Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Seattle - 2016

Climbing Course

Basic Alpine Climbing Course

2016 Seattle Basic Alpine Climbing Course

Info
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 course is currently underway. Cancellations received after Jan. 14 will not be eligible for a refund.

Interested candidates should consider taking the course at another branch. The Seattle branch also offers excellent Alpine Scrambling and Glacier Travel courses.

 

DO NOT REGISTER FOR THE COURSE UNLESS YOU HAVE explicit permission TO DO SO. 

We ask that applicants to the 2016 Seattle Basic Alpine Course take a brief Application Survey. The survey takes approximately five minutes. Most applicants will be notified within a few days whether their application has been approved. In a few instances we might have follow up questions. It is important that you do not register for the course before you have explicit permission to do so.  Applicants who register without permission will be removed from the roster and will have to wait till all other applications have been processed, which means you are likely to end up on the waitlist. 

Discount for Glacier course Graduates

We offer a discount to graduates of the Seattle Mountaineers Glacier Course. Email to receive a discount code before you register.  

Course Description

The Basic Alpine Climbing Course is a year-long program preparing students to be solid and competent climbers reaching rock and glacier summits of the Pacific Northwest. The course format is a combination of class lectures, in-town field trips, small group instruction at local crags and alpine climbs in the mountains during the summer. The course includes 5 lectures and 7 field trips plus readings.

After the "in-town" training, students start going on climbs, always with carefully selected, experienced leaders. We expect students be able to hike Mount Si or equivalent (3300 feet of elevation gain) in two hours or less from the trailhead to the base of the haystack carrying 15% of their own body weight by the end of March 2016. This is the minimum fitness requirement to ensure students are physically able to participate in climbs. 

Skills taught in the course include belaying, rappelling, rope handling, 5th class rock climbing, snow climbing, glacier travel, back-country camping including on snow, guidance on gear purchases and conditioning, and more - lots more.

NOTE: FIELD TRIPS AND COURSE MATERIALS ARE STILL BEING ADDED.

The course is a significant time commitment and also requires the purchase of several hundred dollars of clothing and equipment, especially for those who do not already have hiking or backpacking gear. Even those who have some equipment already can expect to spend at least $500 on gear, and the course fee is $550.

Not all things need to be purchased right away, however, and some things can be rented from local mountain shops or borrowed from friends. But be aware our course requires an investment of both time and money. Some things to keep in mind: This is not rock climbing at the crags, it's summit-oriented alpine climbing in the mountains on rock, snow and glaciers. There are no refunds beyond the first class meeting in January.

Alpine climbing with The Mountaineers is an awesome opportunity to confidently and competently visit places where few can go; to experience levels of instant trust, bonding, and community not commonly experienced in everyday life, all while pushing your physical limits and achieving personal goals. Welcome to your new adventures. We look forward to sharing them with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTe: Field Trip registration generally begins "2 mondays" before the first Field trip session.

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #0 - Meet & Greet
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Dec 4, 2016
Registration closed Dec 2
42 participants
13 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Dec 3, 2017
Registration closed Dec 1
20 participants
5 instructors on waitlist
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Dec 8, 2019
Registration closed Dec 6
3 participants
3 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing - Optional Student Skills Practice (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Dec 5, 2016
Registration closed Dec 3
25 participants
2 instructors on waitlist
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Dec 12, 2016
Registration closed Dec 10
20 participants
2 instructors on waitlist
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Dec 19, 2016
Registration closed Dec 17
23 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 23, 2017
Registration closed Jan 21
17 participants
0 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Jan 26, 2017
Registration closed Jan 23
28 participants
2 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Feb 8, 2017
Registration closed Feb 6
30 participants
3 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 13, 2017
Registration closed Feb 11
25 participants
2 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Feb 15, 2017
Registration closed Feb 13
28 participants
1 instructor
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 20, 2017
Registration closed Feb 18
27 participants
3 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Feb 22, 2017
Registration closed Feb 20
30 participants
4 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 13, 2017
Registration closed Mar 11
86 participants
8 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Mar 15, 2017
Registration closed Mar 13
89 participants
10 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 20, 2017
Registration closed Mar 18
88 participants
10 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Mar 22, 2017
Registration closed Mar 20
87 participants
8 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
Registration closed Mar 25
87 participants
31 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 3, 2017
Registration closed Apr 1
83 participants
32 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 17, 2017
Registration closed Apr 15
49 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 1, 2017
Registration closed Apr 29
49 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 8, 2017
Registration closed May 6
48 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 15, 2017
Registration closed May 13
45 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 22, 2017
Registration closed May 20
53 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Dec 11, 2017
Registration closed Dec 9
64 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Dec 18, 2017
Registration closed Dec 16
64 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 8, 2018
Registration closed Jan 6
44 participants
1 instructor
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 15, 2018
Registration closed Jan 13
53 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 22, 2018
Registration closed Jan 20
53 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 29, 2018
Registration closed Jan 27
48 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 1, 2019
Registration closed Mar 30
98 participants
12 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 22, 2019
Registration closed Apr 20
97 participants
15 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Dec 9, 2019
Registration closed Dec 7
101 participants
23 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Dec 16, 2019
Registration closes Dec 14
34 participants
1 instructor
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 6, 2020
Registration closed Jan 4
100 participants
21 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 20, 2020
Registration closed Jan 18
110 participants
21 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 27, 2020
Registration closed Jan 25
117 participants
23 instructors
Vertical World Redmond
Mon, Jan 27, 2020
Registration closed Jan 25
0 participants
0 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 3, 2020
Registration closed Feb 1
106 participants
21 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 10, 2020
Registration closed Feb 8
111 participants
17 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 17, 2020
Registration closed Feb 17
114 participants
21 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 24, 2020
Registration closed Feb 22
113 participants
23 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 2, 2020
Registration closed Feb 29
106 participants
24 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #1 - Course Introduction, Top-rope Belay/Lower, & Rope Ascending
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jan 4, 2017
Registration closed Jan 4
45 participants
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jan 3, 2018
Registration closed Jan 1
10 participants
16 instructors
Seattle SIG Practices and Conditioners (optional)
Wallace Falls Loop
Sat, Jan 7, 2017
Registration closed Jan 5
8 participants
1 instructor
Mailbox Peak (winter)
Sun, Mar 5, 2017
Registration closed Mar 3
11 participants
Exit 32
Sat, Apr 15, 2017
Registration closed Apr 11
4 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Tue, May 2, 2017
Registration closed Apr 30
0 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Mon, May 8, 2017
Registration closed May 6
2 participants
West Tiger Mountain No. 3 Cable Line
Sat, Jan 6, 2018
Registration closed Jan 4
8 participants
0 instructors
Mailbox Peak
Sat, Jan 20, 2018
Registration closed Jan 18
5 participants
Mailbox Peak (winter)
Sat, Jan 27, 2018
Registration closed Jan 26
6 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Sun, Feb 11, 2018
Registration closed Feb 9
7 participants
Mailbox Peak
Sun, Feb 18, 2018
Registration closed Feb 16
3 participants
Mount Si Old Trail
Sun, Mar 11, 2018
Registration closed Mar 9
6 participants
West Tiger Mountain No. 3
Fri, Apr 27, 2018
Registration closed Apr 25
11 participants
West Tiger Mountain No. 3 Cable Line
Mon, Dec 10, 2018
Registration closed Dec 8
4 participants
West Tiger Mountain No. 3
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Registration closed Jan 13
6 participants
0 instructors
Mount Si Main Trail
Sun, Jan 20, 2019
Registration closed Jan 18
2 participants
0 instructors
Little Si
Thu, Feb 7, 2019
Registration closed Feb 5
6 participants
0 instructors
Mount Si Old Trail
Sun, Feb 24, 2019
Registration closed Feb 22
4 participants
West Tiger Mountain No. 3 Cable Line
Thu, Feb 28, 2019
Registration closed Feb 26
2 participants
0 instructors
Rattlesnake Ledge
Thu, Mar 7, 2019
Registration closed Mar 5
6 participants
0 instructors
Silver Peak
Sat, Mar 16, 2019
Registration closed Mar 14
4 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Tue, Mar 19, 2019
Registration closed Mar 17
1 participant
0 instructors
Mount Si Main Trail
Thu, Apr 4, 2019
Registration closed Apr 2
10 participants
0 instructors
Mount Si Old Trail
Sat, Jan 11, 2020
Registration closed Jan 10
4 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Sat, Jan 25, 2020
Registration closed Jan 23
4 participants
0 instructors
Mount Washington (Snoqualmie, winter)
Sat, Feb 8, 2020
Registration closed Feb 6
7 participants
1 instructor
Mount Si Old Trail
Thu, Feb 13, 2020
Registration closed Feb 11
4 participants
1 instructor
Mount Washington (Snoqualmie)
Sun, Mar 15, 2020
Registration closed Mar 13
0 participants
Vertical World Redmond
Fri, Mar 20, 2020
Registration closed Mar 18
1 participant
Online Classroom
Thu, Jul 9, 2020
Registration closed Jul 7
4 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Jul 23, 2020
Registration closed Jul 21
2 participants
Glacier Basin (Mount Rainier)
Fri, Jul 31, 2020
Registration closed Jul 23
2 participants on waitlist
Online Classroom
Thu, Aug 6, 2020
Registration closed Aug 4
2 participants
Instructor/Mentor Curriculum Review (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Jan 22, 2017
Registration closed Jan 20
27 participants
6 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #2 - Rappels, Belays, & Anchors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Feb 1, 2017
Registration closed Jan 30
37 participants
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jan 30, 2019
Registration closed Jan 28
25 participants
10 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #3 - Alpine Rock
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Mar 8, 2017
Registration closed Mar 6
29 participants
10 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Mar 6, 2019
Registration closed Mar 4
17 participants
23 instructors
Seattle Basic SIG ROCK FT (Rock Climbing, Belay, Rappel, & Anchors)
Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)
Sat, Mar 18, 2017
Registration closed Mar 17
2 participants
0 instructors
Red Rock Canyon
Fri, Mar 31, 2017 -
Mon, Apr 3, 2017
Registration closed Mar 29
5 participants
1 instructor
Red Rock Canyon
Fri, Mar 31, 2017 -
Mon, Apr 3, 2017
Registration closed Mar 29
0 participants
0 instructors
Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)
Sun, Apr 2, 2017
Registration closed Mar 30
1 participant
3 instructors
Exit 32
Sun, Apr 16, 2017
Registration closed Apr 14
0 participants
Leavenworth
Sat, Mar 17, 2018 -
Sun, Mar 18, 2018
Registration closed Mar 15
2 participants
0 instructors
Mount Erie
Sun, Mar 10, 2019
Registration closed Mar 8
0 participants
0 instructors
Smith Rock
Fri, Mar 15, 2019 -
Sun, Mar 17, 2019
Registration closed Mar 14
12 participants
Mount Erie
Sat, Mar 16, 2019
Registration closed Feb 28
0 participants
0 instructors
The Feathers
Sat, Mar 16, 2019 -
Sun, Mar 17, 2019
Registration closed Mar 14
0 participants
1 instructor
Mount Erie
Sat, Mar 16, 2019
Registration closed Mar 14
1 participant
0 instructors
Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)
Sun, Mar 17, 2019
Registration closed Mar 15
0 participants
1 instructor
Mount Erie
Sun, May 19, 2019
Registration closed May 17
3 participants
1 instructor
Seattle Basic SIG SNOW FT - SIG Snow Overnight (Snow Anchors & Belays, Crevasse Rescue, Snow Camping, & Roped Travel)
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sat, Apr 1, 2017
Registration closed Mar 31
0 participants
1 instructor
Paradise
Sat, Apr 8, 2017 -
Sun, Apr 9, 2017
Registration closed Apr 6
2 participants
2 instructors
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sat, Apr 8, 2017 -
Sun, Apr 9, 2017
Registration closed Apr 6
1 participant
1 instructor
Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows
Sat, Apr 15, 2017 -
Sun, Apr 16, 2017
Registration closed Mar 23
1 participant
1 instructor
Camp Muir & Anvil Rock
Sat, May 6, 2017 -
Sun, May 7, 2017
Registration closed May 4
2 participants
0 instructors
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sat, May 13, 2017 -
Sun, May 14, 2017
Registration closed May 11
0 participants
1 instructor
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sat, Apr 21, 2018 -
Sun, Apr 22, 2018
Registration closed Apr 19
9 participants
2 instructors
Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows
Sat, Apr 20, 2019 -
Sun, Apr 21, 2019
Registration closed Mar 20
0 participants
1 instructor
Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows
Sat, May 4, 2019 -
Sun, May 5, 2019
Registration closed May 3
7 participants
2 instructors on waitlist
Cowboy & Big Chief Mountains
Sat, May 18, 2019 -
Sun, May 19, 2019
Registration closed May 16
0 participants
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #4 - Snow Travel, Avalanche
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Apr 5, 2017
Registration closed Apr 3
39 participants
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Apr 4, 2018
Registration closed Apr 2
11 participants
24 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Apr 4, 2019
Registration closed Apr 2
18 participants
22 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #3 - Rock Evaluations
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 17, 2017
Registration closed Apr 15
7 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 24, 2017
Registration closed Apr 20
4 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 1, 2017
Registration closed Apr 29
2 participants
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Apr 30, 2019
Registration closed Apr 28
13 participants
Seattle Program Center
Thu, May 9, 2019
Registration closed May 7
15 participants
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 20, 2019
Registration closed May 18
8 participants
Seattle Basic Field Trip #4 - Snow Travel, and Crevasse Rescue
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sat, Apr 29, 2017
Registration closed Apr 27
1 participant
1 instructor
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #5 - Glacier Travel
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 3, 2017
Registration closed May 1
41 participants
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 2, 2018
Registration closed Apr 30
20 participants
24 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 1, 2019
Registration closed Apr 29
16 participants
25 instructors
Basic Glacier Climb - RETIRED (optional)
Little Tahoma/East Shoulder
Fri, Jun 2, 2017 -
Sat, Jun 3, 2017
Registration closed Jun 1
1 participant
0 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #1 - Top-rope Belay/Lower, Anchor Intro. & belays.
Seattle Program Center
Fri, Jan 18, 2019
Registration closed Jan 16
17 participants
3 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jan 22, 2020
Registration closed Jan 20
5 participants
2 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #2 - Rappels, Belays, Climbing, & Anchors
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Feb 16, 2019
Registration closed Feb 15
6 participants
2 instructors
Seattle Climbers Reunion (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Fri, Oct 25, 2019
Registration closed Oct 23
0 participants
Roster
Required Equipment

Gear 

If you have little or no climbing experience, it might be better NOT to purchase any technical climbing equipment until after the first lecture.  This includes boots.

 

Gear Matrix

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT (X),
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT (O)

Rock Climbs 

Glacier Climbs 

Rock Climbs 

Glacier Climbs 

9/16” or 1” tubular nylon webbing as follows:

Gloves (wool/synthetic)

X

X

  • Two Tied runners,
  • 5 ft each, color A

X

X

Second pair gloves/mittens(T)

O

  • Two tied runners,
  • 9 ft each, color B

X

X

Mitten shells (overmitts)

O

X

  • Chest harness: One 8 ft, color C 

X

X

Day pack (frameless or rucksack)(4)

X

O

  • One nylon 120 cm sewn runner
  • One nylon 60 cm sewn runner

 X

 X

 

 

 

5mm or 6mm perlon as follows:

Overnight pack (internal or external) (3)

Note 5

X

  • Prusiks (length per chart), color D

X

X

Compass(T)

X

X

  • Prusiks (length per chart), color E

X

X

Map of climbing destination(T)

X

X

  • Tie-off (hero) loop 4 ft, color E

X

X

Sunglasses/eye protection(T)

X

Commercial seat harness

X

X

Glacier glasses w/side shields(T)

X

Leather belay gloves

X

X

Sunscreen(T)

X

X

Climbing helmet

X

X

Lip balm w/sun protection(T)

X

X

Six non locking carabiners 

X

X

Insulating sit-pad

O

O

Three locking carabiners

X

X

Headlamp (T)

X

X

Munter Hitch locking carabiner (1)

X

X

Extra batteries (and bulb if not LED)(T)

X

X

Rescue pulley (SMC “CR” or Petzl Mini)

X

First Aid Kit(T)

X

X

Ice Ax

X

Waterproof matches or lighter(T)

X

X

Front-point crampons

X

Fire starter(T)

X

X

Chock Pick

X

Knife(T)

X

X

Belay Device

X

X

Food

X

X

Insulating hat (wool or synthetic)

X

X

Extra food(T)

X

X

Sun hat or bandanna

X

X

Water bladder/bottle (wide mouth) (T)

X

X

Underwear (wool or synthetic)

X

X

Second water container(T)

X

X

Thermal base layer--pants and LS shirt (wool or synthetic)

X

X

Water filter or purification method  (one per 2-3 climbers) (T)

Note 5

X

Shirt/Sweater, SL and LS  (wool/synth)

X

X

Emergency shelter (T)

X

X

Insulated jacket (puffy)

X

X

Paper and pencil (or waterproof pen)

X

X

Wind shell jacket (2)

O

O

Toilet kit

X

X

Rain shell jacket

X

X

Sleeping bag

Note 4

X

Pants (wool/synthetic)

X

X

Insulating pad

Note 4

X

Second pair pants (wool/synthetic)

O

O

Tent (can be shared) or bivy bag

Note 4

X

Rain pants 

X

X

Stove and fuel (one per two climbers)

Note 4

X

Gaiters 

X

Pot (one per stove)

Note 4

X

Boot Socks (wool/synthetic) 2 pair

X

X

Bowl and/or cup

Note 4

X

Liner socks(T)  2 pair

O

O

Spoon

Note 4

X

Mountaineering boots

X

X

Ear Plugs/ Eye cover

Note 4

0

 

GEAR MATRIX NOTES:
  1. The Munter Hitch requires an oversize pear-shaped HMS locking carabiner.

  2. Lightweight windshells are great layers for many conditions when a rain shell is not necessary. ie serious rain.

  3. Instead of two separate packs, a large internal frame pack that can be compressed for day climbs may be used.

  4. You will need overnight gear on some rock, alpine and glacier climbs.

  5. It may be necessary to filter or purify water on long day trips.

     T:   Ten Essentials items
All personal equipment should be marked with the owner’s name or initials in a prominent location to make identification easy in the event of loss, theft or when commingled with other people’s equipment. Carabiners and similar articles should be marked with paint, enamel, nail polish, or electrical tape in a distinctive color or pattern.
Course Materials
Name/Description Type
2020 Basic Climbing Handbook

2020 Seattle Basic Climbing Handbook

False File
Basic Field Trips CURRICULUM - Folder

Field Trips 1-5 Curriculum Outline

False Folder
Crevasse Rescue Illustrated 2018

Crevasse Rescue Illustrated 2018

False File
SIG Rock Field Trip

SIG Rock Field Trip

False File
SIG Snow Field Trip

SIG Snow Field Trip

False File
Lectures

Material from the lectures, usually posted after each lecture

False Folder
Basic Climbs Guide

A description of climbs eligible for graduation credit. 2010 is the most recent version.

False File
FAQs

Your survival guide to Basic Alpine Climbing

False Page
Reporting an Overdue Climber

What is an overdue climber, and what should family/friends do if you do not return on scheduled day.

False Page
Code of Conduct

Expectations of Mountaineer members

False Page
Graduation Requirements

Seattle Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Graduation Requirements

False Page
Basic Alpine Course Graduation Application

On-line graduation application form. Please do not submit an application before you complete all requirements UNLESS you can not complete them before October 15 (and want 2nd year status).

False Link
Standard Techniques

Minimum set of techniques to know for successful progress in the Basic Alpine Climbing Course

False Page