Alpine Scrambling Course - Tacoma - 2021

Scrambling Course

Alpine Scrambling Course

Introduction to Mountaineering. Non-technical Rock Climbing. Steep Snow Travel. Off Trail Travel.

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.
MOST NORTHWEST MOUNTAIN SUMMITS ARE ACCESSIBLE BY SCRAMBLE ROUTES.  In this course you will learn how to reach those non-technical snow and rock summits.  This course starts at a beginning level and there are no prerequisites to join.  Classroom and field instruction includes proper equipment and clothing, route finding, avalanche awareness and avoidance, rock and off-trail scrambling, snow travel, ice-ax arrest, glissade techniques, field survival and wilderness ethics. Alpine scrambles are moderate to strenuous outings involving off-trail travel. They are generally summit oriented with class 2 or 3 climbing on rock or equally exposed snow slopes. Scrambles do not involve travel over glaciers or rock where a climbing harness and roped protection are called for. Scrambles often visit many of the same destinations as technical climbs, just using different routes.


  • Physical Fitness: At the first Field Trip, students must complete a conditioning hike demonstrating an ability to hike uphill 2500' of elevation gain in 2 hours (one way) while carrying a full pack.  The class often uses Mt. Si for this which is 3200' in 2.5 hours.  
  • Academic Participation: Students must review the on-line material and class textbook and complete a quiz prior to Field Trips.  
  • Field Trips: These are the most important portion of the course.  Students will learn essential skills at Rock 1 and Snow 1.  At the Final Skills Field Trip, students will get further practice then must demonstrate competency in those essential skills.  Clinics and extra instruction may be available; the need will be evaluated as we go. 
  • Final Written Exam: Students must pass a final that includes information from classroom and field trips.
  • To graduate, in addition to the course programming, students must complete: 3 additional climbs (1 rock, 1 snow, 1 student's choice), first aid course, navigation course, Low Impact Recreation (on-line), and a day of stewardship.  Covid issues may make it difficult to complete these additional requirements.  We will maintain your student status until you are able to attend all requirements.
  • The course is designed to be completed in one year.  If a student needs additional time and/or practice, they may participate in the following year course.  Our goal is student success.

Feel free to contact Mike Murphy for further information.

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

A list of required equipment is included in the on-line course materials and will be discussed at the Conditioning/Introduction Field Trip. We suggest you wait until then before buying lots of equipment. 


Course Materials