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.

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, date TBD (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
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
BC Lecture #1: Intro and Basic Skills
Lacey Community Center
Tue, Jan 28, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
19 instructors
BC Field Trip #1: Basic Skills
Michael T. Simmons Elementary School
Sat, Feb 8, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
37 participants
23 instructors
BC Activity: Meet Your Mentor (optional)
Lacey Community Center
Fri, Feb 21, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
40 participants
40 instructors
BC Lecture #2: Basic Skills
Lacey Community Center
Tue, Feb 25, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
27 instructors
BC Field Trip #2: Belay Practice
Priest Point Park
Sat, Feb 29, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
22 instructors
BC Lecture #3: Mountain Hazards
Lacey Community Center
Tue, Mar 10, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
23 instructors
BC Field Trip #3: Snow Travel
Paradise
Sat, Mar 21, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
37 participants
4 instructors
BC Lecture #4: Risk Management
Lacey Community Center
Tue, Mar 31, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
21 instructors
BC Lecture #5: Intro to Rock Climbing
Lacey Community Center
Tue, Apr 21, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
22 instructors
BC Field Trip #4: Snow Weekend
Paradise
Sat, Apr 25, 2020 -
Sun, Apr 26, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
37 participants
8 instructors
BC Instructor Review #2 (optional)
Lacey Community Center
Tue, Apr 28, 2020
Registration closes Apr 26
0 participants
35 instructors
BC Field Trip #5: Rock Fundamentals
Tacoma Program Center
Sat, May 2, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
19 participants
18 instructors
Tacoma Program Center
Sun, May 3, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
20 participants
18 instructors
BC Activity: Rock Climbing Practice (optional)
SPIRE Rock
Sun, May 10, 2020
Registration closes May 8
39 participants
8 instructors
BC Field Trip #6: Rock Weekend
Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)
Sat, May 16, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
16 participants
12 instructors
Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)
Sun, May 17, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
22 participants
16 instructors
BC Lecture #6: Crevasse Rescue Practice
Tumwater Historical Park
Tue, May 26, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
31 participants
23 instructors
BC Field Trip #7: Crevasse Rescue
Mount Baker Recreation Area
Sat, May 30, 2020 -
Sun, May 31, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
7 instructors
BC Final Written Exam
Lacey Community Center
Tue, Jun 16, 2020
Registration closes Jan 23
36 participants
12 instructors
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.