Olympia Climbing Committee

Olympia Climbing Committee

trips & Courses

Climbs vary from nontechnical ascents to high angle rock and ice. Depending upon the classification, they are open to Alpine Scramble graduates, Basic Climbing course graduates, basic equivalents, and Intermediate Climbing Course students and graduates. The Olympia Mountaineers offers an array of climbing courses and activities.

Basic Alpine Climbing

This course is designed to teach the fundamental skills necessary to safely climb most rock and glaciated peaks in the Pacific Northwest with an experienced leader. The course includes instruction and practice in alpine travel and in the technical aspects of roped climbing on rock, snow and glaciers. The course emphasizes basic climbing and mountaineering skills, including navigation, rope handling, knots, crevasse rescue, and belay and rappel techniques. Throughout the course, students will gain an appreciation for wilderness ethics and conservation.

The instructional portion of Olympia’s Basic Climbing Course is designed to be completed over six months.The course is divided into the following sections for administrative purposes: Wilderness Skills, Introduction to Climbing, Rock, Glacier, and Mountaineering Oriented First Aid (MOFA). Students must also complete a conservation or trail maintenance project. After finishing instructional course work, students must successfully complete the following types of experience climbs: conditioner, alpine, rock and glacier. Equivalencies for one or all of the sections can be granted pursuant to strict guideline upon application.

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Beyond Basic Rock

The course occurs annually between March/April and July There are four classes at the Cirque Climbing Gym followed by scheduled field trip.

Participants of this course will be introduced to a broad range of techniques and scenarios.  Upon successful review of safe, basic climbing techniques, students will be guided through the following topics: Climbing Technique, Sport Leading, Sport Anchor Setup and Cleaning, Trad Protection Introduction and SERENE anchors.

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Intermediate Alpine Climbing

The intermediate climbing course provides classroom and field instruction designed to teach the techniques of safe climbing on rock, hard snow, ice, and mixed alpine terrain.

The intermediate climbing course provides classroom and field instruction designed to teach the techniques of safe climbing on rock, hard snow, ice, and mixed alpine terrain. Leadership and safety skills are major components of the course. The Olympia intermediate climbing course is offered in a module format that includes instruction on winter mountaineering including emergency shelter construction and avalanche safety and rescue; leading on rock including setting pro, building and equalizing anchors, swinging leads and self-rescue; hard snow and glacier travel including German and French technique; and vertical ice climbing including the placing of ice screws and swinging leads on 60+ degree ice.

Prerequisites include Basic Climbing Course graduate or equivalency, and successful completion of the Qualifier Field Trip. Added requirements to graduate include MOFA and an Avalanche I Course.

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Become a leader

 The Leader Classification Application is now available for print or download. It allows current or new leaders to apply for an appropriate leader level. It can be mailed to the branch PO box, ATTN: Leadership Committee.

Leaders may also access the Schedule & Manage pages to learn how to manage trips, clinics & seminars, course activities, and  Trips Reports to research past trips and post a trip report.