Intermediate Climbing Package - Kitsap - 2019

Climbing Course

Intermediate Climbing Course

Intermediate Climbing Package - Kitsap

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 of the Intermediate Essentials Module).

Course Content and Fee

The course consists of both classroom and field components. Lectures and field trips begin in January 2019 and extend through September 2019. Course content consists of five modules, each of which can be taken individually. This course listing is a "package" for all five modules: 

  • Intermediate Essentials
  • Intermediate Glacier Travel
  • Leading on Rock
  • Intro to Alpine Ice
  • Small Party Self Rescue

All students in the intermediate package will automatically get a spot in all of the modules during their first year. After their first year students need to apply to the modules at no extra cost.

 In addition to the modules, students will need to complete the following activities to graduate from the overall intermediate course: 

  • 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 will 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.

If each module were taken separately, the combined fee would be $525. The total fee for the package course is $375, a savings of $150. 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 and ice tools available to borrow.

2019 Course Schedule (subject to change) 

Intermediate Essentials Module:

Intermediate overview, teaching and leadership lecture (evening)  01/02/2019     

Intermediate Evaluation (One day)    1/5/2019       

Leadership Seminar (One day) 1/6/2019

Ropes and Anchors lecture (evening)   1/23/2019

Ropes and Anchors (One day)   1/26/2019       

Rescue Methods lecture (evening)   2/6/2019 

Rescue Methods 1 (One day)  2/9/2019

Intermediate Glacier Travel Module:

Winter Mount. And Trip Planning Lecture (evening)   2/20/2019

2 Person Crevasse Rescue Ground School (evening)   2/27/2019

Winter Mountaineering and Int Glacier FT (weekend - prerequisite: AIARE Level 1)   3/2 – 3/3/2019     

Leading on Rock Module:

Rock lecture (evening)     04/3/2019

Rock 1 single pitch leading on bolts (Two days)  4/6 – 4/7/2019     

Rock 2 single and multi pitch trad (Two days)  4/27 – 4/28/2019     

Rock 3 multi pitch trad evaluation (one day)  05/11/2019      

Alpine Ice Module:

Ice lecture (evening)   08/7/2019            

Ice 1 Field Trip    8/10/2019

Ice 2 Field Trip 8/11/2019

Small Party Self Rescue Module:

Advanced self rescue methods (one day) 9/14/2019

Self rescue scenarios and evaluation (one day) 9/15/2019

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 partial 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. The course has also been offered through Pacific Alpine Guides in Port Angeles multiple times through the season as well as other guide services, 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.

Prerequisites and Opportunities

In addition to the prerequisites required to enter the intermediate package course, each module comes with its own set of prerequisites and opportunities:

  • Intermediate Essentials Module
  • Prerequisites:
  1. Membership in the Mountaineers
  2. Basic climbing course or equivalent
  • Opportunities:
  1. Meets the educational requirements to apply for scramble leadership
  2. Enables graduates to lead ropes on glacier climbs with the Kitsap Branch
  • Intermediate Glacier Travel Module
  • Prerequisites:
  1. Intermediate Essentials Module
  • Opportunities:
  1. Meets the educational requirements to apply for glacier climb leadership
  • Leading on Rock Module
  • Prerequisites:
  1. Intermediate Essentials Module
  • Opportunities:
  1. Meets the educational requirements to lead ropes on basic rock climbs
  • Small Party Self Rescue Module
  • Prerequisites:
  1. Intermediate Essentials Module
  2. Leading on Rock Module
  • Opportunities:
  1. Meets the educational requirements to apply for basic rock climb leadership
  2. Meets the educational requirements to swing leads on intermediate rock climbs
  • Alpine Ice Module
  • Prerequisites:
  1. Intermediate Essentials Module
  2. Intermediate Glacier Travel Module
  3. Leading on Rock Module
  • Opportunities:
  1. Meets the educational requirements to apply for intermediate climb leader status
  2. Meets the requirements to swing leads on intermediate ice routes


Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment

Equipment needs will be described in course guide and in class.

Course Materials