Everett Branch Intermediate Alpine Climbing

Everett Branch Intermediate Alpine Climbing

Our Intermediate course is a structured set of modules which focus on teaching techniques to safely lead on rock, snow, ice and mixed terrain in the alpine environment.

Our Mission:

The Everett Intermediate Climbing Course Committee (ICC)’s mission is to develop and retain a community of highly proficient alpine climbers and leaders within the Everett Branch of the Mountaineers.  These individuals will be:

  • Equipped with a "tool box" of current and relevant skills, practices and procedures
  • Capable of solving both unforeseen and complex climbing problems in a safe and expedient manner

Course Structure:

Everett’s intermediate climbing course (ICC) consists of two tracks:  one focuses on rock climbing and the other focuses on glacier, ice, and mixed climbing.  The two tracks can be started separately however LOR (leading on rock) module is a main prerequisite for ice and mixed climbing modules.  To graduate the intermediate course, a student must complete all modules in both tracks.

Signing up for ICC modules

Unlike most Mountaineer courses, we don't take signup online. We have a limited capacity for our courses and review applications once a year with preference given to Everett members and those who volunteer their time as assistant instructors.  Some courses may be taken out of sequence but this is up to the discretion of the course coordinator for that field trip.

For Everett's intermediate courses sign up details, please contact Intermediate Climbing Chair at sneega@gmail.com .


Application is open to any Mountaineers Club member who is either a Basic graduate or equivalent. Selection of applicants will be at the discretion of the committee members.

Due to the limited number of spaces available in the course, students are vetted through an application process.  All applications will be reviewed and voted on by the Intermediate Climbing Committee prior to acceptance into Lead on Rock (LOR) and/or Intermediate Glacier Climbing (IGC). 

All applicants are required to attend the Everett Basic Climbing Course Instructor Review (EBCCIR) in late January of the application year at the Seattle Program Center in order to be considered. Applying for Intermediate does not register a student for the EBCCIR – they will need to identify and register for this event on their own. If there are no remaining openings for EBCCIR, please contact the Intermediate Climbing Coordinator for assistance.

Intermediate Climbing course Schedule

The schedule for our courses is subject to change but usually follows the chronology below.  You can search for our courses using the "LEARN" tab above, and searching for courses offered by Everett. 

  • January-June:  Leading on Rock.  
  • June-July:  Intermediate Glacier Climbing
  • July-August:  Alpine Ice
  • September-November:  Self-Rescue
  • January-February:  Winter/Mixed Climbing,  Basic Climbing Course Instructor Review

Introduction to Leading on Rock

The introduction to Leading on Rock Course is designed to build on fundamental skills developed in the Basic Climbing Course.  This course will teach techniques that will enable you to lead climb safely at most of the rock climbing areas around the United States. A solid foundation in anchor system fundamentals will be covered.  You will learn about technical rock climbing equipment including rock shoes, ropes, harnesses, and natural and artificial protection. The techniques you will learn include gear anchors, climbing on rock, leading, multi-pitch transitions, and rappelling.

Course Description:

Leading on Rock prepares students to safely lead multi-pitch trad routes.

Course Outcomes:

  • place effective rock protection
  • build rock anchors
  • swap leads mid-pitch in a hanging belay
  • swap leads on multi-pitch routes

Intermediate Glacier Climbing

The Intermediate Glacier Climbing module will introduce you to steeper snow and glacier routes, and provide the skills for planning and executing an intermediate-level glacier climb.  In addition, the course covers the basics of small party (two-person rope team) self-rescue on glacier climbs.

Course Description:

The Intermediate Glacier Course prepares students to plan and execute an intermediate-level glacier climb

Course Outcomes:

  • apply the AIARE decision making framework
  • move efficiently and confidently on moderate to steep snow
  • build snow anchors
  • perform 2-person crevasse rescue
  • plan and execute an intermediate glacier climb 

Introduction to Alpine Ice

The Alpine Ice module will introduce you to ice climbing.  This module provides a structured learning environment to apply lead skills and anchor fundamentals to varied alpine terrain where steep snow and ice may be the obstacle.  This module and the required ice climbs will provide the foundation and confidence to climb intermediate alpine ice routes.

Course Description

Alpine Ice prepares students to travel safely on moderate to steep alpine ice.

Course Outcomes

  • evaluate ice conditions
  • move efficiently and confidently
  • place effective protection
  • build ice anchors
  • strategize and adapt leading safely based on terrain

Introduction to Winter and Mixed Climbing

The Winter and Mixed Climbing module will introduce you to climbing in winter and to climbing on mixed (rock and snow/ice) terrain.  This module provides a structured learning environment to apply lead skills and anchor fundamentals from rock climbing to varied alpine terrain where steep snow and ice may be the obstacle.  This module and the required winter climbs will provide the foundation and confidence to travel on more challenging routes in the mountains throughout the year.  In the winter environment, you may need to transition between steep, hard snow, to verglas-covered rock, to ice. 

Course Description

Winter-Mixed introduces students to mixed terrain climbing techniques and prepares students for an unplanned bivy scenario.

Course Outcomes

  • practice dry-tooling techniques
  • climb mixed terrain on top rope
  • place and remove pitons

Self Rescue Course (SRC)

SRC covers the fundamental techniques of load transfer in a variety of scenarios.  It will build on your knowledge developed around anchor systems, knots and hazard awareness and mitigation. This is an advanced climbing class and is not suited for a novice climber.  You should have at least a full year of active lead climbing under your belt before you move onto this module. While strong first-year climbers may be granted approval by the coordinator, this should be an exception, not the norm.

Course Description

The self-rescue course teaches small party rescue techniques which can be applied in an emergency situation while climbing.

Course Outcomes

  • Evaluate an accident and determine the best course of action
  • Tie load-releasing hitches in a variety of scenarios
  • Build and use a system to move an injured climber to a safer location
  • Combine individual rescue techniques in various scenarios using limited gear and without a scripted set of steps