Intermediate Climbing Course   - Kitsap - 2016

Climbing Course

Intermediate Climbing Course

Intermediate Climbing Course - Kitsap - 2016

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.

Course Description

The Kitsap Mountaineers' Intermediate Alpine Climbing Course is a leadership development course that will teach you the techniques necessary to safely lead climb rock, snow, and alpine ice (not water ice). Course graduates will have the knowledge and skills to organize and lead basic-level climbs and to participate in intermediate-level alpine, rock, and ice climbs.  

The goals for graduates are to have the skills to:

    1. Swing leads and descend safely on multi-pitch alpine rock on routes rated 5.5.
    2. Swing leads and descend ice and hard snow safely on alpine routes up to 45 degrees.
    3. Apply rope rescue techniques to safely raise or lower an injured climber with a team of 4-6 people.
    4. Swing leads on a basic climb in winter conditions including evaluation of avalanche hazard.
    5. Organize and lead basic level climbs.
    6. Instruct students in the basic climbing course curriculum.


    1. Completion of the Mountaineers' Basic Alpine Climbing Course or Basic Equivalency.
    2. Membership in The Mountaineers.
    3. Mountaineering Oriented First Aid or Wilderness First Aid or equivalent (needs to be current by the Rescue Methods field trip).

Course Content and Fee

The course consists of both classroom and field components. Lectures and field trips begin in January 2016 and extend through September 2016. Course content consists of:

    • Five Intermediate Climbing lectures,
    • Eight Intermediate field trips,
    • Instructing or assisting at seven Basic Climbing Course events,
    • Rope leading on six Basic climbs (rock and glacier), and
    • Swinging leads on five Intermediate climbs (rock and ice).

Most students take three to five years to complete the course requirements depending upon how much time is devoted each year. Students are encouraged to take as much time as is needed to comfortably complete and master each component of the course at their own pace.

The course fee is $300.00.  The fee does not cover the cost of AIARE Level 1 avalanche training, covered below. In addition to the course fee there is a significant investment required for most students in gear. In addition to all the gear used in the basic climbing course, you will need to buy, rent or borrow a climbing rack (traditional rock protection), rope, ice climbing gear (tools, ice screws, etc…) and avalanche gear (beacon, shovel, probe). The branch does have a limited number of beacons available to borrow.

2016 Course Schedule (subject to change)

Intermediate overview, teaching and leadership lecture   01/06/2016       

Intermediate Evaluation (One day)    01/9/2016        

Winter Mount. Lecture (evening)   1/27/2016            

Winter Mountaineering (weekend - prerequisite: AIARE Level 1)   1/30 – 1/31/2016       

Ropes and Anchors lecture (evening)   2/10/2016  

Ropes and Anchors (One day)   2/14/2016 (Sunday)       

Rescue Methods lecture (evening)   03/02/2016  

Rescue Methods (One day)  03/06/2016 (Sunday)

Rock lecture      04/20/2016                  

Rock 1 (One day)  04/23/2016      

Rock 2 (one day)  05/14/2016       

Ice lecture:   6/8/2016              

Ice 1 & 2 Field Trips    8/27 - 8/28/2016

How to Register

Register and pay on line at  Note that you are not officially admitted to the course until you successfully complete the Intermediate Evaluation field trip. You have one week after the Intermediate Evaluation to drop the course and request a refund, after which no refunds will be given.

Level 1 Avalanche Skills:

Students are required to complete a Level 1 Avalanche Course certified by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) in order to graduate the intermediate climbing course. This course is required before you can attend the winter mountaineering field trip. The requirement is waived for intermediate students who have completed an AIARE-certified Level 1 Avalanche Course within five years of beginning the intermediate program. AIARE Level I equivalent certification such as from the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) or National Ski Patrol (NSP) is also acceptable.

You must sign up for the AIARE Level 1 course separately. The Kitsap branch does not currently offer this course, but it can be taken through the Everett, Tacoma, Seattle or Foothills branches at a cost of $250. The course is also offered through Pacific Alpine Guides in Port Angeles multiple times through the season at a cost of $295, which may be more economical considering the travel costs involved in the other courses.

Continuing Students

There is no limit on the number of years a student may take to complete the course; however, we do require annual progress in the course to remain enrolled after five years from when you started. In order to add another year to your intermediate course, please contact the Intermediate Climbing subcommittee.


Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Course Materials
2020 Course Handbook, Rev 1