Basic Climbing Course   - Kitsap - 2017

Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course - Kitsap 2017

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 Class #5
Mountaineers Kitsap Program Center
Wed, May 1, 2019
Registration closed May 3
11 participants
2 instructors
Crevasse Rescue Ground School
Kitsap Memorial State Park
Sat, May 4, 2019
Registration closed May 2
10 participants
4 instructors
Basic Rock 2 Field Trip
Green Mountain: Gold Creek Trail
Sat, May 18, 2019
Registration closed May 16
5 participants
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)


Course Materials
Name/Description Type
Class 1 and FT 1

Class 2 and FT 2

Class 3 and FT 3

Class 4 and FT's 4 & 5

Class 5 and FT's 6 & 7