Alpine Scrambling Course - Seattle - 2019

Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling Course

The Alpine Scrambling course teaches essential techniques of off-trail wilderness travel needed for scaling snow and rock summits.

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.

Alpine Scrambling fills the gap between on trail hiking and roped climbing. In the Alpine Scrambling course you will learn essential techniques of off-trail wilderness travel needed for reaching snow and rock summits. Alpine scrambling may at times involve unroped movement on and across low or moderately-exposed snow and rock terrain, but does not include roped climbing.

Registration Timeline:

  • Student Registration Opens: Dec 1
  • Cancellation: Refund less $10 before Feb 15
    • No Refund after Feb 15

Not sure if Scrambling is for you? Here are some pictures showing the types of places we go:

The Scramble course consists of 3 in town workshops and 3 single day field trips. The workshops introduce skills, which are then refined out in the field.


  • Workshops

    • Course Introduction and Gear: Overview of what scrambling is, setting course expectations, and a gear show and tell.
    • Snow Travel: Snow travel safety (avalanche) presentation, ice axe introduction, ice axe arrest practice.
    • Rock Travel: Movement on a variety of rock surfaces, protected downclimb (emergency descent  method).
  • Field Trips

    • Snow Travel: Moving through snow, walking in balance, ice axe self belay,  ice axe arrest practice, winter navigation.
    • Rock Travel: Moving on rock, protected downclimb practice.
    • Experience Field Trip: Putting it all together and final evaluation. Demonstrate all skills learned in the course on a trip including both snow and rock travel to a summit.
  • Additional Requirements

    • Attend one conditioning hike.
    • Complete the online Low Impact Recreation quiz.
    • Complete a Stewardship event
    • Complete 3 scrambles
    • Complete the First Aid course
    • Complete the Navigation Course 
      • ** First Aid and Navigation are separate courses with their own fees.

Financial Assistance

The Mountaineers strives to serve everyone, regardless of ability to pay. We are committed to providing access to outdoor recreation, education and conservation opportunities for all members and youth in the communities we serve. More information on financial assistance is available here:

Required Equipment

In addition to the course fees, scrambling requires a substantial amount of gear. In addition to general outdoor gear (outdoor clothing, rain gear, backpack, 10 essentials, etc) there are a few technical pieces of gear required. These are Mountaineering boots (different from hiking boots, $300-$500), a ice axe ($70-$100), and a climbing helmet ($60-$100). The majority of the first workshop is dedicated to gear, we encourage you to wait until after the gear workshop to make purchases.

Other Courses

There are two options for learning Scrambling with the Seattle Branch. The standard course (this one) which runs Feb - June, and the Compressed Course which covers the same material but in a long weekend (May 17-19). The Everett and Foothills (Eastside) branches also have Scramble programs.


If you already have the skills covered in this course and want to get involved, check out Scrambling Equivalency.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

See the course handbook under "Course Materials"