Becoming a Snowshoe Trip Leader

Learn about becoming a snowshoeing trip leader and find leadership resources

We are always interested in adding more trips to the schedule and becoming a leader is a great way to help us out!


Before you can sign up to lead a Mountaineers snowshoe tour, you must be on the leadership roster. Leadership qualities, group and individual safety, experience, and level-headed decision-making are four major components to successful leadership. Therefore, we have minimum requirements for those interested in becoming a volunteer trip leader (see below). 


WFA/MOFA certification
(Trip leaders are strongly encouraged to keep their First Aid certification current, but it is not a requirement.)

Snowshoe Instructor experience


Intermediate Snowshoe or Alpine Scramble Snow Field Trips



At least one year’s experience as a trip leader in other Mountaineers activity (min. 3 trips)


Led mentored snowshoe trips (min. 2 trips) 


At least two years’ experience as a Snowshoe trip participant, including Moderate and Strenuous trips

min. 6 trips

min. 8 trips inc. min. 3 Intermediate trips rated Moderate or Strenuous

Current Navigation certification
Level 1 Avalanche certification
Winter Camping grad or equivalent
Assistant Leader experience

 • = recommended, ★ = required

For the level you would like to lead, if your experience appears close to (or exceeds) these guidelines, please e-mail the Leadership sub-committee chair for an application and/or discussion.

Note: Depending on the season and volunteer availability, the review process may take weeks to complete. All applications are subject to Snowshoe Committee approval. The Committee reserves the right to hold or reject any application for any reason. 

Leader are expected to maintain their skills by leading at least one trip every three years as described in the Seattle Snowshoeing Roster Retention Policy For Leaders and Instructors.


Trip leaders are expected to follow certain protocols to ensure safety and preparedness of the group for the designated trip.


  1. Determine the need for group and special equipment (crampons, beacons, shovels, etc.) and notify/coordinate with party members in advance.
  2. If original trip must be changed (weather or avalanche conditions) notify the clubhouse and persons signed up for the trip.
  3. Find and note the SAR or Sheriff rescue phone number for the area you are going.


  1. Check in party members and verify from the sign-up sheet that each member has a waiver on file and please comply with the 12 person party size.
  2. Determine any special medical or physical concerns.
  3. Check individual gear, conduct introductions, and assess each party member’s condition and skill level, for trip.
  4. Assign an assistant leader, First Aid leader, and rear guard.
  5. Describe trip and route as well as establish and announce a turn around time.
  6. Describe your philosophy of leadership (pace, breaks, etc.).
  7. IMPORTANT - Snowshoe trips usually have members that have a wide variety of experience levels and technical skills. Make sure each party member is aware of the physical and technical demands of the trip as well as the expectations of their performance, physically and technically. Party members may be excused from trip if they don’t meet expectations.
  8. IMPORTANT - Develop a contingency plan and inform group, in the event, party members become separated from the group, include meeting place and time, making sure they will adhere to the plan. Please keep the group together.


  1. Monitor students and groups needs for breaks and limitations.
  2. Deal with and assess conditions throughout the trip and day (weather, snowpack, weird behavior, etc.).
  3. Maintain the level of the trip as listed. Do not increase the difficulty even if all party members agree. Some members may feel intimidated to go along with the group.


  1. Take a final head count and make sure all party members have returned.
  2. Review incidents, if any.
  3. Dismiss the group and make sure that all party members get on their way.


  1.     Complete your Trip Report online in a timely manner – i.e. within a few days.

    If there was an incident or accident on your activity, please file an Incident Report. When reporting, please give as much detail about the incident as possible. Do report even seemingly minor "near misses." If you have any doubt, do send us a report... it might just help prevent someone else from having a similar incident or worse.

    To file an incident report, find the activity on your My Profile page's My Activities section or from an activity search. When viewing the activity's details, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Report an Incident."

 CONTACTS FOR EMERGENCIES (in order of notification)

  1. Have copy of current available Mountaineers Emergency Contact Procedures and Call Tree
  2. Seattle Snowshoe Committee Chair(s)