Alpine Ice - Seattle - 2019

Climbing Course

Alpine Ice

Introduction to alpine ice climbing. Early registration is currently happening for 2019 intermediate package students- registration opens for previous year students and other Mountaineers members July 2nd- please fill out an application.

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.

This module teaches the skills necessary to swing leads on alpine ice routes typical for the Cascades. This includes:

  • Crampon techniques for ascending and descending on ice
  • Placing ice screws
  • Building v-threads
  • Building top rope anchors on ice
  • Swinging leads on 45-60 degree glacial ice

The module consists of one evening lecture, a two day FT and a one or two day FT to the seracs on Mount Baker.   It is strongly recommended that you stay the additional day for the second field trip to crag in the seracs and cement your new skills.

There are  two evenings for practice on the foam walls at the program center with an arbitrary cap of 10 per evening.

Applicants must have completed the Intermediate Glacier  module, and both rock modules (single and multipitch trad).

Early registration is currently happening for 2019 intermediate package students- registration opens for previous year students and other Mountaineers members July 2nd. Please fill out an application and you'll be notified if you are okay to register before July 2nd.

There are a number of things for potential students to be aware of, as space is limited:

  • A record of volunteerism with the club — specifically instructing in the climbing courses (not rope leads) — is a requirement for enrollment as a student in the module. 
  • The Coleman seracs are a popular place for field trips, as it's uniquely suited in terms of safety from rockfall/icefall, terrain, size, and accessibility.  (We are actively investigating other possible venues.)  The overall Mountaineers permit provides us with a limited number of "user days" to share between all of the potential trips for Seattle and the other branches.  (There is an annual lottery to allocate days.)  We need to allocate 60 days across the students in the module, and we may need to limit or even reduce enrollment to ensure that we comply with the available user days.
  • Finding leaders and instructors can be a challenge, and we cannot compromise on the safe student-to-instructor ratio of 3:1.  If we can't staff the leader/instructors for a trip, we'll need to reduce the number of students on that trip.
  • Poor weather and unforeseen issues (e.g., road maintenance in 2018 scuttled one FT) may impact scheduled trips, and FTs may be shortened or canceled and may not be able to be rescheduled based on dates allocated for the seracs and leader/instructor availability. 
  • Ice is a new and unforgiving climbing medium, and as you make plans, I would strongly advise spending additional time on the ice on your own as much as you're able.  If you're on a one-day FT1, spend an extra day practicing footwork/tool swinging or top-roping.  After FT2, spend an extra day top-roping or on choose-your-own-adventure multi-pitch. 


Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Alpine Ice FT 1
Heliotrope Ridge and Lower Coleman Glacier & Seracs
Fri, Sep 24, 2021
Registration closed Sep 15
3 participants
1 instructor
Required Equipment
  • Everything needed for an alpine rock climb (minus the rock protection), plus
  • Sharp 12 point steel crampons (no aluminum)
  • Conventional ice axe
  • Ice tool (optional)
  • V-thread tool 
  • 4-5' 7 mm nylon cord
  • 2-3 ice screws, including one 22 cm
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.