Alpine Scrambling Course - Olympia - 2023

Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling Course - Olympia 2023

The Alpine Scrambling course teaches essential techniques of off-trail wilderness travel needed for scaling snow and rock summits. Alpine scrambling may at times involve unroped movement on and across low or moderately-exposed snow and rock terrain, but does not include roped climbing on high-angle, seriously-exposed technical rock faces, nor does it involve roped travel on crevassed glaciers.

The Olympia Alpine Scrambling Course is a combination of classroom lectures, field instruction and scrambling experiences with an emphasis on active, hands-on learning to achieve the goal of teaching students to safely scramble on rock and snow.

Course lectures and field trips begin in February, and are completed in June.  There are four lectures, and four field trips.  Topics covered include equipment/gear, conditioning, backcountry travel and camping, snow scrambling, and rock scrambling.

Graduates must attend all lectures and field trips, successfully complete physical conditioning requirements, complete three experience scrambles, the Mountain Oriented First Aid course or Wilderness First Aid (April 1 or 2 - separate course fee ) Navigation course (May 6 or 7 - separate course fee), and a stewardship project. Additionally, students must purchase a copy of “Freedom of the Hills, 9th Edition”.

In addition to having a desire to learn rock and scrambling skills, students must have or be able to develop solid overall physical conditioning, good cardiovascular strength, and psychological commitment. The course is challenging; however, the payoff will be opportunities to connect with lifelong scrambling partners and friends as well as life-changing outdoor experiences, while learning the skills that can be used to safely travel in the wild for a lifetime.

The course runs for one season beginning with the first lecture in February and ending September 30, and participants must complete the lectures and field trips the first year. If a student is unable to complete all requirements, they will need to apply for second year status with the course leader.

Wilderness Skills is a highly recommended course prior to Scrambling. Wilderness Skills teaches the basics of traveling in the outdoors and how to prepare for multiple situations. This is especially helpful if you have limited experience hiking and outdoor travel or if you are new the Mountaineers.  There is no cost for Alpine Scrambling Students. 

Alpine Scramble students are urged to consider taking the Conditioning Hike Series course prior to Alpine Scrambling unless you have considerable hiking experience already. Completion of CHS allows the student to learn a portion of the skills that will be taught in Alpine Scrambling, while developing the conditioning to be successful in the Alpine Scrambling Course.

For more information about Alpine Scrambling, potential students are encouraged to attend the Olympia Branch open house, held on 1/5/23 at St. Martin’s University in the Worthington Center. In the meantime, direct scrambling course questions to the Alpine Scrambling course leader.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

By Basic Skills Field Trip on 2/11/23:

10 essentials including compass for use on navigation course and protected downclimbing kit (webbing, cord, and caribeaners)

By Snow 1 Lecture on

Ice axe, mountaineering boots, snowshoes, helmet, pack

Additional information to be provided to course students via course handbook and during the first lecture.  There will be a gear demonstration during the basic skills field trip.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.