Intermediate Entrance Assessment

Field trip: Intermediate Canyon Skills Course

Intermediate Entrance Assessment - Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

Students must pass this assessment in order to take the Intermediate Course

  • Challenging

6:30pm seattle program center (we will be sharing space for exact location TBA)


Purpose: Those capable of passing this assessment have the proficiency in a variety of essential skills needed to be able to effectively learn Intermediate Canyon Skills. Without this baseline, students will struggle in the course.

Assessment Objectives:  Students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the following skills. Proficiency means you are a 4 out of 5 on the Mastery Hierarchy (1=failure, 2=insufficient, 3=sufficient, 4=proficient, 5=mastery). Proficiency = fluid execution, a clear understanding of concepts, quick self-correction, depth of knowledge, and includes application and supporting concepts.

  1. Single-Strand Timed Conversion Test - Using a frog system with mechanical ascenders: ascend, pass a knot, convert to rappel, descend, pass a knot, rappel to ground, disconnect from the rope (5 min or less). Two points of contact must be maintained with the rope at all times. Methods of passing a knot such as passing the rope through a rappel device or using a VT prusik are not acceptable in this assessment. 
  2. Timed Anchor Management Test (max time will be based on 1.4x instructor time)
    1. Rig a retrievable traverse line to access an unlinked bolted anchor
    2. Rig an MMO on unlinked bolts, setting the rope length to 0-1' above the ground
    3. Clean the anchor, rappel, and pull the rope

For those doing Basic Equivalency ONLY:

  1. Gear Management & Communication Assessment
    1. Pack a rope bag with a BFK stopper knot tied at the bottom
    2. As anchor manager, rig a rappel with an EMO (eight mule overhand) style releasable 8 block & send a teammate down 
    3. Communicate the following using only whistle and hand signals that you would like to:
      1. Send packs down on a zipline
      2. Work with a teammate to zip a bag down
      3. Clean, descend, and pull the rope

These pre-requisites are non-negotiable, and are designed to set everyone up for success. Those who meet these pre-requisites have the experience and proficiency with basic systems needed to be able to effectively learn in this course. Those who cannot meet these pre-requisites will not be allowed to take the course, and will either receive a refund or  can roll their course fees forward to the next intermediate course.


Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Adjustable Friction Canyon Descender
  • 4 working Carabiners
  • Alpine Canyon Draw 
  • Figure-eight Descender 
  • Footloop
  • Mechanical hand ascender
  • Mechanical harness ascender/chest ascender

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