“How long has your company been operating?”
2015 marks our 33rd year of full time, year ’round operations. Canada West Mountain School began offering winter and summer training programs in 1982 as the “Safety and Education” division of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC. In 1990 it adopted the name Canada West Mountain School. The owner, Brian Jones, has been a Lead Guide with the Mountain School since 1986, manager since 1990, and owner since 2002.
“What is your safety record?”
Safety is paramount at Canada West Mountain School and while no one can guarantee absolute safety in the mountains, we feel that we have an excellent safety record behind us. This is perhaps one of the most important questions you may have before heading out into the hills with any Guide or Instructional service provider. Our program has been in operation since 1982 with more than 25,000 participants on programs ranging from rock climbing to technical high altitude mountaineering. In this time we have had no serious or life-threatening accidents. In fact, in 30 years of operation we have only had fewer then half a dozen incidents where participants have required evacuation due to minor injuries. We have never had a fatality. Given the number of people participating in our programs, we are very proud of the record our Guides, Instructors and Staff have upheld. Climbing, mountaineering, hiking and backcountry skiing all have inherent risks that Canada West Mountain School cannot eliminate, but we strive to create as safe of an environment as feasible given the nature of our activities. Our record speaks for itself. [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”Are your guides and instructors certified?” active=”no”] All our Guides and Instructors are fully trained and certified professionals. Canada West Mountain School programs are supervised by owner and lead guide Brian Jones, a fully certified Mountain Guide trained and certified through the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides). The Mountain Guide certification is the highest international standard of certification possible for climbing, mountaineering and ski guiding – see the ACMG website for details. All Guides and Instructors on our technical rock, mountain and ice climbing programs are certified members of the ACMG. Many are Full Guides, some are Assistant Guides working under the supervision of our Lead Guides. Our Guided winter ski touring programs are conducted with ACMG Certified Ski Guides, and all our Avalanche courses are taught by certified members of the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA). Ski instruction? For Telemark courses we use certified members of the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI) and for any Alpine instruction we use certified members of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA). All Guides and Instructors are also certified in current Advanced First Aid and participate in twice yearly professional development programs held by CWMS. In short, all Guides and Instructors on our programs are properly trained and certified for the activity that they are leading. For more info on our Guiding and Instructional staff check out our about us page. [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”How fit do I need to be to join one of your trips?” active=”no”] Each program has different prerequisites in terms of fitness. Generally though, as with any physical pursuit, the more fit you are the more you will be able to enjoy and learn on any of our programs. For the Instructional courses fitness is not as critical, as typically there is more emphasis on learning and practicing skills. On the Guided trips fitness can play a bigger role, as these trips are more “summit oriented” and lack of fitness can interfere with accomplishing the objective of the trip. [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”Do I need to be really strong to rock climb?” active=”no”] While it is a myth that you need to be a super athlete to rock climb, a decent level of fitness will allow you to enjoy the sport much more. Rock climbing can be compared to running – you can choose to go for a short mellow jog around the block once a week, or you can be an Olympic sprinter! Climbing is similar as there are many climbs that are suitable for less fit climbers (equivalent to a jog around the block) and of course there are climbs that one needs to train many hours a day for (Olympian endeavors for sure!). [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”What is your refund policy?” active=”no”] Our complete refund policy is described in detail on our Terms + Condidtions page [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”How quickly do your courses/trips book up?” active=”no”] Many of our programs are fully booked up to 2 months in advance, so if you are considering a course or trip please contact our office well in advance to avoid disappointment. [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”Can you help me get transportation for the trip?” active=”no”] Unless otherwise indicated in the specific details for each program, Canada West Mountain School does not include transportation on our programs. We encourage ride sharing amongst participants and generally have found this to be quite reliable, though of course we cannot make any guarantees. If you do not have access to a vehicle for the program that you want to join, please contact our office and we will do our best to help out. We may be able to put you in contact with other participants in advance to arrange ride sharing, or make alternative suggestions for you. [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”Can we get a discount for a group of people?” active=”no”] Groups of 4 people or more are eligible for discounts off of the prices posted for our regularly scheduled Instructional programs. Please enquire about this option with our office for more details. If you have a group interested in any other program please enquire with our office about our Custom prices. [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”Does CWMS have proper licensing and insurance?” active=”no”] Canada West Mountain School adheres to all local and federal regulations in Canada and in all countries we conduct trips in. This includes maintaining proper insurance, land use permits and business licence’s for each relevant region as follows: $2m comprehensive liability insurance Parks Use Permits for all Parks we operate in Licence of Occupation (Tenure)for operations on BC Crown Land Squamish Business licence Vancouver Business Licence [/vision_accordion] [vision_accordion title=”Do you have any other professional affiliations?” active=”no”] Canada West Mountain School maintains membership in the following organizations: Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) Squamish Chamber of Commerce Whistler Chamber of Commerce Climbers Access Society of BC Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC [/vision_accordion] [/vision_accordion_set]