Intense Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Seattle - 2018

Climbing Course

Intense Basic Alpine Climbing Course

A comprehensive 9 day course designed to give you all the same skills as the standard Basic Climbing Course.

Welcome to Intense Basic!

The 2018 Intense Basic application period is now closed. Applications are under review and applicants will be notified of their status in the course by the end of February.  Entry to Intense Basic is via application only. If you did not apply for the program during the application period, any email inquiries to join will not receive  a response.




The Intense Basic Alpine Climbing Course compresses the regular Basic Alpine Climbing Course (6 months of 5 lectures and 8 days of 7 field trips) into 9 continuous and full days. It is a comprehensive and thorough program in training to become a competent climbing partner on technical rock, snow, and glacier climbs in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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

Participants are trained to become solid and competent participants in the realm of alpine climbing on rock and glacier summits in the Pacific Northwest.

The course format will be a combination of class lectures, in-town field trips, small group instruction at local crags and alpine climbs in the mountains during the summer, and a graduation in the fall.

Course requirements and prerequisites 

If you feel you are prepared to become an alpine climber, we invite you to apply. We recommend you read through the requirements of the course before applying. Additional details can be found at


Good conditioning is essential to safe travel in the mountains. A climber who is not ready for the physical challenges of a mountain can put others lives at risk. 

You will be required to attend at least ONE conditioning hike prior to the June 16th course date. During this hike you will be timed with a weighted pack. The benchmark goal is to hike to the top of Mt. Si in under 2 hours, with a pack weight equalling 20% of your bodyweight. This hike will be timed and monitored by a Mountaineers leader. 

Completion of the conditioner hike with a Mountaineers leader is a requirement to participate in the course on June 16th.

Practice Skills Nights

We will be hosting multiple practice skills nights at the Mountaineers program center in Seattle to help you hone your skills. These are optional, but highly recommended.


The required equipment for this course will cost anywhere from $500-$800, assuming you already own basic hiking and camping gear. Please be aware that this cost is in addition to the course fee. 

We will be providing you with many opportunities to speak with our instructors about how to purchase the right gear. We won't leave you in the dark if you aren't sure!


You will be required to complete 3 alpine climbs to graduate the course. You must complete 1 rock climb, 1 glacier climb, and a third of your choice. 

Additional Courses Required

To graduate the program, you will need to complete the following:

  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Wilderness Navigation
  • Stewardship Day (Volunteering)

First Aid and Navigation fill quickly and early in the year. You are encouraged to sign up for these courses as soon as possible. While these can be completed after the course runs in June, they are a requirement of you graduating in the fall.  Students have found that completing these prior to the course starting allows them to focus on the climbs, and have a fun summer in the alpine without the worry of additional courses. 

Some things to keep in mind

This is not rock climbing at the crags, it's alpine climbing in the mountains on rock and snow. There are no refunds beyond the first day and only partial refunds prior to then. (see FAQ at

Alpine climbing with The Mountaineers is a great opportunity to go to places in the mountains only few ever get to go; to experience instant trust, bonding, and community not readily available in normal day to day life, all while pushing your physical limits and achieving personal goals. We welcome you to your new adventures. For more details on the course see


Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Intense Basic Meet and Greet (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Tue, Apr 24, 2018
Registration closes Apr 22
14 participants
7 instructors
Conditioner Hikes (optional)
Bandera Mountain
Sun, May 6, 2018
Registration opens Apr 25
11 participants
West Tiger Mountain No. 3 Cable Line
Sat, May 12, 2018
Registration closes May 10
9 participants
West Tiger Mountain No. 3 Cable Line
Tue, May 15, 2018
Registration opens Apr 25
11 participants
Mailbox Peak
Wed, May 23, 2018
Registration opens Apr 21
11 participants
Mount Teneriffe
Mon, May 28, 2018
Registration closes May 26
9 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Fri, Jun 1, 2018
Registration opens Apr 25
11 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Fri, Jun 8, 2018
Registration closes Jun 6
11 participants
Mount Si Main Trail
Sun, Jun 10, 2018
Registration opens May 16
11 participants
Intense Basic Skills Practice (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jun 13, 2018
Registration closes Jun 11
12 participants
Intense Basic Climb Course Lectures & Field Trips
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Jun 16, 2018
Registration closes Jun 15
16 participants
11 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Jun 16, 2018 -
Sun, Jun 24, 2018
Registration closes Jun 14
0 participants
13 instructors
Course Materials
Name/Description Type
Knots for Mountaineers Intense Basic Alpine Climbing

Basic knots, Rope Coiling and Knot Terminology for the Intense Basic Alpine Climbing Course

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