Ski Mountaineering - The Sphinx - Monday, Feb 19, 2024

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up.
The Basics:
Event Type: Skiing 
Event Location: Banff National Park - Egypt Lake Area 
Event Starts:   Monday, Feb 19, 2024 08:30 AM  
Event Ends:   Monday, Feb 19, 2024 05:00 PM  
Registration Cut Off:   Saturday, Feb 17, 2024 08:00 PM  
Difficulty Rating:   D3 - See Conversion Chart  
Trip Coordinator(s):   Christopher Candela

Participant Info:
Who's Invited:   Members & Guests, 13 And Older Only  
Attendee Screening:   Attendees are Pre-Screened
Maximum Group Size: 4
Minimum Group Size: 3
Number Registered So Far:   4 (View sign-ups, waiting list)
Are Dogs Permitted:   No

Attempt to summit The Sphinx in the Egypt Lake area
We'll start at Sunshine Parking Lot and follow Healy Creek to Healy Pass then ski down to the base of the Sphinx
Then we'll climb (on skis) the south flank of The Sphinx as far as possible then when it gets steeper we'll switch to bootpack/crampons to climb the final summit block.

It's an exploratory trip as I haven't climbed this one yet and I don't know how the final climb looks like.

I'll have a rope and some rock gear. Please bring a lightweight alpine harness just in case we need to rope up.

Just a reminder that a summit is never a guarantee so keep your expectations low so you won't be disappointed if it doesn't work.

Meeting place and start time will be decided later with selected participants.


Frequently asked questions:

How long is it ?
The total length of the climb is 26km and 1520m of elevation. It will be a long day. We should start skiing at 8/8.30am max. (So keep that in mind especially if you drive from Calgary)

I'm not confident. Can I really do it ?
It will be a long day for sure..
Selected members should be comfortable skiing a long distance at a good pace.
There will be a lot of up & downs so we'll have to transition many times. The team needs to be efficient.
You don't need extensive backcountry experience. However AST1 or equivalent avalanche training is mandatory.

The summit climb may be exposed and include bootpack in snow and on rocks with or without crampons depending on conditions.
We'll have a rope but we might not be able to use it all the way to the summit depending on terrain so you should have a little bit of mountaineering/winter scrambling experience.

What gear should I bring ?
You will need:

- Skis or splitboard (with skins) (MANDATORY)
- Helmet (MANDATORY)
- Avalanche kit (Transceiver (digital 3+ antennae), shovel & probe) (MANDATORY)
- Headlamp (MANDATORY)
- Harness (light alpine harness if possible) (MANDATORY)

- Belay device + a couple of carabiners (RECOMMENDED)
- Crampons that work with your skiing boots (RECOMMENDED)
- General mountaineering ice axe (RECOMMENDED)

- Extra batteries (or at least check you transceiver batteries)
- Ski goggles
- Ski crampons (optional but can be useful)
- InReach or similar device (if you have one)
- Camera
- Sunscreen, Glasses
- Layers (for wind, snow, cold...)
- Snack/Lunch and enough water for the day
- Hot Drinks for the breakfast :)

The trip leader will bring a light rope, some climbing gear, 2 radios, a tarp, first aid kit and emergency blanket...
Please try to keep a little bit of space in your pack so we can share the load

What could prevent the event to happen ?
The event might be cancelled or postponed if:

- The forecast shows very cold temperatures
- One or many person forget essential gear (beacon, skis...)
- Avalanche conditions are really unsafe
- Unexpected trail (or area) closure

We'll check the weather forecast a couple of days before the trip and decide as a team whether we still want to go. In that case we can also decide to start to go for a safer option (something in Sunshine backcountry)

To be arranged with the group if needed. Note that I live in Canmore so people coming from Calgary or Cochrane will need their own transportation.

Selection Process:
If we haven't skied together before please send an email (you'll find it at the bottom of the page) and describe:

- Your backcountry ski experience
- Your avalanche training level (AST1, AST2, Avalanche Op 1 etc)
- Your ski comfort level

Note that this is not a first-come first-serve trip. If you don't submit this information you will not be part of the trip.

Possible hazards:


Avalanches can occur in the terrain in which we operate and can be caused by natural forces, or by people travelling through the terrain (e.g. skiing/snowboarding). What are the risks? Anyone caught in an avalanche is at risk of personal injury, death, and/or property damage or loss.


Cornice fall, crevasses, Cliffs, Trees, tree wells, forest deadfall, and tree stumps, Creeks, Rocks and Boulders, Holes and depressions below the snow surface, Variable and difficult snow conditions, Snowcat roads and road banks, Fences and other manmade structures, Snow immersion, Impact or collision with other persons vehicles or objects, Encounters with domestic or wild animals, Loss of balance or control, Slips trips and falls, Becoming lost or separated from one’s group

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 and transport out of the field. If an Injury occurs in challenging terrain movement to an evacuation point may be slow.

Boots and binding systems

· Even when set up correctly, a ski binding might not release during every fall or may release unexpectedly. The ski boot/binding system is no guarantee that the skier will not be injured. Non-DIN-certified bindings, such as pin/tech bindings, present a higher risk of pre-release and/or injury as they are not designed to the same safety standards as a DIN-certified alpine binding.

· Unlike alpine ski boot/binding systems, snowboard and some telemark boot/binding systems are not designed or intended to release and will not release under normal circumstances. Using such a system increases the risk of injury and/or death when caught in an avalanche.


Slips, trips and falls both outdoors and indoors, Infectious disease contracted through viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi which may be transmitted through direct or indirect contact, Equipment failure, Negligent first aid, Negligence of other people.

Everyone attending this event will be required to sign the ACC Waiver at the beginning of the event. Read the waiver carefully to ensure you fully understand it. If possible, please print and fill it out except for the signature fields before arriving at the event.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our participant responsibility guidelines!

Contact information:
If you have any questions or doubts feel free to send me an email at
SMS or whatsapp: 514 632 4287

It is a recreational trip and NOT a guided trip. The trip leader is volunteering and is not acting in the role of a guide. We are working as a group for: safety, trail breaking, decision making...

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our participant responsibility guidelines!

*Cancellation Policy*: If a participant is unable to attend a paid course or trip, there will be no refund unless the participant finds a suitable replacement that is acceptable to the trip coordinator. Acceptable waiting list candidates will have priority. It will then be the participant's responsibility to recover funds from the replacement. If the coordinator cancels an event, participants get a refund (less any non-recoverable costs). Note that ACC National does not refund hut fees due to weather, delay, closures, or any other reasons. The Calgary Section of the ACC is a not for profit club and we only charge attendees what it costs us to provide courses or trips.

Trip Feedback
If you have any feedback, positive or negative, concerning this trip or any other, we want to hear from you!
Click here to be directed to our "Contact Us" page and contact the appropriate Chair person or the Section Chair. This is also a simple way to make your section executive aware of any praises, suggestions or problems you may have with any area of the Calgary Section of the ACC.
Thank you for your response.

Registration for this event closed on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 08:00 PM.