Mountain Rescue Insurance

In nearly thirty years of guiding we have only had three evacuations from the field for minor injuries or illness.

Read on to decide whether you wish to purchase rescue insurance. 


Mountain rescue in Canadian National Parks is performed by professional rescue crews who are constantly on stand-by. It is free if you have the proper park vehicle pass. You may buy this pass at the gate when you enter the park or at any park information centre. It is your responsibility to obtain this pass. No other rescue insurance is required for trips in these national parks:

  • Banff
  • Jasper
  • Kootenay
  • Jasper
  • Glacier (Rogers Pass)


Mountain Rescue on Alberta provincial lands is free and performed by professional rescue crews who are constantly on stand-by. No other rescue insurance is required for trips in these areas:

  • Canmore
  • Kananaskis 
  • David Thompson Highway


Mountain rescue on British Columbia provincial lands including provincial parks is normally free if proper channels are followed for the call out. In these areas rescue teams are volunteers and response may not always be rapid. In certain emergency conditions your guide may initiate a rescue outside the accepted call out procedure to ensure a rapid extrication. In this case rescue costs in the thousands of dollars may not be covered by the government. Non-emergency evacuations (e.g. an evacuation from a backcountry hut due to a minor injury or illness) may also not be covered. It may be appropriate to purchase mountain rescue insurance for trips to these areas:

  • Assiniboine
  • Bugaboos
  • Backcountry lodge ski trips
  • Whistler


Mountain rescue insurance is highly recommended for international destinations, such as:

  • Japan
  • Europe
  • Iceland


If you want to buy mountain rescue insurance I recommend joining the American Alpine Club for $80, for which you get US$7,500 mountain rescue insurance. This would probably cover most of the cost for a majority of incidents. You can also upgrade to get US$500,000 coverage. Click here to learn more.

Beware of regular travel insurance companies offering mountain rescue insurance. They may not cover the activities we will be partaking in, and may not include technical rescue services.