Apply Now! Alpine Ambassadors Ice Skills Development - Ouray & Canmore

We're seeking applications from volunteers at all branches to join us for the next Alpine Ambassadors ice climbing trip.Take your climbing to the next level with skilled volunteers and professional guides.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
September 10, 2018
Apply Now! Alpine Ambassadors Ice Skills Development - Ouray & Canmore
Photo of ice climber in Canmore, AB.

We invite you to apply for this winter's Alpine Ambassadors ice climbing program. The program will help you develop more advanced ice climbing skills on challenging terrain with support from each other, skilled volunteers, and professional guides. Volunteers from all branches are invited to participate in this innovative, aspirational program, which seeks to infuse The Mountaineers with deeper skills and inspiration to give back.  

Who are the Alpine Ambassadors?

In 2018, we launched a new Alpine Ambassadors program designed to invest in our top volunteers, keep them climbing and learning, and inspire them to continue volunteering to mentor others. Through this Progressive Climbing Education initiative, our top climbers – who in the past have had nothing left to do in The Mountaineers besides volunteer – now have opportunities to push their grade and get after increasingly challenging objectives through a cross-branch community. Our Alpine Ambassadors apply to be a part of the program, and are some of our most talented climbers and dedicated volunteers. The Mountaineers funds training and community-building opportunities for this group, who in turn commit to pass that knowledge onto newer climbers, building more volunteer stoke in our branches.

In February 2018, we kicked off the Alpine Ambassadors program when seventeen climbers went to Canmore to work on ice climbing skills. The goal of the Canmore program was to help our climbers improve their water-ice climbing grades while providing skills to become more safe and efficient. Climbers were grouped differently each day to maximize personal skill development, alternating between climbing in larger groups at ice cragging areas, and in pairs to ascend multi-pitch waterfalls. Many of the ambassadors reported bumping up their ability to lead on ice by a grade or more as a result of the focused week of practice. 

What's happening in 2019?

This year, we invite another cohort of Ambassadors to join us in Canmore, AB for ice climbing February 2-10, 2019 (with Feb 2 and 10 being travel days). This group will be a mix of existing and new Ambassadors, and will have a chance to work with guides and highly skilled volunteers to improve ice techniques.  Participants will have an opportunity to lead climbs and the place ice screws for protection and belays. Those applying should have experience leading Water Ice 3 in a multi-pitch environment.

New this year, we'll also offer an opportunity for those with less ice experience to learn technique and push your lead grades with some of our most experienced ice climbing volunteers in Ouray, CO. The Ouray trip is scheduled for January 10-14 (with the Jan 10 and 14 as travel days), and is designed for volunteers who do not meet the minimum ice climbing skills for the Canmore program, but are interested in improving their ice climbing and may want to apply for the Canmore trip in 2020. We're also excited to co-host this trip with Colorado Mountain Club, who will be bringing their own group of ambassadors! It will be a unique chance for participants to climb with members from other branches and from our partner club in Colorado!


If you're a volunteer who is  excited about advancing your skills and perpetuating the spirit of mentorship in The Mountaineers, we encourage you to apply.  Cultivating an inclusive leadership is central to The Mountaineers focus on advancing equity. We believe a diverse and inclusive environment inspires unity, respect, and passion for our work and one another. We’re interested in hearing from people who can work with colleagues of varied experience and diverse backgrounds. We strongly encourage women, people of color, and LGBTQ climbers to apply. We also hope that branch leaders encourage a strong applicant pool from their branch.

canmore Application requirements:

  • This group is focused on developing a high level of climbing skill, and to be eligible for Canmore you should have experience leading WI3 and multipitch ice routes.
  • You should be a Basic Climbing graduate (or higher) and have recent experience leading trips for The Mountaineers.
  • You will need a written letter of reference from someone at your branch who can speak to your climbing skills or history as a volunteer.


  • This group is focused on moving into leading steep ice, and to be eligible for Ouray you should be comfortable leading Alpine Ice 2-3 and have experience leading on rock.
  • You should be a Basic Climbing graduate (or higher) and have recent experience leading trips for The Mountaineers.
  • You will need a written letter of reference from someone at your branch who can speak to your climbing skills or history as a volunteer.

We will take all eligible applicants and make selections based on climbing experience, goals, and vision for how this program will help you give back to The Mountaineers community. We anticipate more qualified applicants than we have capacity, and we will strive to invite a cohort that represents a highly motivated, diverse group from all branches. 

Participants for each program will be selected by a committee comprised of current Alpine Ambassadors.  

When reviewing applicants, we will consider: 

  • Recent history of volunteerism within The Mountaineers
  • Relevant climbing skills and experience
  • Desire to use this experience to further your leadership within The Mountaineers
  • Mountaineers references

Apply for the ice climbing program 

Applications are due October 15, and selected participants will be notified by November 15.

Cost to you to participate, if selected: We provide instruction and lodging, you provide your food and transportation to and from either Ouray or Canmore. 

Questions? Please email Becca Polglase.

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