Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Seattle - 2019

Climbing Course

Basic Alpine Climbing Course

Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Seattle

Registration Timeframes : 
Applications accepted : Oct 1st - Oct 7th
Application results published : October 21st
Successful applicants register : October 22nd - October 31st
Cancellation : Refund minus $10 by Dec 15th. No refunds after this.

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. A reasonable level of physical fitness is required.

Skills taught 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.

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 $650.

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. (see FAQ at http://sbca.mountaineers.org/)

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.

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #0 - Meet & Greet (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Dec 2, 2018
Registration closes Nov 30
120 participants
38 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #1 - Course Introduction, Top-rope Belay/Lower, & Rope Ascending
Seattle Program Center
Fri, Jan 4, 2019
Registration closes Jan 2
120 participants
28 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing - Optional Student Skills Practice (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 7, 2019
Registration closes Jan 5
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 14, 2019
Registration closes Jan 12
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 21, 2019
Registration closes Jan 19
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Jan 28, 2019
Registration closes Jan 26
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 4, 2019
Registration closes Feb 2
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 11, 2019
Registration closes Feb 9
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 18, 2019
Registration closes Feb 16
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Feb 25, 2019
Registration closes Feb 23
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 4, 2019
Registration closes Mar 2
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 11, 2019
Registration closes Mar 9
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 18, 2019
Registration closes Mar 16
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Mar 25, 2019
Registration closes Mar 23
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 1, 2019
Registration closes Mar 30
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 8, 2019
Registration closes Apr 6
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 15, 2019
Registration closes Apr 13
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 22, 2019
Registration closes Apr 20
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Apr 29, 2019
Registration closes Apr 27
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 6, 2019
Registration closes May 4
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 13, 2019
Registration closes May 14
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, May 20, 2019
Registration closes May 11
120 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #1 - Top-rope Belay/Lower, Anchor Intro. & belays.
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jan 9, 2019
Registration closes Jan 7
40 participants
18 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Jan 10, 2019
Registration closes Jan 8
40 participants
18 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Jan 17, 2019
Registration closes Jan 15
40 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Fri, Jan 18, 2019
Registration closes Jan 16
40 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #2 - Rappels, Belays, & Anchors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jan 30, 2019
Registration closes Jan 28
120 participants
29 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #2 - Rappels, Belays, Climbing, & Anchors
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Feb 9, 2019
Registration closes Feb 7
45 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Feb 10, 2019
Registration closes Jan 8
45 participants
18 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Feb 16, 2019
Registration closes Feb 9
45 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #3 - Alpine Rock
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Mar 6, 2019
Registration closes Mar 4
120 participants
29 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #3 - Rock Evaluations
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Mar 23, 2019
Registration closes Jun 22
45 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Mar 24, 2019
Registration closes Mar 22
45 participants
19 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Mar 31, 2019
Registration closes Mar 29
45 participants
18 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #4 - Snow Travel, Avalanche
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Apr 4, 2019
Registration closes Apr 2
120 participants
29 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #4 - Snow Travel, and Crevasse Rescue
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sat, Apr 27, 2019
Registration closes Apr 25
50 participants
13 instructors
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sun, Apr 28, 2019
Registration closes Apr 26
50 participants
14 instructors
Snoqualmie Summit Ski Areas
Sat, May 4, 2019
Registration closes May 2
50 participants
14 instructors
Seattle Basic Climbing Lecture #5 - Glacier Travel
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 1, 2019
Registration closes Apr 29
120 participants
29 instructors
Seattle Basic Field Trip #5 - Crevasse Rescue Evaluation
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 8, 2019
Registration closes May 6
33 participants
10 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, May 9, 2019
Registration closes May 7
33 participants
11 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 15, 2019
Registration closes May 13
33 participants
11 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, May 16, 2019
Registration closes May 14
33 participants
11 instructors
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

O

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
Basic Alpine Climbing Handbook 2018

Your first stop for how the course works. Bonus points for reading it cover to cover!

File File
Basic Field Trips CURRICULUM - Folder

Field Trips 1-5 Curriculum Outline

Folder
Crevasse Rescue Illustrated 2018

Crevasse Rescue Illustrated 2018

File File
SIG Rock Field Trip

SIG Rock Field Trip

File Pascal source code File
SIG Snow Field Trip

SIG Snow Field Trip

File File
Lectures

Collateral from the lectures

Folder
Basic Climbs Guide

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

File File
FAQs

Your survival guide to Basic Alpine Climbing

Page
Reporting an Overdue Climber

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

Page
Code of Conduct

Expectations of Mountaineer members

Page
Graduation Requirements

Seattle Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Graduation Requirements

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).

Link
Standard Techniques

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

Page
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