Requirements and Recommendations

Requirements and Recommendations

Seattle intense Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Requirements and recommendations [before starting course]


We are not sure if we will be able to accommodate participants under the age of 18 and in no case under 15.  Please email to discuss.   


You must be in condition by June 18.  As part of the Basic Alpine Climbing Course, students must be able to hike to the top of Mount Si in under two hours with 15% of body weight in pack before being allowed on Basic climbs. If you do not have access to Mount Si, use an equivalent peak (3,200' of elevation gain in under 4 miles) or stair climber.

Pre-Course Homework

You are expected to read the relevant sections of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills - 8th Edition by June 18.  You will still need to do quick reviews before lectures and field trips.

We will also be sending quizzes and videos leading up to the course for review. 

Seattle Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Requirements [to graduate from course]

Meetings and Field Trips

Attend all class meetings and successfully complete all field trips during the 9 days. 

Wilderness Navigation

Completion of the Mountaineers Navigation course (one evening workshop and one field trip). It is highly recommended that you sign up for Wilderness Navigation as soon as you sign up for this course and have it completed before June 18. Wilderness Navigation is not offered in the summer and may keep an otherwise successful student from graduating in time to sign up for advanced climbing classes such as the Intermediate Alpine Climbing course. Preference will be given to applicants who have taken or are already signed up for Wilderness Navigation.  

Wilderness First Aid

Completion of the Mountaineers Climbing/Scrambling Alpine First Aid course. This is a 16 hour course designed exclusively for the Mountaineers climbing program requiring one weekend and one evening. It is highly recommended that you sign up for Wilderness First Aid as soon as you sign up for this course. Preference will be given to applicants who have taken or are already signed up for Wilderness First Aid.


Complete one day of voluntary wilderness stewardship service such as trail maintenance, tree planting or habitat restoration. This does not have to be a Mountaineers run event; other nonprofits such as Washington Trails Association frequently hold stewardship events that will count toward this credit.


In a safe and competent manner, complete three basic experience climbs with the Mountaineers, including at least one rock and one glacier. It will likely take more than three attempts to achieve this

SEATTLE BASIC ALPINE CLIMBING COURSE - additional offerings and suggestions

Conditioning Hikes

In the months leading up to the Intense Basic Course, the course leaders will offer periodic conditioning hikes to the group. These hikes will be held on the weekend (either Saturday or Sunday) along the I-90 corridor and seek to cover approximately 1000' of elevation gain per mile.

Friday Night Open Climb Nights

All Basic students are welcome to Friday Night Open Climb Nights at the Mountaineers Program Center. Gear outside of the ropes are not provided so you will have to provide your own harness, shoes, and draws (if you are leading). If you do not already climb indoors and are interested in learning these skills prior to the Intense Basic course, this is a great opportunity for you! Email if you are interested in having an instructor meet you to go over the basics and get you belay certified.

Meet and Greet

A Meet and Greet will be held the evening of May 25 to meet your instructors and fellow students, discuss gear, and build camaraderie!

REI Shopping Trip

In the weeks leading up to June 18, the course leaders will offer small group trips to REI to discuss gear purchasing with students who want hands on recommendations.

Cragging Days

Throughout the summer, additional opportunities will be available to Intense Basic students to go out to local crags such as Vantage and Exit 38 with instructors to practice climbing. Depending on the student's experience, these cragging days will also provide opportunities to learn skills that are not taught in the regular basic curriculum such as cleaning a sport anchor and (mock) leading on bolts. It will also provide opportunities to push climbing to higher grades than what is offered in basic alpine climbs.