Basic Snowshoeing Course   - Seattle - 2016

Snowshoeing Course

Basic Snowshoeing Course

Basic Snowshoeing Course - Seattle - 2016

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.

The Basic Snowshoeing Course offers an introduction to safe and enjoyable winter travel for the beginner. It is designed for people who want to get a taste of snowshoeing and pick up solid foundational skills. Topics of instruction will include selection and use of proper equipment, conditioning, where to go, what to rent, winter travel, safety, and choosing an outing. Students will be eligible to participate in Easy and Easy+ rated snowshoe tours with the confidence of having a foundation in winter travel.

Sign Up Procedure: Important note: To fully register and graduate from this course you need to sign up for these 3 separate components... 1) Register for this Basic Snowshoe Course and pay the course fee. 2) Sign up for an available Lecture . This is a 2.5 hour Lecture on a weekday evening at the Seattle Program Center . Also note that attendance at the lecture is mandatory in order for you to take the Field Trip. There are NO exceptions. 3) Sign up for an available Field Trip (need to attend after the Lecture). This is a full day Field Trip on a Saturday or Sunday at the Grace Lakes area at Stevens Pass.

Space at the lectures and on the field trips is limited, so please sign up early to ensure you get the dates that work for you. 

Things to consider before signing up: 1) While this is a foundational course, a moderate physical conditioning level is necessary. The field trip involves approximately 3-4 miles of travel round-trip and up to 600 feet total elevation gain on snowshoes. This is the equivalent of approximately 6-8 miles and up to 1,200 feet elevation gain if wearing hiking boots on dry land. 

2) If you are new to the outdoors and the Ten Essentials , expect a moderate level of investment in equipment and clothing ($200-600 for new or mostly new items). Used but quality gear and clothing is a good way to begin building your inventory. It is also always wise to rent or borrow snowshoes before investing in them. Check the Required Equipment list in advance to begin preparing for the items you will need for this course and for snowshoeing in general. (We will also cover clothing and gear in detail during the lecture.) 

Graduates of this course are eligible to join Easy and Easy+ snowshoe trips. Those desiring to join Moderate and/or Strenuous snowshoe trips, which require additional skills and backcountry knowledge, must take the Backcountry Snowshoe Skills course offered in February in addition to this course.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Every  person's  clothing  needs  are  different.  Some  people  get  colder  more  quickly  than  others.   Remember  -­‐-­‐  NO  COTTON.  If  you  don't  have  any  of  this  gear,  try  borrowing  it  from  friends  before  you   spend  money.    

For  the  field  trip,  you  must  bring  the  Ten  Essentials  and  Clothing  &  Equipment.     TEN  ESSENTIALS:  Map  (provided  to  you),  compass,  sunglasses  and  sunscreen,  extra  clothing,  emergency   shelter,  headlamp/flashlight,  first-­‐aid  supplies,  fire  starter,  matches,  knife,  extra  food  &  water.    Sun   protection  is  a  must.  Snow  reflection  is  highly  damaging  to  eyes;  UV  damage  and  sunburns  are  common.       

  • • Pack  (large  enough  for  all  winter  gear)   
  • • Snowshoes   
  • • Ski  Poles/Trekking  poles  with  baskets     
  • • Sturdy,  lug-­‐soled,  waterproofed  boots     
  • • Clothing  Layers  (no  cotton)    
  • Inner  Layer:   
  • o Wicking  Liner  socks,  2  pairs  (one  pair  worn,  other  pair  carried)   
  • o Synthetic  Warm  Underwear,  top  &  bottom,  2  sets  (one  set  worn,  other  set  carried)   o Liner  gloves,  (+  extra  set  in  pack)   
  • Insulating  Layer:   
  • o Outer  socks,  2  pairs  (one  pair  worn,  other  pair  carried)   
  • o Pants,  synthetic  fleece  or  wool.  Soft-­‐shell  or  sturdy  hiking  pants  suffice  for  many.   o Shirt  or  sweater,  synthetic  fleece  or  wool   
  • o Mittens  or  gloves,  2  pairs  (one  pair  worn,  other  pair  carried)   
  • Protective  Layer:   
  • o Rain  parka  with  hood  –  waterproof  &  breathable  preferred;  remember,  coated  nylon   doesn’t  breathe  and  traps  moisture  under  the  clothing.  
  •  o Rain  pants  –  waterproof  &  breathable  preferred  to  avoid  trapped  moisture.   o Long  gaiters.  Be  sure  they  fit  your  boots  correctly  so  that  snow  doesn’t  crawl   underneath.  GoreTex  or  insulated  gaiters  are  not  necessary.     
  • o Hats  (one  for  warmth;  one  for  sun  protection)   
  • o Wind  jacket  (which  may  be  your  rain  parka).  A  fleece  or  wind  stopper  vest  is  also  handy   if  it  is  warm.   
  • o Scarf  or  neck  gaiter  if  you  tend  to  get  cold  easily.     
  • Additional  Recommended  Equipment/Supplies  for  the  Field  Trip:   
  • • Foam  sit  pad   
  • • Hand  and  toe  warmers     
  • • Toilet  paper,  sealable  plastic  bags,  and  hand  sanitizer   
  • • Pack  cover   
  • • Dry  clothes  and  shoes  in  your  car  for  the  trip  home   
  • • Garbage  bags  in  your  car  for  wet  gear   

• Camera  and  extra  batteries,  if  desired 

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.