Become a Seattle Branch Backpack Leader

Become a Seattle Branch Backpack Leader

Learn the steps to take to become a Backpack Leader for the Seattle Branch

 

  1. Pass a Mountaineers navigation course.  The navigation course taught by any of the branches is acceptable, and they are generally taught in all seasons but Summer.  Other navigation training is also acceptable, although we recommend this course and we would like trip leaders to encourage trip participants to take the navigation course.  The backpacking committee is happy to reimburse your course tuition ($35).  Use the money you save to buy a good compass (with both adjustable declination and a mirror).
  2. Obtain mountaineering-oriented first aid (MOFA) certification through any of the Mountaineers branches.  Other backcountry first aid training is also accepted.  We encourage people to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic first aid skills, but they are insufficient for first aid in the backcountry.  We also want our leaders to encourage participants on their trips to take this course.  The backpacking committee is happy to reimburse your tuition for taking this class (up to $90) --- please let the committee chair know before you take the course.
  3. Write an email with a short list of what single- and multiple-night backpacks you have done, including a few words on how much you contributed to planning and leading those trips (we are happy to train people!).  If your experience is predominantly outside of the Pacific Northwest, that's good to know.  Every region of the country has its own weather and backpacking conditions, and we might suggest that you co-lead a few trips if you are new to the area.  If you have gone on Mountaineers backpacking trips, please include the trip name and the name of the leader for a recent trip.  This email doesn't have to be long!  Send this email to the trip leader you went with and ask them to send it on to the committee chair, Mary Rohlman (MRohlman@gmail.com).  Altnernatively, send the email directly to Mary.  We are trying to minimize the amount of vetting the chairperson does so please try to follow this request!
  4. We ask that new leaders lead a single-night trip with one of the established leaders.  This experience permits the new leader to get a sense of the culture of Mountaineers backpacking trips and the skill level of the people who go on our trips.  Pick a simple trip --- save the Brooks Range in Alaska for after you've led a few trips for us!  There is also a bit to learn about initiating backpacking trips in the data base (it's more complicated than day hikes).  

Todd Mitchell, April 2011 ( toddbackpack@gmail.com )