Skillz Zone

This is the place to get the low down on the skillz that you will need for all your Mountaineer Scout adventures.


“Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.”

—  Lou Whittaker 


Here are some videos demonstrating how to tie important knots you will need to learn:

Bowline                  Clove Hitch                 Reef Knot                    Sheet Bend

Timber Hitch         Trucker’s Hitch          Taughtline Hitch          Double Fisherman’s Knot

Munter Hitch          Prussik Knot               Water Knot

Figure 8 Follow-Through (1)                      Figure 8 Follow-Through (2) 

Alpine Butterfly (Method 1)                       Alpine Butterfly (Method 2)           


Essential Knowledge for all Outdoor Activities:

NSR’s “The Ten Essentials

NSR’s “What to Do if You Get Lost

The above is taken from North Shore Rescue’s excellent website.

Scouts should also follow the “Leave No Trace” principles for camping and all outdoor activities.  Check it out:



THIS is what I’m talking about!

Essential Knowledge for all Winter Outdoor Activities:

Avalanches claim too many lives needlessly in British Columbia.  Taking an Avalanche Skills Training course is always the best defence.  I’ve taken my AST-1 course from Canada West Mountain School and can wholeheartedly recommend this course to everyone:   CWMS AST-1 Course

Also, check out the following web site’s materials to learn more about this topic:

Always check current avalanche conditions before heading out on any winter adventure.

Also check current snow conditions before heading out:

Cypress Mountain


The Scout Motto is “Be Prepared” so you will want to read this article on hypothermia before venturing out this winter:

NSR’s Treating Hypothermia

The above is taken from North Shore Rescue’s excellent website.

Beware too of “snowblindness“!  Wear proper protective eye-wear (sunglasses or goggles) when in snowy sunny conditions.

You will also want to read this article on frostbite before venturing out this winter:

REI Blog Article – Frostbitten in Alaska

REI, the American precursor to Canada’s MEC, has some excellent “Expert Advice” articles (lots of checklists included) that will be of interest to members of our troop:

Camping & Hiking



A wealth of online skillz resources can be found at the Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C. website.


“One does not climb to attain enlightenment; rather one climbs because he or she is enlightened.”

— Zen Master Futomaki


Skillz – Rock Climbing:

Here’s a glossary of climbing terminology – time to bone up!


Crevasse Rescue

Tech Tips From the American Alpine Institute


Skillz – Food:

Here’s some fun hiking/climbing food suggestions from the professional guides of Rainier Mountaineering Inc.:

Food Suggestions for Mt. Rainier


Skillz – Miscellaneous:

Sometimes wisdom can come from a funny source…here’s some wisdom from a backcountry skiing blog:

7 Ugly Backcountry Skiing Items that Rock

I’ve never tried the “petroleum jelly on dryer lint” as fire starter before.  Let’s give it a try at the next camp.

UPDATE:  Wow, Scouter Jason managed to get a roaring fire going using only a flint & steel in about one minute.  Great trick!

NOTE: Cotton balls are far easier to coat with vaseline than drier lint (ugh…what a mess on the fingers afterwards).
Everyone should carry a small baggy with cotton balls coated in vaseline in their pack for emergency fire starting.


“Life is brought down to the basics: if you are warm, regular,
healthy, not thirsty or hungry, then you are not on a mountain.”

— Chris Darwin


Here’s a short clip of 15 year-old Mountaineer Simon
leading the team down the headwall on Youngs Peak during MCamp14!
(Hint: go full screen & jack up the rez to really enjoy this vid!) 


The three attributes of a good mountaineer:
(1) a high pain threshold; (2) a poor memory; and (3) oh dang, I forgot the third one again…

— Anonymous

Climbers on Wedgemont Lake Glacier (approx. 10 miles north of Whistler) preparing to climb Weart Mountain (2,822 m). Photo taken by Scouter Jody just before putting on his crampons & joining the team for the climb. Circa. 1980.


As always, plenty more to come…


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