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Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling Equivalency

Already have experience scrambling up mountains but want to hop on scramble trips with The Mountaineers? Equivalency is the process of demonstrating your skills to make sure you are ready to join our scramble trips.

If you have the requisite skills to scramble safely, then you don't need to take our Scramble Course – you can skip the course through our “equivalency” process. We love having folks join our community who have gained the skills through another local or even distant organization. We have well qualified members that scrambled or climbed in the Rockies, New England and even Europe. But because of the inherent personal risks of scrambling and the danger to all party members from having an inadequately trained member along on a trip, we have a rigorous process for obtaining equivalency.



To obtain scramble equivalency, a prospective applicant must be able to demonstrate adequate skills in the 5 areas detailed below:

  • Off-trail travel: provide the scramble equivalency coordinator with a scrambling resume that includes at least five unguided trips with a minimum of 3000’ of gain each and in which at least half of the gain was off-trail.
  • Snow travel: resume will demonstrate prior experience in snow travel, focused on ice axe skills (self-arrest and glissade skills). A skills test will be scheduled to validate these.
  • Rock travel: resume will demonstrate prior experience on non-technical rock. A skills test will be scheduled to validate these, as well as review protected downclimb steps using either a prusik or klemheist knot.
  • Navigation: take the Wilderness Navigation course, or be granted navigation equivalency by the Navigation committee.
  • First Aid: take the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, the Mountaineering Oriented First Aid (MOFA) course, or be granted first aid equivalency by the First Aid committee.


  1. Prospective applicant seeking equivalency will contact the scramble equivalency coordinator and provide a scrambling resume as detailed above.
  2. Coordinator will review the resume and schedule equivalency tests of rock and snow skills.  Note: options for 2020 include ONE of the following: (a.) participate in BOTH the snow field trip and rock field trips (scheduled weekends in April & May, see course schedule to confirm dates) – two day commitment, OR (b.) participate in the experience field trip (generally scheduled first weekend in June, see course schedule to confirm dates) – one day commitment, OR (c.) attend the yet unscheduled make-up day for the experience field trip, possibly in mid-June – one day commitment.
  3. After successful completion of the skills tests, the prospective applicant will be granted a scramble student badge, which allows them to go on regular season scrambles. Just like any scramble student, they will then have until Nov 1 of the following year to complete ALL of the following: (a.) three scrambles (at least one of which is rock and one of which is snow), (b.) earn their Stewardship badge, AND (c.) earn their Low Impact Recreation skill badge.
  4. Upon these are all completed, they should notify the coordinator, who will then convert their scramble student badge to a scramble badge.  A scramble badge allows one to participate in scrambles, winter scrambles and snowshoe trips.

Fees: there is a one time $50 fee for the scramble equivalency and includes a protected downclimb kit. This will be charged when getting applicant signed up for the skills test.

Note: Just like the students of the regular scramble course, you are not eligible to participate in Winter Scrambles until after you have completed all of the above requirements and your Profile page shows you have the “Alpine Scrambling” badge.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Rock and Snow Skills Test
Alpental Ski Area
Fri, May 12, 2023
Registration closes May 8
0 participants
0 instructors
Alpental Ski Area
Sat, May 13, 2023
Registration closes May 9
1 participant
0 instructors
Required Equipment

Mountaineering boots

Ice Axe


Crampons may be needed for some trips

10 Essentials, etc. 

Fee for this course will provide you with a downclimb kit

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.