Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Foothills - 2021

Climbing Course

Basic Alpine Climbing Course

Learn to safely follow on rock, snow, and glaciated routes

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.


Applications are closed. No additional registration or waitlist requests will be accepted.

Cancellation : Refund minus $10 by 2nd lecture (February 2nd, 2021). No refunds after this date.

Is this course right for me?

Please read this page and verify that the Basic Alpine Climbing Course is the right course for your objectives and expectations!


Welcome! We, the Foothills Climbing Committee, are glad you're applying for the Basic Alpine Climbing Class and look forward to instructing and climbing with you this season. In recent years, all of the basic climbing courses at the Mountaineers have gained increased student demand – so much so that the Foothills Branch is starting their own Climbing Class in 2021. Class starts on January 26th, 2021 with our first field trip shortly afterwards. So, we want to communicate to all applying students the expectations of the Basic Climbing Class in advance of potential acceptance to the class. Keep this in mind as you complete this application. As instructors, we want ensure that you have the best experience possible where you can learn to climb safely. A big part of accomplishing that goal is your participation and your commitment to the class, your fellow students and the instructors.

One of the many things that the Foothills branch offers is a smaller class size (limited to 12 students) and great student to instructor ratio. In many cases, you’ll see close to a 1-1 student to instructor ratio. Our instructors have a huge commitment to you and spend a lot of time and resources to ensure your safety and learning. With this level of instructor commitment, we expect a high commitment from you as well.

This course requires a commitment to the following:

1.  13 Weeknight sessions: 9 lectures, 3 practice sessions, 1 final exam
2.  6 total field trips;  4 full weekend trips, 3 of which will require you to stay overnight
3.  Many extra hours of reading, study and practice
4.  Participation in out of classroom skills practice sessions with your fellow students and instructors
5.  Successful completion of two (2) experience climbs (1 glacier and 1 rock)
6.  Purchase of climbing gear and possibly basic hiking & backpacking gear
7.  A strong level of fitness that will allow you to safely and effectively participate in the field trips and experience climbs
8.  A personal commitment to a regular & disciplined training program to ensure the necessary fitness level

If you take the above items and lay them out in a calendar, you’ll quickly see that completing this class is a serious endeavor (both time and money). Completion requires hundreds of hours of your time. We want students that can put this in their calendar and commit to everything now. Make a commitment to yourself, your fellow students and the instructors that you’ll be at all the lectures on time, all the field trips and that you’ll practice, study and prepare to be safe and competent on all field trips/climbs.  We would also ask that you start (or continue) a fitness regimen that will enable you to be in satisfactory shape to participate in the fields trips and climbs.


The Foothills Climbing Committee is committed to building and fostering a representative climbing community that reflects the spaces in which we live and recreate. We recognize that outdoor recreation has historically excluded communities of color, women, and LGBTQ people. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other underrepresented communities. 


This is a comprehensive introduction to alpine mountaineering. Graduates will develop the fundamental skills necessary to climb alpine peaks in the northwest. We will cover knots, anchors, belaying, rappelling, rock climbing, glacier travel, the fundamentals of self rescue, and crevasse rescue. This course runs approximately five months meeting weekly with several field trips. Attendance at all lectures and field trips, first aid, navigation and completing experience climbs are required for graduation. Participants should be in good cardiovascular shape and be comfortable with basic camping skills.  Foothills offers an intimate learning experience with a high instructor to student ratio. This is perhaps the best reason to select this course.

Although the course is demanding, the rewards are great.  The acquisition of these skills opens the door to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment.  Course graduates are eligible to participate in Basic Climbs, Club Climbs, the Intermediate Climbing Course, and other advanced climbing seminars periodically offered by the Foothills branch.

***Please do not sign up for the course unless you can attend ALL field trips and ALL lectures (missing one lecture due to unforeseen circumstances can be arranged).  


Bolded sessions held via ZOOM

Lecture 1 - Kick off & Gear - 1/26/2021

Lecture 2 - Knots & Prussiks - 2/2/2021

Field Trip - Conditioner - 2/6/2021

Lecture 3 - Anchors & Belaying -  2/16/2021

Practice 1 - Fundamentals Practice - 2/23/2021

Field Trip - Fundamentals - 2/27/2021

Lecture 4 - Rappelling & Emergency Tie Off - 3/9/2021

Lecture 5 - Rock Climbing/Following on Rock - 3/16/2021

Field Trip - Rock 1 - 3/27/2021

Lecture 6 - Avy Awareness & Snow Camping - 3/30/2021

Lecture 7 - Breaking the Halo & Expedition Behavior - 4/6/2021

Field Trip - Snow 1 - 4/10-4/11/2021

Practice 2 - Rock Skills Refinement - 4/20/2021

Lecture 8 - Safety Packing & Handling Emergencies - 4/27/2021

Field Trip - Rock 2 - 5/1-5/2/2021

Lecture 9 - Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue - 5/11/2021

Practice 3 - Z Pulley Practice - 5/18/2021

Field Trip - Snow 2 - 5/22-5/23/2021

Final Exam - 5/25/2021

Potluck Celebration - 6/2/2021


  • Attend all field trips and lectures
  • Successful completion of all field trips
  • Current Mountaineers membership
  • Current WFA Certification
  • Completion of Mountaineers Wilderness Navigation Course (see below)
  • Completion of Low Impact Recreation
  • Completion of two (2) required experience climbs, one glacier and one rock climb, by Oct 1st.
  • Completion of an approved stewardship event
  • Petition the Climbing Committee
  • Climbing Committee Approval

Tentative Navigation Dates

  • Registration: 11/2/2020-1/9/2021
  • Map & Compass Elearning: 1/11/21-1/24/21
  • GPS Elearning: 1/25/21-2/7/21
  • Online Workshops (attend 1): 1/17/2021, 1/24/2021
  • Field Trip (Attend 1): 3/6/2021, 3/20/2021


Anyone who wishes to volunteer with the Basic Climbing Course as an instructor or leader must have take the Foothills Instructor Review on January 10th, 2021, or an instructor review with Everett Climbing  within the last three years.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Lecture 4 - Rappelling & Emergency Tie Off
Online Classroom
Tue, Mar 9, 2021
Registration closes Mar 7
0 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Skills Practice (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Mar 10, 2021
Registration closes Mar 8
7 participants
3 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Mar 17, 2021
Registration closes Mar 15
8 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Optional Conditioners (optional)
Mount Si Main Trail
Sun, Mar 14, 2021
Registration closes Mar 12
4 participants
0 instructors
West Tiger Mountain No. 3 Cable Line
Tue, Mar 23, 2021
Registration closes Mar 21
5 participants
0 instructors
Lecture 5 - Rock climbing & Following on Rock
Online Classroom
Tue, Mar 16, 2021
Registration closes Mar 14
0 participants
0 instructors
Field Trip - Rock 1
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Mar 27, 2021
Registration closes Mar 25
0 participants
6 instructors
Lecture 6 - Avy Awareness & Snow Camping
Online Classroom
Tue, Mar 30, 2021
Registration closes Mar 28
0 participants
0 instructors
Lecture 7 - Breaking the Halo & Expedition Behavior
Online Classroom
Tue, Apr 6, 2021
Registration closes Apr 4
0 participants
0 instructors
Field Trip - Snow 1
Snoqualmie Summit East
Sat, Apr 10, 2021 -
Sun, Apr 11, 2021
Registration closes Apr 8
0 participants
1 instructor
Practice 2 - Rock Skills Refresher
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Apr 20, 2021
Registration closes Apr 18
0 participants
3 instructors
Lecture 8 - Safety Packing & Handling Emergencies
Online Classroom
Tue, Apr 27, 2021
Registration closes Apr 25
0 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Field Trip - Rock 2
Sat, May 1, 2021 -
Sun, May 2, 2021
Registration closes Apr 29
0 participants
9 instructors
Lecture 9 - Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue
Online Classroom
Tue, May 11, 2021
Registration closes May 9
0 participants
0 instructors
Practice 3 - Z Pulley Practice
Redmond Community Center
Tue, May 18, 2021
Registration closes May 9
0 participants
2 instructors on waitlist
Field Trip - Snow 2
Mount Baker Recreation Area: Easton Glacier
Sat, May 22, 2021 -
Sun, May 23, 2021
Registration closes May 20
0 participants
8 instructors
Final Exam
Redmond Community Center
Tue, May 25, 2021
Registration closes May 23
2 participants
5 instructors
Private Residence
Wed, Jun 9, 2021
Registration closes May 31
12 participants
Required Equipment

Please refer to handbook