About our Courses

Aimed at the general membership, from total beginners to the more experienced individuals seeking to increase their skills, the Ottawa Section offers a number of basic and specialized courses during the year. Most courses are held locally, usually in the Gatineau Park. Courses focus on the core activities organized by the Section, including rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, hiking/navigation, and skiing. General outdoor and safety courses are also offered such as wilderness first aid, avalanche rescue, leadership training, etc.


The Section’s training program is comprised of four different categories of instruction:

  • Courses
  • Clinic/Workshops
  • Beginner Days
  • Leadership Development Series.

Courses are taught by local (and contracted) qualified instructors and tend to include a fee to participate. Clinics/Workshops and Beginner days (including intro to mountaineering) are usually supervised by experienced Section volunteers and are intended to be a more informal way for members to share knowledge amongst themselves. Clinics/Workshops usually involve minimal costs, and are intended as compliment to courses; they are a great opportunity to review knowledge learned in courses. With the recent success of women climbing outings, the Section is also looking to offer some women-only clinics.

One of the benefits of being a member is having access to subsidies in order to hone your skills. The Ottawa Section budgets a considerable amount of money in order to help out members who agree to give back to the club (usually by leading outings).  Please contact our training coordinator for more detailed information on upcoming courses or consult our calendar for scheduled training sessions.

The Ottawa Section owns a selection of climbing equipment that is used during Section training activities and can be borrowed by members who want to try out an activity before purchasing specialized gear (in the context of a club sanctioned event).  Feel free to contact our equipment coordinator to find out what gear we have available at the moment. Please present your membership number in your inquiry.



Beginner Climb

Rock- and ice-climbing “Beginner’s Days” are a great Ottawa Section tradition. These introductory courses consist of an equipment orientation evening, followed by a full day at the cliffs where you can climb with the help of a group of experienced volunteers on nearly a 1:1 basis. Learn and practice the basics of climbing safely, and become familiar with the equipment used in rock and ice climbing. A group pizza party or barbecue usually follows a day’s hard work – and is a fitting end to a great day.

For those at a higher experience level, the Ottawa Section periodically offers more advanced climbing courses, including rescue courses, climbing instructor certification and leadership courses taught by certified instructors.  Please feel free to contact our training coordinator for all inquiries:


While the Ottawa Section activities are largely centered on rock and ice climbing, our mountaineering roots show through each summer. As part of our annual section camps in Western Canada, members can take advantage of “Introduction to Mountaineering” days.

These skill-building events provide an opportunity to get into the high alpine, travel on a glacier, or scramble up a peak. Depending on the location and terrain, these courses are led by volunteer leaders or professional mountain guides. If you’ve always dreamed of standing on a mountaintop, this is a great way to get started. For more information, please visit our trips page, or contact our trip coordinator at


Wilderness First Aid

The section encourages all members to take first aid training.  We recommend that trip leaders take the Advanced Wilderness First Aid certification and provide subsidies for active leaders.  This certification remains current for three years and can be renewed as many times as you want.  AWFA is a course in applying first aid skills to a wilderness setting, ie. you are more than 5 hours from help.  The focus is on emergency scene management and emergency response, with an emphasis on good decision making to prevent accidents.  We are currently on a two year cycle, sponsoring a full certification (4 days) one year and a recert (2 days) the next year.  A full course is being run in April 2016 and a recert is tentatively planned for the spring of 2017.  Courses are advertised in our Calendar of Events and  in our e-letter if you are already a member!  If you need more information contact our safety coordinator at:

ACC-Ottawa members learning how to move someone if they got into trouble out here!

AWFA photo                    For WFA page in website








We are working hard at bringing you some exciting news about our next course in Navigation.  As soon as we have one ready to advertise, we will post it here with all the details on how to register –  or you will see it coming up on our Calendar of Events and advertised in our newsletter if you are already a member!  If you would like to contact our training coordinator meantime, please feel free to write him at:

Leadership Development

As some of you may be aware, the Section has seen a very important growth of new members in recent years. While this is definitely a good sign and a cause to rejoice, the Section is now faced with the challenge of recruiting more trip leaders capable of organizing lots of interesting outings for our growing membership.

The Alpine Club of Canada is a volunteer-based organization that can only flourish with the involvement of people like you. No need to be intimated and think that you aren’t able to contribute! To facilitate the recruitment of trip leaders, and in order to better prepare actual and potential leaders, we have decided to put together a leadership development series of courses.

The goal of this training opportunity is to develop capable, safety conscious trip leaders. The courses that fall under this series will be heavily subsidized and registration priority will be given to members who have already volunteered with the ACC Ottawa Section and those who are keen to continue contributing in future. This series includes a general leadership course; specific skills courses (for climbing); a navigation course; and a wilderness first-aid course.

If you would like to contact our training coordinator meantime, please feel free to write him at: