Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Olympia - 2020

Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course

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.

Info
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.

*AS A RESULT OF THE SUSPENSION OF ALL COURSES/ACTIVITIES/EVENTS UNTIL 4/24/20, WE WILL BE CANCELING THIS COURSE. CURRENT PARTICIPANTS MAY RECEIVE A FULL REFUND, donate their course fee, OR TAKE THE COURSE NEXT YEAR AT NO EXTRA COST. PLEASE SEE THE COVID-19 RESPONSE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION*

 

Priority given to students from the Olympia Branch for sign up until January 7, 2020. If you are in the Olympia Branch please register. Non-Olympia members please wait until after January 7, 2020 to sign up or you may be removed from the roster.

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

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. The Wilderness Skills course is a two-day course and Basic Climbing students are required to attend both days, January 25, 2020 and February 1, 2020.

The course lectures and field trips begin Tuesday, January 28, consisting of  6 lectures, 7 field trips, the final written exam, and additional activities (see below, "requirements and commitments"). Students are expected to put in the necessary practice outside of structured course time for becoming proficient at skills. 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.

REQUIREMENTS AND COMMITMENTS

Basic Climbing students must:

  • Complete the pre-course questionnaire
  • Attend Wilderness Skills on January 25 and  February 1
  • Attend all lectures
    • January 28, February 25, March 10, March 31, April 21, May 26
  • Attend all field trips
    • February 8, February 29, March 21, April 25-26 (overnight), May 2 or 3 (choose one), May 16 or 17 (choose one), May 30-31 (overnight)
  • Pass the final exam on June 16
  • Attend the Meet Your Mentor event, February 21 (optional but recommended)
  • Attend the additional practice session at SPIRE Rock on May 10 (optional but recommended)
  • Attend the climbing clinic at Cirque Climbing,  April 12 (optional but recommended)
  • Successfully complete physical conditioning requirements
  • Participate in three experience climbs (glacier, rock, alpine)
  • Complete Mountaineering Oriented First Aid (MOFA) or equivalent – you must self-register and pay the separate course fee for first aid courses
  • Complete Navigation course – you must self-register and pay the separate course fee for Navigation
  • Complete a stewardship requirement 

Additionally, students must purchase a copy of “Freedom of the Hills, 9th Edition.” Note that there are significant gear and equipment needs for this course that will be required in order to participate in activities. Some examples: mountaineering boots, harness, helmet, crampons, ice axe, etc.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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. Additional courses such as MOFA and Navigation will also be completed prior to taking Basic Climbing, meaning fewer requirements for graduation in the same year.

For more information about Basic Climbing, potential students are encouraged to attend the Olympia Branch Open House, to be held on January 2, 2020 from 6:30  to 9:30 pm at St. Martin’s University in the Worthington Center. In the meantime, direct climbing course questions to Julie Dasso (julie@mountainjules.com).

 

 

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 and discussion will be presented at that time, to be purchased for the first field trip in February.  It's OK to wait to buy until you see and handle gear that is exactly what you want and will use.

 

 

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.