Intense Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Seattle - 2019

Climbing Course

Intensive Basic Alpine Climbing Course

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

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.

Welcome to intense Basic!

Permission to register for Intense Basic is by application only. The 2019 application period is now closed. If you did not apply for the program during the application period, any email inquiries to join will not receive a response. For course related questions, please email


About Intense Basic

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 starting on June 15th.


We will be hosting multiple practice skills nights at the Mountaineers program center in Seattle to help you hone your skills. You are also welcome to attend the skills nights for the regular basic course. 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 2 alpine climbs to graduate the course. You must complete 1 rock climb and 1 glacier climb, but it is definitely worth your time to complete more. 


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
Intensive Basic Meet & Greet (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Mar 26, 2020
Registration closed Mar 24
3 participants
0 instructors
Intensive Basic Skills Night (optional)
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 27, 2020
Registration closed May 26
11 participants
3 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Wed, May 25, 2022
Registration closed May 23
1 participant
1 instructor
Intensive Basic Climbing Course Lectures & Field Trips
Seattle Program Center
Sat, Aug 15, 2020
Registration closed Jun 4
1 participant
0 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Sun, Aug 16, 2020
Registration closed Jun 5
1 participant
0 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Mon, Aug 17, 2020
Registration closed Jun 6
1 participant
0 instructors
Mount Erie
Wed, Aug 19, 2020
Registration closed Jun 8
1 participant
0 instructors
Seattle Program Center
Thu, Aug 20, 2020
Registration closed Jun 9
1 participant
0 instructors
Mount Baker Recreation Area
Fri, Aug 21, 2020 -
Sun, Aug 23, 2020
Registration closed Jun 10
1 participant
0 instructors
Course Materials
Knots for Mountaineers Intense Basic Alpine Climbing

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