Basic Alpine Climbing Course   - Tacoma - 2020

Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course

2020 Basic Alpine Climbing Course - Tacoma

2020 TACBAC google site

The 2020 Tacoma Basic Course is now FULL. Any available spots are being held for people already accepted into the course. 

The Tacoma Basic Climbing Committee is committed to building and fostering a representative climbing community that reflects the spaces in which we live and recreate. We recognize that outdoor recreation has historically excluded communities of color, women, and LGBTQ people. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other underrepresented communities. 

Applications will be available Oct 12th. and will be reviewed in early Nov. with rolling interviews and admissions based on space. Leader permission is required for registration. 


The Tacoma Basic Climbing Course combines classroom lecture, field instruction and climbing experience designed to provide the basic skills necessary to safely climb rock, snow and the glaciated peaks of the Pacific Northwest.  The course is set up to be completed in roughly eight months and covers selection and care of equipment, wilderness travel and camping, glacier travel, belaying, rappelling, rock climbing, crevasse rescue, and many other topics.  During field trips and actual climbs the student will put these skills to practical use with experienced mountaineers.  Previous experience in off-trail hiking and camping is helpful but not mandatory.  Participants should have a desire to learn technical mountaineering skills and be aware that this course requires a significant investment in time, energy, and money. Solid overall physical conditioning, good cardiovascular strength and psychological commitment are needed as the participants will experience travel in difficult terrain with vertical exposure while carrying a heavy pack in all types of weather conditions.  While the course is challenging and demanding the skills acquired provide the participants opportunities to meet lifelong climbing partners and gain the skills to safely enjoy mountains environments for a lifetime.

The course fee does not include the cost of membership, text for the course, personal gear and equipment, Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Navigation course.


Classroom Session  Schedule (All classroom sessions start at 7pm except Feb 5th which starts at 6:30pm)
Late January - Second Year Qualifier (second year students only)
February 5 - Classroom Session 1: Course Expectations, Climbing Goals, Equipment
March 4 - Classroom Session 2: Nutrition and Conditioning 
March 18 - Classroom Session 3: Snow Travel, Avalanche Hazards
April 15 - Classroom Session 4: Decision Making and Group Dynamics 
May 13 -Classroom Session 5: Glacier Travel, Weather

May 20 - Classroom Session 6: Leave No Trace, Indigenous Treaty Rights in the PNW, Public Lands Use

June 10 - Final exam

Field Trip Schedule:
Feb 19 or 20 - FT 1 Prep: Fundamentals, Knots, Prusiking (evening)
Feb 22 or 23 - FT 1: Fundamentals, Knots, Prusik Test, Belaying
March 21 or 22 - FT 2: Belay escape test and Texas prusik* 
March 28 and 29 - FT 3: Winter Overnight at Mt. Rainier 
April 8 or 9 - FT 4 Prep: Rock Climbing technique (evening)
April 11 or 12 - FT 4 Rock I - Knots, Rock Climbing, Rappelling
May 8, 9, or 10 - FT 5: Rock II - Rock Climbing, Rappelling Test* 
May 27 or 28  - FT 6 Prep: Crevasse Rescue (evening)
June 6 and 7 - FT 6 and 7: Crevasse Rescue and Hard Snow*

Graduation Requirements

  • Attend all lectures, field trip preps, and field trips 
  • Pass final examination
  • Satisfactorily complete all field trips
  • Satisfactorily complete one Conditioner
  • Satisfactorily complete three Basic Climbs, including one Rock and one Glacier climb
  • Successfully complete the Navigation course
  • Participate in one day's conservation activity/trail maintenance offered by the Mountaineers or another recognized organization or agency
  • Hold a current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) card by the date of graduation (MOFA not accepted)
  • Apply for graduation as described in the course manual
  • Current Mountaineer membership
  • Participants have up to two years to complete the course (there is an administrative fee for returning 2nd yr students).



Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.