Alpine Scrambling Course - Kitsap - 2023

Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling - The area between hiking a trail and full protected climbing to the summit. Here we will explore how to safely travel those wonderful, off trail routes that go to many summits around us!


This course is giving preference to Kitsap, Olympic Peninsula and Gig Harbor area people. If you live outside of the area please message the course leader to be added to the waitlist.

Alpine scrambling is non-technical climbing of ridges, peaks, and mountains. Although, for someone coming from traditional basic trail hiking, it may feel technical as we add a few new skills to your strengths. Ropes are not usually necessary but are brought along for those occasional situations that a level of protection is desired or required. Glacier travel is not part of alpine scrambling.

Trips with the Mountaineers are one to several days long. With the Kitsap Branch, many of our scrambles are to locations in the Olympic Mountains. As a Scramble Course graduate and a member of the Mountaineers you will have the ability to sign up for scrambles with any of the Mountaineer's branches.

No prior experience is required. Although, a background in hiking and backpacking will be greatly beneficial. Scrambling is the next level.

Generally speaking, good physical fitness is expected. That does not mean that you are the example of peak physical fitness, but simply that you are in overall good enough shape to be able to commit to carrying a 25 pound pack for several miles. If you are unsure about this please contact us to seek further understanding before signing up for the course. For the sake of fairness to everyone who takes the course your conditioning is your responsibility outside of the course itself. This course is not here to bring you into condition.

In this course, you'll learn good equipment choices, how to prepare for a scramble, rock and snow skills as they apply to the alpine scrambling environment. You'll also learn some basic navigation and route finding (since much of scrambling occurs off the trails). However, thorough navigation education will happen during a separate navigation course (required for graduation). Also required for graduation is a separate Wilderness First Aid course, but we will spend some time talking about some basic mountain maladies and concerns. Finally, we'll teach you how to travel in the fragile alpine environment while limiting damage to the fragile alpine area we all love! While not required for graduation, being able to overnight in the wilderness is an incredibly empowering skill set. During the course we will touch briefly on this subject as well.


BEFORE THE CLASS BEGINS the leader will be emailing students with required reading and information about the class. This is necessary to get everyone on the same page when we all enter the course together at the first lecture. You will need to go over this information before coming to class.

The course schedule is as follows:

Date Item Location
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 Class #1 Gear and Overview  Program Center
Tuesday, March 28, 2023 Class #2 Rock and Off-Trail Program Center
Saturday, April 1, 2023 FT#1 Rock and Off-Trail Green Mountain; School Rock
Tuesday, April 4, 2023 Class #3 Snow Travel Program Center
Saturday, April 15, 2023 FT#2 Snow Travel ONP or Snoqualmie East
Saturday, April 29, 2023 FT#3 Steep Snow Travel


Class sessions are held at the Kitsap Branch Program Center in Bremerton from 630 pm to 9 pm.


  1. Participate in and show competence at all class/"lectures" and field trips.
  2. Navigation Course (offered separately)
  3. Wilderness First Aid Course (offered separately)
  4. Successful completion of three Mountaineers led scrambles (including at least one "rock" and one "snow" rated trip)
  5. Stewardship Credit

NOTE: If you cannot achieve the required scrambles in one year, an extension may be granted if you are continuing to accumulate mountaineering experience

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment


We understand that some of these items can be expensive. You want to get the right gear the first time. However, that does not always happen.  The first class will cover the pluses and minuses of different types of gear. It is recommended that you not buy any new gear until after Class #1 and to buy from a reputable retailer that has a great return/exchange policy!

You are encouraged to contact the course leaders with questions before the class to start accumulating your gear.

                 THE GEAR

  • Ten Essentials
  • UIAA rated Climbing Helmet
  • Appropriate Mountaineering Boots
  • Minimum 30L Backpack
  • Ice Ax
  • Crampons-12 point
  • Snow shoes (Optional and possible depending on the trip)
  • Trekking Poles (Optional)
  • Appropriate clothing (No Cotton)
  • Locking pear shaped carabineer
  • 25 ft of one inch tubular webbing (or light alpine harness)
  • 8 ft of 6mm perlon. 


Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.