Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Foothills - 2023

Climbing Course

Basic Alpine Climbing Course

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

Info
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.

REGISTRATION TIME FRAMES:

Application Submissions: October 3 - October 10. Link to application form will be posted here on October 3rd. Non-members can apply; order of applications received does not matter - please fill it accurately.

Please read this whole page before applying. It contains important information about a course structure and the level of involvement and time commitment it will require of you.

Application results published: no later than November 7

Cancellation: Full amount minus $10 by 2nd lecture (January 10). No refunds on or after this date.

IS THIS COURSE RIGHT FOR ME?

This page describes  what Basic Alpine Climbing Course is and may help you verify that this course is the right course for your objectives and expectations.  Please note that this course will teach you how to be a follower on a Mountaineers climb -we won't teach you how to lead (on rock or glacier) in this course (however, after graduating, you will be eligible to apply to Intermediate program where you can learn those skills). 

Students COMMITMENT:

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 January 3, 2023 following by 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. This creates an intimate learning experience and is perhaps the best reason to select this course. 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: 13 lectures / practice sessions and 1 final exam
2.  6 total field trips:  2 full weekend trips (requiring you to stay overnight), 4 of them one day (best weather day of the weekend it is scheduled for)
3.  Many extra hours of reading, study and practice
4.  Participation in additional 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 two T3+ scrambles. The third climb requirement is waived for Alpine Scramble Course 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.  A personal commitment to a regular & disciplined training program to ensure the necessary fitness level. 

Additionally, corequisites of the course includes successful completion of Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Navigation, Avalanche Awareness and Low Impact Recreation courses.

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. 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. We will do our best to help you succeed by posting additional practices and conditioners, but ultimately it is up to you to ensure that fulfill all requirements and have a successful (and fun) climbing journey.

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.

DIVERSITY

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. 

If the cost of the course creates a financial hardship for you, we encourage you to apply for the scholarship. Mountaineers are committed to providing access to outdoor recreation, education, and conservation opportunities for all members and youth in the communities we serve.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

This course runs approximately five months meeting weekly with several field trips over weekends. Attendance at all lectures and field trips, completing Mountaineers Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Navigation, Avalanche Awareness (or higher) and Low Impact Recreation courses and completing experience climbs are required for graduation. Some of you may come to the course with pre-existing knowledge in some climbing disciplines - please note that we will not void any of those requirements based on that. Additionally, participants should be in good cardiovascular shape and be comfortable with basic camping skills. Without proper conditioning level, we may not be able to allow you to participate in certain field trips and/or graduate the course. 

***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).  


GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Attend all field trips and lectures
  • Successful completion of all field trips
  • Current Mountaineers membership
  • Current WFA Certification
  • Completion of Mountaineers Wilderness Navigation Course
  • Completion of Low Impact Recreation
  • Completion of Avalanche Awareness (or higher degree of avalanche training, eg. AIARE 1)
  • Completion of three (3) required experience climbs with The Mountaineers, one glacier and one rock climb and one by your choice (or two T3+ scrambles), by Oct 31st.
  • Completion of an approved stewardship event
  • Petition the Climbing Committee
  • Climbing Committee Approval


INSTRUCTOR REQUIREMENTS

Anyone who wishes to volunteer with the Basic Climbing Course as an instructor or leader must take the Foothills Instructor Review on January 8, or have taken or instructed an instructor review with Foothills or Everett Climbing  within the last three years.

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Session 1 - Course Kickoff & Gear (IP)
Vertical World, Redmond
Tue, Jan 3, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
9 instructors
Session 2 - Knots & Hitches (IP)
Vertical World, Redmond
Tue, Jan 10, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
9 instructors
Session 3 - Anchors and Belays (IP)
Vertical World, Redmond
Tue, Jan 17, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
9 instructors
Session 4 - Conditioning for Alpine Climbing (Online)
Online Classroom
Tue, Jan 31, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
6 instructors
Session 5 - Ascending the Rope & Fundamentals Review (IP)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Feb 7, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
11 instructors
Field Trip - Fundamentals
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Feb 12, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
11 instructors
Session 6 - Rock Climbing, Lead belaying (IP)
Vertical World, Redmond
Tue, Feb 21, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Session 7 - Rappelling (IP)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Feb 28, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Session 8 - Escaping the Belay (IP)
Vertical World, Redmond
Tue, Mar 7, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Field Trip - Rock 1
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Mar 19, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Midterm (IP)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Mar 28, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Session 9 - Following on multipitch climbs (IP)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Apr 4, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Session 10 - Safety & Expedition Behavior (Online)
Online Classroom
Tue, Apr 11, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
5 instructors
Field Trip - Rock 2
Leavenworth
Sat, Apr 29, 2023 -
Sun, Apr 30, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
8 instructors
Session 11 - Snow & Glacier Travel (Online)
Online Classroom
Tue, May 2, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
6 instructors
Field Trip - Snow 1
Alpental Ski Area
Sat, May 13, 2023 -
Sun, May 14, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
9 instructors
Session 12 - Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue (IP)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, May 23, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Session 13 - Crevasse Rescue (IP)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, May 30, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Field Trip - Snow 2
Mount Baker Recreation Area
Sat, Jun 3, 2023 -
Sun, Jun 4, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
9 instructors
Final Exam (IP)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Jun 13, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Field Trip - Snow 3
Mount Baker Recreation Area
Sat, Jun 17, 2023 -
Sun, Jun 18, 2023
Registration opens Nov 1; Instructor registration open now
12 participants
10 instructors
Potluck!
Private Residence
Wed, Jun 28, 2023
Registration closes Jun 26
24 participants
Roster
Required Equipment

See student handbook

Course Materials