Trips that involve off-trail travel, usually to a summit.

Alpine Scrambles

Alpine scrambles are off-trail trips usually to a summit that often require travel on steep snow slopes and/or rocky summit blocks and talus slopes. Traveling off-trail is inherently more challenging due to route-finding, which is why wilderness navigation is a required skill before joining these outings.

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Difficulty ratings for alpine scrambles consist of two parts: a Strenuous rating and a Technical rating. The strenuous part of the rating ranges from 1 (easiest) to 5 (most strenuous). The technical part of the rating ranges from 1 (least technical and least exposed) to 5 (most technical and most exposed). You may also gauge how strenuous a trip is by the mileage and elevation gain provided in the online trip listing. A scramble rated Strenuous 2 | Technical 4, for example, would likely involve relatively easy travel along a very exposed ridge.

Climbers and hikers use the term "exposure" to demonstrate whether there is serious risk of injury or falling a long way if there was a slip or fall. To sign up for scrambles you must be a student or graduate in our alpine scrambling or basic alpine climbing course.

Leaders will often list pace by "distance" speed like 2.5 miles per hour or by "elevation" speed like 1000 feet per hour.


_1010003.jpgwinter scrambles

These trips are open to scramble and basic alpine climbing course graduates. These trips often involve dealing with a variety of snow, ice and avalanche conditions where participants should be very comfortable using crampons and ice axe, often with snowshoes and have your winter weather clothing system dialed. Choose a trip with a mileage and elevation gain that suits your fitness and ability. Leaders often list pace by "distance" speed like 2.5 miles per hour or by "elevation" speed eg. 1000 feet per hour. These trips are generally more strenuous than summer alpine scrambles. Check the online trip listing or connect with the trip leader regarding any special requirements.

Are you an experienced scrambler and want information about equivalency in order to join these trips? Contact the Member Services Team at and we will connect you with an equivalency coordinator. Participant and leadership requirements for our scrambling courses and trips are based off our organization wide scrambling activity standards.

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