Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Foothills - 2022

Climbing Course

Basic Alpine Climbing Course

COURSE ROSTER AND WAITLIST IS FULL. 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.


Application is now closed

The Course is FULL as is the Waitlist.

Application Submissions: October 01 - October 08 

Application results published: No Later Than November 1

Cancellation : Refund minus $10 by 2nd Session (January 11). No refunds on or after this date.


Please read this page and verify that the Basic Alpine Climbing Course is the right course for your objectives and expectations. This is NOT a Sport or Cragging Course, or a course to "push your grade". 


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. Class starts on December 7th, 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 (currently 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.  15 Weeknight sessions including online lectures, hands on instruction, and two evaluations
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 three (3) experience climbs (1 glacier, 1 rock, and 1 of your choice (glacier, rock, or alpine)) Note: the 3rd alpine climb may be substituted with 2 T3+ scrambles. The third climb requirement is waived for Scramble Graduates)
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). Additional corequisites of the course includes successful completion of Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Navigation, Stewardship, and Low Impact Recreation. 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).  


  • 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 at least three (3) required experience climbs, one glacier and one rock climb, by Oct 15th.
  • Completion of an approved stewardship event
  • Petition the Climbing Committee
  • Climbing Committee Approval
  • Applicants: when applying, please include  your favorite snack in the "Anything else you want to mention" portion of the application


  • Registration: XXXXX
  • Map & Compass Elearning: XXXXX
  • GPS Elearning: XXXXX
  • Online Workshops (attend 1): XXXXX
  • Field Trip (Attend 1): XXXXX

TENTATIVE Wilderness FIrst Aid DATES

  • Registration: XXXX
  • Lectures: XXXX
  • Scenarios: XXXX


The Foothills Climbing Courses require frequent in-person training indoors and outdoors. All students and instructors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the beginning of the course. If you are accepted into the course, you will be asked to provide your State Issued identification and vaccination card prior to being allowed to register. Additionally, all participants (Instructors and Students) will be required to keep up to date with current public head guidelines vis-a-vis COVID vaccines and boosters, exposure for quarantine, etc from the Mountaineers, King County, State of Washington, and Center for Disease Control


Anyone who wishes to volunteer with the Basic Climbing Course as an instructor or leader must have take the Foothills Instructor Review on January 9th, 2022.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

See student handbook

Course Materials