Basic Climbing Course - Tacoma - 2021

Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course - Tacoma - 2021




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.

 VIRTUAL Classroom Session Schedule:

7 pm start time, video call, est. 90 minutes per lecture

1.  CS 1: Course Introduction, Clothing/Equipment, Safety & Roped Climbing Overview - 1/13/2021

2. CS 2: Nutrition & Conditioning - 2/10/2021

***Required Avalanche Awareness Seminar*** 3/1/2021

***Required Low Impact Recreation Course***Required Completion (on your own time) by 3/3/2021

3. CS 3: Introduction to Glacier Travel - 3/3/2021

4. CS 4: Weather, Trip Planning, Glacier Travel Part II - 3/10/2021

5. CS 5: Decision Making & Power Dynamics- 3/31/2021

6. CS 6:  Alpine Rock Climbing - 4/7/2021

7. CS 7: Leader Halo - 5/19/2021

Field Trip Schedule:

1. FT 1: Gear Review and Construction, Knots, Prusiking

1/23 OR 1/24 (half-day sessions available AM & PM both days), Tacoma clubhouse

2. FT 2: Test: 10 E's. Practice: Knots, Crevasse Rescue, Prusiking, Anchors.

1/30 OR 1/31 (half-day sessions available AM & PM both days), Tacoma clubhouse

3. FT 3: Test: Prusiking, Knots, Kiwi Coil. Practice: Roped Glacier Travel, Crevasse Rescue.

2/27 OR 2/28 (half-day sessions available AM & PM both days), Tacoma clubhouse

4. FT 4: Practice: Snow Anchors, Crevasse Rescue, Ice Axe Arrest

3/6 OR 3/7 (only attend one day)

Time and location TBD (will be offsite, in the field practice - i.e. Paradise, Baker, etc.)

5. FT 5: Winter Overnight. Test: Crevasse Rescue, Carabiner Ice Axe Belay, Self-Arrest. Practice: Snow Camping, Nutrition, Alpine Start, Roped Glacier Travel, Snow Shelters

3/20 AND 3/21 (All day/both days), Overnight Snow Camping

8 AM, Meet at Mt Baker Overflow/Backcountry Parking (or TBA)

6. FT 6:  Practice & Demo: Anchors, Belay, Belay Escape, Rappelling

4/10 OR 4/11 (half-day sessions available AM & PM both days), Tacoma clubhouse

7. FT 7:  Practice: Belay, Belay Escape, Rappelling, Rock Climbing Technique

4/24 OR 4/25 (half-day sessions available AM & PM both days), Tacoma clubhouse

8. FT 8: Test: Lead Belay, Belay Escape. Practice: Rappelling, Rock Climbing Technique.

5/8 OR 5/9 (half-day sessions available AM & PM both days), Tacoma clubhouse

9. FT 9: Test: Rappelling, Climbing Techniques. Practice: Cleaning Pro, Trad Anchor Set-Up, Rappel Anchor Set-up.

5/14 OR 5/15 OR 5/16 (attend only one day)

Time and location TBD (will be offsite, in the field practice - i.e. Leavenworth, Vantage, etc.)

Graduation Requirements

  • Attend all lectures and field trips 
  • Satisfactorily complete all field trips and critical skills test
  • Satisfactorily complete one conditioner (Mt. Si or similar) in under 2 hours or 2 conditioners in under 2.5 hours
  • 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 who do not finish course material in year 1 and wish to finish the course in a 2nd year can pay a small, administrative fee, and must pass a skills qualifier for placement in the course (repeat lectures and/or field trips may be required) 
Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Required Equipment:
2 double slings (120 cm, pre-sewn) - 1 for general use, 1 for dedicated extended rappel sling
2 single slings (60 cm, pre-sewn)
1 short sling (30 cm, pre sewn)
1 personal anchor (pre-sewn PAS or purchase an additional double sling (120 cm, for a total of 3)
1 chest harness (9 ft of 1" tubular webbing, sizing to be adjusted)
2 leader tie off slings (4 ft. each of 5mm perlon)

2 auto blocks (2 ft. each of 5mm perlon)
1 pack sling (8 ft of 5 mm perlon)
1 Texas Prusik (15 ft of 5mm perlon)

1 chest prusik (10 ft. of 5mm perlon)
Seat harness
5  non-locking carabiners (may be solid or wire gate)
4 Medium Locking carabiners (in addition to pear)
1 Large locking pear-shaped carabiner
Belay gloves
Ten Essential Systems (including map)
Pack (50-65 liter)
Mountaineering boots
Approved belay device
Climbing helmet
Chock pick
Ice axe with leash (cover adze w/ duct tape)
Rescue pulley
Tent for 2-3 (3 or 4 season w/ snow stakes)
Snow shovel
Sleeping bag (warm to 30ºF or less, check weather)
Sleeping pad
Stove, fuel, & pot
Aluminum picket, 24” in length
Personal items (utensils, cup, hand warmers)
10 or 12-point crampons (check fit on YOUR boots)
Appropriate clothing layers (check the weather)
Blue Bag System

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.