Alpine Skills Development Program: Canmore and Beyond!

See who was selected to participate in our Alpine Skills Development Program in Canmore, Alberta, and learn what we have coming up next as part of Progressive Climbing Education.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 22, 2017
Alpine Skills Development Program: Canmore and Beyond!

A few weeks ago, we announced an open call for applications in an exciting new Alpine Skills Development program. Its goals are to help intermediate-level climbers refine and develop their technical skills to be poised to effectively give back to The Mountaineers. Together, we're taking strategic steps to design programs aimed at building a cohort of skilled alpinists.

We want to thank everyone who applied for the program, making a commitment to your own personal skill development and the future of The Mountaineers. We wish we could accept everyone who applied!

Selection Process

We put together a 4-person selection committee to consider applicants' technical skills, volunteer history, ability to give back, and personal goals identified in their application. The selection committee consisted of a combination of staff, board members, and volunteer ice climbing instructors. 

Congratulations to the 18 climbers selected for the program: 

  • Gabe Aeschliman (Seattle)
  • Kyle Breakey (Bellingham)
  • Nick  Block (Seattle)
  • Jenn Carter (Seattle)
  • Mike Curry (Olympia)
  • Krissy Fagan (Bellingham)
  • Chase Gruszewski (Kitsap)
  • Jeff Hunt (Seattle)
  • Roland Lanoue (Olympia)
  • Ian Lauder (Everett)
  • Ronnie Parker (Seattle)
  • Joe Petersen (Tacoma)
  • Stefanie Schiller (Seattle)
  • Brian Starlin (Seattle)
  • Michael Telstad (Seattle)
  • Anita Wilkins (Seattle)
  • Nick Wilson (Tacoma)
  • Jacob Wolniewicz (Seattle)

This group of climbers will convene in Canmore, Alberta in February 2018. They'll spend a week climbing with professional guides and volunteer instructors to help each other develop their skills. They will participate in  a series of structured, educational field trips  to get outside and push grades and skills to the next level. The education will be rounded out with a combination of evening sessions, classes, and slideshows in an intensive, but highly educational, experience. 

Those who were not selected have been invited to participate in other skill development opportunities, and will be highly encouraged to apply for phase two of our program, focusing on rock skills in Squamish in the summer of 2018, using a similar model of guides, volunteers, and peer leadership. 



Take this one-question survey to give feedback to help us better meet your needs! Please contact Adult Education Manager Steve Smith with any questions or other feedback. 

Add a comment

Log in to add comments.
Ida Vincent
Ida Vincent says:
Dec 28, 2017 12:43 PM

Only 4 women out of 18 people? That is just as bad as congress!

The Mountaineers
The Mountaineers says:
Dec 29, 2017 08:50 PM

Thanks for your comment about equity Ida. We care about equity too, and are hoping to have more female applicants for the next round of this program, which will focus on climbing at Squamish. The final selections are representative of the applicants received: 38 total/8 from women. For the ice program, the committee juggled multiple competing criteria with a primary focus on ice skills, followed by general climbing experience, leadership roles at The Mountaineers, ability to give back to the organization, and each individual’s specific goals for the ice program. We also tried to balance male/female numbers, and equal branch representation, as best we could with the pool we had. We had a very strong pool of applicants, which made the selection process even more challenging. It is our hope and intent that we will broadcast the Squamish portion of this program well in advance, and strive for a well-balanced representation of org-wide leadership as this program grows. If you have suggestions on how we can make the program more equitable, please submit them here We may not be able to fix Congress, but we can keep on working together to improve opportunities for female climbers here at The Mountaineers!

Ida Vincent
Ida Vincent says:
Dec 30, 2017 07:17 AM

Thank you for your thorough response. I am sad to hear only 8 women applied.

Petr Praus
Petr Praus says:
Dec 28, 2017 02:49 PM

Congrats to everyone selected! I've climbed with or have been taught by a few people on the list and they were invariably great instructors and partners!

I'm very glad to see this program. It's an awesome way to develop our existing leaders and motivate the next batch of leaders (typically Intermediate students) to volunteer more!

Alex Byrne
Alex Byrne says:
Feb 16, 2018 08:05 PM

The way to get more female climbers is through developing more female leaders.

Is the photo illustrating how not to climb? With the rope behind your ankle?