Mountain Meteorology

Students collect meteorological information from a weather station on Mt. Washington (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Digging snow pits to analyze the snowpack on Mt. Washington (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

A temperature sensor on this student's back collects data to calculate mountain slope lapse-rates (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Characterizing snowpack properties (water equivalence, density, stability) in a snow pit (Photo by Shannon Fargey)

Update: The Department of Geography is currently intending to offer this field school program next in Spring 2023. Please stay tuned for any new information as it becomes available!

When and Where

2019 Field School: February 18th - 24th, with a mandatory orientation lecture in January (date TBD)

Places visited: Mount Washington Alpine Resort & Strathcona Provincial Park (Canada)

How to Apply

Apply in: Fall term

Applications are now closed. Stay tuned for future offerings!

Contact if you have any questions.

Program Overview

Full program description coming soon!

Are you interested in spending your reading break skiing and snowshoeing on Mount Washington for course credit? The Mountain Meteorology Field School is based on Mount Washington at the Mount Washington ski hill and the Vancouver Island Mountain Centre. Some time will also be spent in Strathcona Provincial Park. This field school is comprised of a 7-day course that runs during Spring reading break (February).

This field school has been designed to provide students with an immersive opportunity to understand the physical processes of meteorological phenomena in mountain environments. Measuring and monitoring of snowpack, extreme weather, and climate in coastal mountain ranges will be prominent course themes, along with challenges associated with alpine tourism operations due to weather and climate extremes and hazards. This field school is primarily outdoors and some excursions will be physically demanding. Students do not need previous ski or snowshoe experience, just positive attitudes and a willingness to get outside and try new things!


  • Students must have a mininum second year standing (years beyond that are welcome)
  • Preference will be given to students who have completed or are enrolled in GEOG 272 (Introduction to Climatology and Hydrology).
  • This field school is primarily outdoors, and will be physically demanding. Applicants must mention if they have any accessibility needs that may affect their ability to participate in these activities.
  • Finally, we ask applicants to answer several questions, which allows us to assess the fit of each applicant and what they could contribute to the learning and community-engaged experience.
  • Applications will be evaluated in the order in which they are received. Apply early.

If you have any further questions, please email Shannon Fargey at


This field school is comprised of one course worth 1.5 UVic credits. Successful applicants will be registered in the course through special registration by the Department of Geography (students will not register themselves).

  • Geog 391 A03 - Mountain Meteorology

Field School Fees

For field schools, students pay regular UVic tuition plus field school fees.

Field school fees can be paid by cheque, money order, counter cheque, or cash ONLY. Cheques should be made payable to the University of Victoria. Payment can be dropped off at the Geography main office (David Turpin Building, room B203) or mailed (cheques only).

Field school fees*:

  • $100 deposit paid at time of application 
  • $400 paid upon acceptance into the field school

*All field school fees are subject to change between offerings

Field school fees include:                      

  • Room & board from Feb 18th-24th, 2019
  • Ski lift tickets for 2 days
  • Snowshoe trail passes for 5 days
  • Access to reduced fee night skiing lift passes

Field school fees do not include:

  • Tuition
  • Transportation to and from the field school site (plan to carpool if possible)
  • Rental of outdoor equipment such as skis, snowboards, snowshoes (a 20% discount on equipment rentals from Mt. Washington Alpine Resort is available to students in this course)
  • Other expenses such as any personal gear (e.g. winter parka, winter boots) required for the course.

Financial Support

The Faculty of Social Sciences is currently revamping their field school funding structure. More information coming soon!