Winter Mountaineering & Advanced Crevasse Rescue (WCR) - Seattle - 2023

Climbing Course

Winter Mountaineering & Advanced Crevasse Rescue (aka Intermediate Glacier Travel) - Mixed Cohort

Looking to be a glacier rope lead? Would you like to prepare yourselves to go out on glaciers in winter and spring? Are you interested in learning 2-person glacier travel and crevasse rescue in different scenarios? This course prepares you to plan trips and introduces you to the above topics.



  • Winter Mountaineering: emergency shelters, snow anchors, belaying, lowering, steep snow, gear management
  • Advanced Crevasse Rescue: Higher mechanical advantages and efficiencies (5:1, 6:1, 7:1, 8:1, 9:1) for hauling/raising systems than that taught in the Basic curriculum (2:1 or 3:1)
  • Small Party Rescue: Scene Size-up, making and executing a plan, releasable hitches, administering aid
  • Glacier Travel: anchors and belaying in firm snow/ice, glacier navigation and terrain selection, trip planning 
  • Leadership: leading a rope team on glacier climb, techniques for rope management and moving efficiently, working with basic students and peers
  • 2-person glacier travel: Rope setup, traveling techniques, and solo crevasse rescue

Course lectures, Workshop, field trips & experience trips:

  • Kick-off: Socializing. Basic skills check & review (knots, rope ascension, 2:1 or 3:1 hauling system on a 3-person rope team.
  • Lectures: These will be held on The Mountaineers' coassemble platform. You will be added to it once registered and can take them asynchronously. The topics for lectures are:
    • Theory  on gear and systems (to be completed before FT1)
    • 2-person glacier travel techniques (to be completed before FT2)
    • Trip Planning & Leadership (to be completed before Workshop)
  • Workshop: Students will be divided into small groups to do trip planning and navigate some leadership topics for execution.
  • Field Trips (FT):
    • FT 1: Top site belays and lowering, releasing tie-offs to escaping the system, mechanical advantages
    • FT 2: 2-person glacier travel practicing setting up the rope and doing self-rescue with desired mechanical advantage
    • FT 3: Small Party Rescue - Helping a second rope team in crevasse rescue with desired mechanical advantages
  • Experience Trips (ET):
    • ET1: Winter camping, touring, snow belays, lowering and rappels on steep terrain, winter gear use, trip planning execution
    • ET2: In Spring conditions practice rope lead & rope management, navigating crevasses, and rescue scenarios in a crevasse

This module is one of the 6 Intermediate course modules. To learn more about the intermediate program visit the Seattle Intermediate webpage.

This course is the pre-requisite course to becoming a rope leader on glacier climbs for The Mountaineers.
This course also prepares you with the fundamentals of winter glaciated mountaineering trips, safe traveling techniques, systems for 2-person travel, and executing rescues.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Course Materials
2018 Intermediate Alpine Climbing Handbook

Info about prerequisites for modules and club climbs, graduation requirements, course tracking and more.

WMCR Course Handbook - Seattle v2024.pdf

WMCR FT4 Small Party Rescue Skills v2024.pdf