Basic Climbing Course   - Kitsap - 2017

Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course - Kitsap 2017

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.

Contact Ralph Wessels, Chair Kitsap Basic Climbing Course, for course information.; (253) 857-5658. 

Thank you for your interest in joining the 2017 Basic Climbing Course offered by the Kitsap Branch of the Mountaineers.  As a basic climbing student, you will meet interesting and goal-oriented people that all share a common interest - mountaineering.  The course is a combination of classroom and field sessions that prepare you for climbing rock, snow, and glaciers.  The course is taught by experienced mountaineers that share their knowledge and time as volunteers.  Students will progressively gain knowledge and technical skills throughout the class and ultimately apply them to actual climbs.  The class utilizes the book, Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition, as part of the instruction.  Classes are held at the Kitsap Cabin and field sessions at a variety of locations to meet the specific training. 

For insight about the course from a 2016 student, please read the blog at the following link.

The climbing course involves a commitment of time both in and outside of the scheduled classes and field trips for learning about mountaineering and climbing, developing technical abilities, and conditioning. 

Cancellation from the course will incur a $100 fee prior to registration closure. Cancellation after registration has closed will result in partial or no refund, subject to the Chair's decision.

Please consider the time commitment, course schedule, and cancellation policy before registering.

Participants must be members of the Mountaineers.  Graduation requirements include the following:

  • Participants have up to 2 years to complete the course
  • Attend all classroom sessions
  • Satisfactorily complete all field sessions
  • Obtain the gear by the date required.
  • Pass all skills tests
  • Pass a conditioning test
  • Complete 3 climbs consisting of one rock, one glacier, and one of either rock, alpine, or glacier
  • Complete a separate Navigation course (~ $70)
  • Complete a separate Wilderness First Aid or Mountain-Oriented First Aid course (~ $190)
  • Fulfill a stewardship activity

Class and field sessions are as shown below (some dates or locations subject to change).

Classroom Sessions

Field Sessions

Class #1 -Wilderness Basics Weekend

Kitsap Cabin

January 18, 2017. 6:00 PM.

10 Essential Systems, Knots, Leave No Trace, Conditioning, Packing, Documentation, Course Expectations

FT #1 - Initial Field Experience

Green Mountain State Forest

January 21, 2017. 8:00 AM

Class #2 - Ropes, Anchors, and Belay

Kitsap Cabin

February 1, 2017. 6:00 PM.

FT #2 - Ropes, Anchors, and Belay Field Session

Kitsap Cabin

February 11, 2017. 8:00 AM.

Navigation (separate class registration)

Kitsap Cabin

TBD, 2017. 6:00 PM

Maps, Compass, Navigation Systems

Navigation Field Session (separate class registration)

Kitsap Cabin/Green Mountain State Forest

TBD, 2017. 8:00 AM.

Class #3 - Snow Climbing and Avalanche Awareness

Kitsap Cabin

March 8, 2017. 6:00 PM.

FT #3 - Snow Climbing and Avalanche Awareness (Snow 1)

Mt Rainier National Park

March 18 and 19, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Snow Camping, Roping Up, Avalanche Evaluation Skills, Belaying on Snow, Snow Anchors

Class #4 - Rock Climbing in the Alpine Environment

Kitsap Cabin

April 5, 2017. 6:00 PM

FT #4 - Rock Climbing (Rock 1)

Spire Rock - Spanaway

April 8, 2017. 8:00 AM

Class #5 - Glacier Climbing and Crevasse Rescue

Kitsap Cabin

April 26, 2017. 6:00 PM.

FT #5 - Crevasse Rescue Ground School/Prusik Practice

Kitsap Memorial Park

April 29, 2017. 8:00 AM.


FT #6 - Rock Climbing (Rock 2)

Mt. Erie, vicinity Anacortes

May 20, 2017. 8:00 AM


FT #7 - Glacier Climbing and Crevasse Rescue Practice (Snow 2)

Easton Glacier, Mt Baker National Forest.

May 27 and May 28, 2017. 8:00 AM

Possible break into groups for climbs of Mt. Baker and Sherman Peak on May 29th.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Basic Climbing Course - Meet and Greet (optional)
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Sat, Nov 23, 2019
Registration closed Nov 21
20 participants
4 instructors
Activity 12 - Rock Climbing Technique and Belay Escape
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Wed, Mar 25, 2020
Registration closed Mar 23
1 participant
5 instructors on waitlist
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Wed, Mar 24, 2021
Registration closed Mar 22
15 participants
2 instructors
Activity 13 - Basic Rock 1
Tacoma Program Center
Sat, Mar 28, 2020
Registration closed Mar 27
1 participant
1 instructor on waitlist
Activity 14 - Basic Rock 2
Mount Erie
Sat, Apr 18, 2020
Registration closed Apr 2
1 participant
2 instructors on waitlist
Basic Climbing Class #1
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Wed, Jan 13, 2021
Registration closed Jan 12
15 participants
20 instructors
Basic Field Trip #1 - Knots
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Sat, Jan 16, 2021
Registration closed Jan 15
15 participants
2 instructors
Basic Climbing Class #2
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Wed, Jan 27, 2021
Registration closed Jan 26
15 participants
2 instructors
Basic Belay/Rappel Field Trip #2
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Sat, Feb 6, 2021
Registration closed Feb 5
15 participants
1 instructor
Activity 7 - Snow Climbing
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Wed, Mar 3, 2021
Registration closed Mar 1
15 participants
2 instructors
Activity 8 - Snow 1 Field Trip
Hurricane Ridge (winter)
Sat, Apr 10, 2021 -
Sun, Apr 11, 2021
Registration closed Apr 9
5 participants
0 instructors
Hurricane Ridge (winter)
Sat, Apr 9, 2022
Registration closed Apr 7
4 participants on waitlist
1 instructor
Hurricane Ridge (winter)
Sun, Apr 10, 2022
Registration closed Apr 8
4 participants
0 instructors
Basic Climbing Class #5
Online Classroom
Wed, May 12, 2021
Registration closed Apr 26
5 participants
2 instructors on waitlist
Activity 9 - Crevasse Rescue
Hurricane Hill
Sat, May 15, 2021
Registration closed Apr 29
2 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Hurricane Ridge (winter)
Sun, May 16, 2021
Registration closed May 14
5 participants
2 instructors
Stewardship Credit
McCleary Cliffs
Sat, Mar 26, 2022
Registration closed Mar 24
7 participants
0 instructors
Activity 15- Basic Alpine Climb (counts as graduation climb) (optional)
Mount Ellinor & Mount Washington
Sat, Jun 25, 2022
Registration closed Jun 16
2 participants
2 instructors
Mount Ellinor & Mount Washington
Sat, Jul 9, 2022
Registration closed Jun 23
0 participants
2 instructors
Required Equipment


Climbing harness with belay loop

Mountaineering boots (not hiking boots)

Non-locking carabiners (6)

Locking carabiner pear shaped (1)

Locking carabiner - oval or D-shaped (3)

Approved belay device (similar to Petzl Reverso 4 or Black Diamond ATC Guide)

Chock pick

Belay gloves (big box leather gloves work)

10 essentials (see info on approved compasses)

Overnight pack

Day pack

Ice axe with leash

Crampons - 12 point steel that fit your boots

Snow shovel

Picket - 24"

Rescue pulley - prusik minding

Appropriate clothing

Camping items that fit into pack

Slings, webbing, and perlon cord (we will go over what is needed in class)