Basic Alpine Climbing Course - 2019

Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course

The 2019 Olympia Basic Climbing Course is a combination of classroom lectures, field instruction and climbing experiences with an emphasis on active, hands-on learning to achieve the goal of teaching students to safely climb rock, snow and the glaciated peaks of the Pacific Northwest.

Priority given to students from the Olympia branch for sign up until January 10, 2019. If you are in the Olympia Branch please register. Non-Olympia members please wait until after  January 10, 2019 to sign up or you may be removed from the roster.

The Olympia Basic Climbing Course is a combination of classroom lectures, field instruction and climbing experiences with an emphasis on active, hands-on learning to achieve the goal of teaching students to safely climb rock, snow and the glaciated peaks of the Pacific Northwest.

The course begins with the prerequisite course Wilderness Skills.  Wilderness Skills is included at no extra charge for Basic Climbing students, and the Basic Climbing chair will register climbing students-do not self-register. Wilderness Skills consists of two all-day activities on 1/26/19 and 2/2/19.  Climbing Course lectures and field trips begin at the end of January, and are completed in June, consisting of seven lectures, seven field trips and additional optional climbing events. Topics covered include equipment/gear, backcountry travel and camping, snow camping, glacier travel, belaying, rappelling, rock climbing, crevasse rescue, and more. Previous experience in off-trail hiking and camping is helpful.

Graduates must attend all lectures and field trips, pass the final exam, successfully complete physical  conditioning requirements, three experience climbs, the Mountain Oriented First Aid course or Wilderness First Aid, Navigation course, and a stewardship project. There is a separate course fee for both MOFA and Navigation. Additionally, students must purchase a copy of “Freedom of the Hills, 9th Edition”.  Note:  there  are significant gear and equipment needs for this course that will be required to participate in activities.  Some examples:  mountaineering boots, harness, helmet, crampons, ice axe, etc. 

In addition to having a desire to learn technical rock and mountaineering skills, successful graduates possess solid overall physical conditioning, good cardiovascular strength, and psychological commitment. This course is challenging; however, the payoff will be opportunities to connect with lifelong climbing 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.

Interested students are urged to consider taking the Alpine Scrambling course prior to Basic Climbing. Completion of scrambling allows the student to master a portion of the skills that will be taught in Basic Climbing, as well as provide even more opportunities to meet like-minded outdoor enthusiasts.


The course runs for one year, and participants are strongly encouraged to complete the lectures and field trips the first year. If a student is unable to complete the course in one year, they may apply for second-year student status, which may incur an additional registration charge. Basic Climbing leaders will create a customized plan that second-year students complete in order to successfully graduate, based on what they were able to finish their first year.


For more information about Basic Climbing, potential students are encouraged to attend the Olympia Branch open house, to be held on January 3, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM at St. Martin’s University in the Worthington Center. In the meantime, direct climbing course questions to Janette Zumbo (janettezumbo@gmail.com).

Note:  Registered students are asked to complete the student questionnaire  at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/72KPFKK  This information will be used to plan course content and instruction, as well as assist in matching students with mentors.  Please complete the form and email to Janette Zumbo at the above email address.  

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Roster
Required Equipment

Students will not need to purchase gear until after the first lecture.  Gear examples/discussion will be presented at that time, to be purchased for the first field trip in Febuary.  It's OK to wait to buy until you see/handle gear that is exacly what you want and will use:)

large locking pear carabiner for belaying

 locking carabiners (medium to large)

non-locking solid or wire-gate standard carabiners

Leather belay gloves

Day pack for single-day trips/large pack for overnight

UIAA approved climbing helmet

Approved climbing harness with belay loop

pre-sewn nylon double runner 

ice axe

crampons

mountaineering boots

nylon runners-single, double, triple-to be created from 1" webbing

prusik loops


Belay / Rappel device – also known as an ATC – no Gri-gris

Insulated sit pad, trekking poles – suggested but not required

Equpment necessary for snow travel and overnight trips.  This can be bought, borrowed or rented.  Some examples:  filtration systems, tent, stove, sleeping bag, mattress, appropriate cold-weather clothing, gaiters.  

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.