Wilderness Skills - Olympia - 2021

Day Hiking Course

Wilderness Skills

Learn the skills to get outside and safely enjoy Washington's wilderness. For some students this may be the only course needed to furnish them with the information, skills and self-confidence to enjoy a life-time of safe, personally rewarding travel in the backcountry. For others, Wilderness Skills will be the first of many adventures, laying a foundation for backpacking, scrambling and climbing courses.

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.

Open to everyone, Wilderness Skills provides  the fundamentals for hiking and the "groundwork" for backpacking, scrambling and climbing in the Northwest. It is a required prerequisite  for Alpine Scrambling, Basic Climbing and Backpacking courses with the Olympia Branch.  This will be an all Virtual Class, with a rigorous and inclusive approach to the fundamentals., based on readings from "Freedom of the Hills-9th ed", quizzes, videos, on-line lectures and other resources.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

ilderness Skills is designed to prepare area outdoor enthusiasts for hiking or backpacking in the forests, mountains and trails of the Pacific Northwest. Open to all, this course is also the foundation required before the Alpine Scrambling, Basic Climbing and Backpacking Courses with the Olympia Branch. 

CLIMB/SCRAMBLE STUDENTS ONLY:  Most students register directly online, but Olympia Branch Basic Climb and Alpine Scrambling course students are registered for Wilderness Skills by their  BC/AS course leaders.  BC/AS students are also graduated from WS by their  BC/AS course leader.

GRADUATION: Students must participate in both Saturday Zoom classes, complete all assigned readings, videos and quizzes. We want you to get you outside, so Wilderness Skills students not also taking a Scramble/Climb course must email the Wilderness Skills Course leader when they have completed a hike in order to graduate. Olympia Branch Climb/Scramble students will be graduated by their Climb/Scramble course leader after students complete the first Climb/Scramble activity.  Freedom of the Hills, 9th ed. will be our text.

DATES & TIMES: Courses begin in January and finish before Olympia Branch Basic Climb and Alpine Scrambling courses begin.  

ONCE EACH YEAR: The Wilderness Skills course is offered once each year. Hiking, Backpacking, and a Conditioning Hiking Series are offered in the Spring/Summer.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.