Intermediate Snowshoeing Course - Seattle - 2019

Snowshoeing Course

Backcountry Snowshoeing Skills Course

Intermediate (formerly Backcountry) Snowshoeing Course - Seattle

The Intermediate Snowshoeing Course is designed for adventurers who want to gain the skills and experience to handle more challenging snowshoe routes and terrain than those offered in Beginner or Basic trips. Intermediate and Strenuous trips are, in many cases, non-technical mountain-climbing routes with mountain peaks for destinations. The course will cover material needed to survive in backcountry terrain, including introductory avalanche awareness and response, incident response, emergency shelters, self-belay and self-arrest skills. Basic Snowshoeing students from the current season are welcome to register, but they must complete the Basic course before the Intermediate lecture. 

Current students and graduates of Intermediate Snowshoeing will be eligible to participate in Intermediate and Strenuous snowshoe trips after successful completion of the two Field Trips.

You must be fit for the more physically demanding courses like Snowshoeing, Alpine Scrambling or Basic Climbing. Try hiking up Mt. Si (8 miles round-trip; 3,550 ft. elevation gain) and see how you do. If you can get to the top of Mt. Si (to the view points in the haystack basin) in 2½ hours or less (barring icy conditions), you are probably in adequate condition for this course.

An ice axe is required for this course. Guidelines on how to choose a general ice axe (not for technical ice climbing) will be provided to you at the lecture, or students can go to a local outdoor retailer and request sizing assistance.

Students have until 4/30 the following year to complete their requirements for graduation, which includes successful completion of the Navigation Course, offered in the Spring and Fall, and completion of a Stewardship credit. You may also apply for an extension if you need more time to complete the requirements.

When you register for the course, please make sure you also register for the lecture and two field trips. You must attend the lecture in order to participate in the field trips. 

2019 dates: 

  • Lecture: Wednesday, January 23rd at Program Center
  • Field Trip 1: Saturday, February 2nd, at Source Lake (Alpental)
  • Field Trip 2: Saturday, February 23rd, at Source Lake (Alpental)

Link to Mountaineers Financial Assistance Program.

Requirements for graduation:

  • Attendance at the lecture and satisfactory performance at both field trips
  • Wilderness Navigation 
  • Stewardship 
  • Successful completion of 3 snowshoe trips, at least two of which must be Intermediate or Strenuous. 

 Although not required, please consider taking some of the Avalanche Safety courses: Avalanche Awareness (free), AIARE Avalanche Rescue or AIARE 1. 

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Backcountry Snowshoe Skills Lecture
Seattle Program Center
Wed, Jan 23, 2019
Registration closes Jan 21
16 participants
6 instructors
Backcountry Snowshoe Skills Field Trip
Source Lake
Sat, Feb 2, 2019
Registration closes Jan 23
17 participants
7 instructors
Source Lake
Sat, Feb 23, 2019
Registration closes Feb 21
16 participants
9 instructors

Additional badges needed to graduate

Completed

Roster
Required Equipment

CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT

  • Pack (large enough for all winter gear)
  • Snowshoes
  • Sturdy, lug-soled, waterproofed boots
  • Ice axe (for general mountaineering; properly sized)
  • Helmet 
  • Clothing Layers (no cotton)

 Inner Layer:

  • Wicking Liner socks, 2 pairs (one pair worn, other pair carried)
  • Synthetic Warm Underwear, top & bottom, 2 sets (one set worn, other set carried)
  • Liner gloves, (+ extra set in pack)

Insulating Layer:

  • Outer socks, 2 pairs (one pair worn, other pair carried)
  • Pants, synthetic fleece or wool. Soft-shell or sturdy hiking pants suffice for many.
  • Shirt or sweater, synthetic fleece or wool
  • Mittens or gloves, 2 pairs (one pair worn, other pair carried)

Protective Layer:

  • Rain parka with hood – waterproof & breathable preferred to avoid trapped moisture.
  • Rain pants – waterproof & breathable preferred to avoid trapped moisture.
  • Long gaiters. Be sure they fit your boots correctly so that snow doesn’t crawl underneath. GoreTex or insulated gaiters are not necessary.
  • Hats (one for warmth; one for sun protection)
  • Wind jacket (which may be your rain parka). A fleece or wind stopper vest is also handy if it is warm.
  • Scarf or neck gaiter if you tend to get cold easily.

 Additional Recommended Equipment/Supplies for the Field Trip:

  • Ski Poles/Trekking poles with baskets (highly recommended)
  • 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.

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