer camp’ at Stanley Mitchell Hut, Little Yoho Valley in Yoho National Park
  • mountaineering camps at Stanley Mitchell Hut and at A.O. Wheeler Hut
  • a hiking trip in Maine in 2014
  • climbing trip in Peru – in 2012 and in 2013.

Our last ‘summer camp’ was held in August 2016 at Rogers Pass. Below is a brief overview of the camp (to give you an idea of how our trips are organized). We don’t have any specific plans for future camps at this time. We will publish details for future camps – when they become available.

Rogers Pass PromoACC OTTAWA SUMMER CAMP – Aug 6 to 13, 2016 – ROGERS PASS, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, BC

The 2016 fully-catered ACC Ottawa Summer Camp returns to the A.O. Wheeler Hut in Rogers Pass, located within Glacier National Park – a one-hour drive northwest of Golden, BC on the Trans-Canada Highway or a four-hour drive from Calgary Airport.

The Rogers Pass area offers a wide array of hiking opportunities. The Columbia Mountains are steep and the valleys narrow, allowing for a few easy hikes and a good number of challenging ones. Trail routings reflect their origins, as most were originally built to provide access to mountain climbs and glaciers!  Most of the Illecillewaet-area day hikes involve an elevation gain of about 1,000 meters between the start of the trail and the “End of Trail” sign. However, trails are well-constructed and well-marked; and they will take you to stunning ridges and viewpoints.

Rogers Pass Promo - HutThe Wheeler Hut, named after one of the ACC’s co-founders, is the only alpine hut easily accessed by road – a mere three-minute walk from the parking area. The building is one of the largest of the ACC huts, with a second-floor sleeping area. Downstairs, there is a large kitchen, a separate living/dining room with fireplace and a gear room.

The camp fee includes hut accommodation for the week and ‘three plus’ meals per day (starting with dinner on Aug 6 and ending with breakfast on Aug 13) – provisioned and prepared by our fantastic cook.

Located in the heart of the Selkirk range of the Columbia Mountains, the camp is suited to hikers and scramblers 18 years of age and up.

Estimated cost for the 2016 Rogers Pass Camp is $750.

For more information contact Elfrieda Bock Elfrieda@alpineclubottawa.ca

 

 

 

Nordic Back Country Ski

Nordic Backcountry Ski Clinic: two classroom sessions (Nov 16 & 23, 2016) on theory and two field trips (Jan 21 & 22, 2017) putting the theory into practice.

Contact Bill Scott  bill@alpineclubottawa.ca. Please provide an overview of your fitness level, skiing experience and skill & confidence in backcountry navigation.

NOV 16 – First Classroom Session – An introduction to Nordic backcountry skiing, including how Nordic backcountry differs from other types of skiing.  Nordic backcountry ski equipment will be covered in detail (skis, bindings, boots, poles, skins).

NOV 23 – Second Classroom Session – Continuing discussions of Nordic backcountry skiing, including clothing options, contents of a skier’s day pack, waxing for the backcountry, skiing technique and more.  Participants will take turns leading a round table discussion of backcountry hazards and safety measures, based on a reading assignment provided at the first session.

JAN 21 – First Field Trip – Saturday will be spent practicing techniques for ascending and descending moderately steep hills in ungroomed snow.  The day will finish with a backcountry emergency response exercise.

JAN 22 – Second Field Trip – Sunday will be a day-long, intermediate-level backcountry ski tour in Gatineau Park where all techniques learned during the clinic will be put together under supervision.  Participants will act as tour leader in rotation.  These duties will include navigation, route finding, trail breaking, track setting and group management.

If you have any questions about our back country activities, please do not hesitate to contact our coordinator at this email in the meantime: hike@alpineclubottawa.ca  and visit our Events Calender for a list of scheduled outings.

Avalanche Safety

The National Avalanche Center (US) has published the North American Avalanche Danger Scale tool. It is used by avalanche forecasters to communicate the potential for avalanches to cause harm or injury to backcountry travelers. The video below provides an overview of the scale, as well as a quick illustration of how it applies to backcountry risk assessment.

 

 

Family

ACCOttawa_Family1ACCOttawa_Family2ACCOttawa_Family3ACCOttawa_Family4

If you have any questions or if you would like to join one of our organized family outings in and around the National Capital Region or if you would like to join us on one of our weekend getaways, we invite you to contact our family coordinator at:  youth@alpineclubottawa.ca.  Meanwhile, please visit our Events Calendar for announcements.

 

SUNDAY MORNINGS – FAMILY / BEGINNER INDOOR CLIMBING @ Altitude Gym

First Sunday of the month (Starting Nov 6 2016) at 10:00am. Meet at Altitude Gym 35 Saint Raymond Blvd, Gatineau. Family / Beginner Indoor Climbing  is back for Nov 6, Dec 4, Jan 8, Feb 5, Mar 5 and Apr 2 at 10:00 am

We will mostly stick to the bouldering areas. You can use the top ropes if you have 1) a harness for your child, 2) passed the belay test at altitude, and 3) are belaying/supervising your child. Parent climbing is at the discretion of the group and cannot be guaranteed. Please email yokoschreiber@gmail.com if you are interested (in general). I will send you reminder emails each month – please reply if you are planning to come that specific date.

Beginner climbers are also welcome (with or without their family).  For any info about Altitue Gym, check out their website http://www.altitudegym.ca

ACC Trip Waiver: All participants must sign the ACC waiver before participating in ACC events. Click here to download the waiver – so you can read it in advance of the trip. Formulaire en français

 

Social

Being a member of the ACC is not limited to outdoor activities. We also like to get together over a beer at Pub Nite or to share a meal and conviviality at our Annual Dinner. These are great venues to meet people with similar interests and where we get to share stories and inspire one another.

 

ACC PUB NIGHT – A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
Respectfully Submitted by Darrel Newman

It has been said that the ACC is a “drinking club with a climbing or hiking problem”. This is not exactly the case for the Ottawa Section – there’s lots of climbing and hiking but not much drinking. AA and MADD would be proud of us; but this shouldn’t be the reason to miss out on some great socializing.

Are you afraid that, if you attend, you won’t know anyone? Don’t worry! Here are some clues for identifying us:

1. Check the foot gear. If a goodly number are wearing hiking or climbing boots – that has to be us.
2. Check for MEC, HH or Sierra Design labels on clothing. If the percentage is high – that’s likely us too. And if it isn’t the ACC Ottawa Section, you might just join that group for beer anyway; since they must be pretty cool to dress that way.
3. Look for ratty beards. That’s always a give-away.
4. Check for colourful maps or mountain pictures all over the table – you’re getting warmer.
5. Lots of arm waving and animations that look like climbing handholds can also be a clue.
6. That little ACC Centennial Flag is a dead give-away.
7. Hooting out loud and lots of raucous laughter means that one of us has told another one of those “groaner” jokes.

Why would you want to attend these Thursday night festive occasions?

– An opportunity to meet with fellow club members in an indoor setting with comfy seats and good beer.
– No chance of getting frostbite or sunstroke on these outings.
– Very little chance of spraining your ankle, skinning your knees or breaking any bones … unless you do that on the way out of the pub. That, then, is whole other movie.
– 50 pounds of climbing gear is not required.
– We can all aspire to be better at pub activities than any of those extreme mountain women and men.
– The food is good.
– You can fib, exaggerate and add not-so-correct details to your adventure stories. No record is kept and you can deny it all later
– “And there I was at 10,000 feet hanging on by my fingernails with a 65 pound pack on my back” is a great way to start a tale. No need to explain that you hadn’t left the helicopter yet.

Our members have some great adventures, so we frequently host presentations of field trips through slide nights and to enjoy the occasional potluck meal.

If you would like to host a slide show or presentation with our members, we are here to help organize it and to spread the word. These are volunteer opportunities to inspire members to travel to far off lands or to try something new that is nearby. All social events are announced in our calendar ahead of time.  To get involved with a Pub Night or to host a presentation, please contact our social coordinator at: social@alpinclubottawa.ca