Conditioning Hiking Series   - Seattle - 2016

Day Hiking Course

Conditioning Hiking Series

Conditioning Hiking Series - Seattle

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.

Overview: Are you a seasoned hiker who is interested in challenging yourself to go on day hikes of 15+ miles? Have you seen trip entries describing long-distance day hikes and wondered how you could get into shape to participate in those types of hikes? Well, wonder no more! The Seattle Hiking Committee offers the Conditioning Hiking Series (CHS) starting in March of each year. This course is designed to prepare seasoned hikers currently experienced at the upper easy/moderate level for the challenges of strenuous, long-distance day hiking. It is also designed to provide a group trip environment in which hikers can build friendships by hiking with some of the same people on each trip. All hikes are limited to participants in the course.

Audience: Although there are no prerequisites for this course, it is NOT for beginning hikers. (Check out our Wilderness Skills course if you're just getting started.) You should be capable of a minimum sustained pace of 1.75 miles per hour (think 75 minutes up Rattlesnake Ledge Trail). Participants are encouraged to build physical fitness and spend time outside of the course keeping themselves in shape. You should be available and committed to go on eleven hikes over the course of the summer. You should also enjoy group hiking and socializing with your fellow participants.

What to Expect: The 2016 CHS course consists of a mandatory daytime class on Saturday, Mar. 19 at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center at Rattlesnake Lake (near North Bend), progressively more difficult and longer day hikes several times per month from April through August, and a graduation hike in September. The class session is designed to teach information needed for longer hike preparation, and to go over course guidelines and expectations. Each participant is also required to do one day of trail maintenance.  

Prior to your first hike, you will choose a track of moderate- or fast-paced hikes, subject to class size and input from the hike leaders. If you are uncertain which level suits you best, pacing hikes will be offered following the class session on Mar. 19. A tentative hike schedule will be posted to the course website, but past destinations have included season-appropriate hikes in the North Cascades, the Mt. St. Helens area, Eastern Washington, the Olympics, and everywhere in between! 

Graduation certificates will be given to those who complete the classroom session, ten CHS day hikes (two per month, April-August), one CHS graduation hike in September, and one day of trail maintenance.   

Enrollment Process and Costs: You must be a member of The Mountaineers to register for the course. Registration is open from Monday, Feb. 1 through Monday, Feb. 29. Online or telephone registration is available. Mail-in registration forms will not be accepted. Enrollment will be limited to 88 participants. The course is returning to a first-come, first-served signup procedure — there will be no lottery. Past graduates of the course are welcome to register, but are requested to wait until Monday, Feb. 15. If the number of signups exceeds 88, you will be waitlisted for the course and may receive a slot if someone drops the course prior to our May hikes. Those remaining on the waitlist as of May 1 will receive priority signup for the course in 2017.

The course fee is $125.00. As with all club hikes, participants are expected to contribute toward carpooling costs if they are riding as a passenger. Our optional overnight trips have extra costs associated with them. We frequently stop for an inexpensive meal or snack following our hikes.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)

Trekking poles and snow traction devices (YakTrax, Microspikes, Stablicers, etc.) are recommend, but not required. 

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.