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Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling Course

The Alpine Scrambling course teaches essential techniques of off-trail wilderness travel needed for scaling snow and rock summits. The 2022 Seattle Alpine Scrambling Course will require proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Please also see the listings for our Compressed courses A and B below. You will need to take the wilderness navigation course concurrently. Navigation course /Seattle starts January 10! see more below.

Covid PolicY: All students and instructors are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in this course. By registering for this course, students acknowledge that they are or will be vaccinated. Students will be required to show copies of  vaccine card prior to attending the first lecture. More detail on the process will be emailed. Participants  will be required to keep up to date with current public guidelines for boosters, exposure for quarantine, etc. from the Mountaineers, King County, Washington, and the CDC. Additionally, masks will be required when indoors for an in-person lectures. 

Due to the ongoing pandemic and the rise of variants of the COVID-19 virus, we will evaluate the restrictions closer to the course dates and modify the course as needed for the safety of our students and instructors.

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.


  • Student Registration Opens: Dec 4
  • Cancellation: Refund less $10.
    • No Refund after Feb 24

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 4 single day field trips. The workshops introduce skills, which are then refined out in the field.



    • 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).
    • Conditioner Hike: Introduction to skills and a strenuous hike to gauge conditioning level.
    • 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.

    • Complete the online Low Impact Recreation quiz.
    • Complete a Stewardship event
    • Complete 3 scrambles
    • Complete the Wilderness First Aid course Seattle WFA
    • Complete the Wilderness Navigation course /Seattle/Foothills by June 1 to eligible for the Experience Field Trip.  PLEASE NOTE: SEATTLE WILDERNESS NAVIGATION STARTS JANUARY 10! FOOTHILLS ON JANUARY 31!
      • ** First Aid and Navigation are separate courses with their own fees.


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:


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), an 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.


There are two options for learning Scrambling with the Seattle Branch. The standard course (this one) which runs Feb - June, and the Compressed Course A and Compressed Course B which covers the same material but in a condensed time and long weekend. 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"

This will be discussed at the first lecture in February. 10 essentials, ice axe, climbing helmet, crampons, snow/rain clothing and gear. Options for obtaining gear will be presented at the lecture.

Course Materials
Alpine Scramble Course Graduation Application

Alpine Scramble Course Graduation Application