Intermediate Snowshoeing - Tacoma - 2023 / 2024

Snowshoeing Course

Intermediate Snowshoeing

Learn the necessary skills to go on more ambitious snowshoe routes that may travel through avalanche terrain and may require the use of an ice ax.


The Intermediate Snowshoeing course is for the adventurer who wants to gain the skills and experience to handle more challenging snowshoe terrain.  Intermediate and Strenuous trip destinations often include visits to backcountry vistas, frozen alpine lakes or summits of mountains involving non-technical climbs.  This course will cover the skills needed to travel in backcountry terrain, including introduction to avalanche awareness and response, emergency shelters, self-belay and self-arrest skill. 

 Lecture topics include selection and proper use of an ice ax, snow travel techniques, travel in avalanche terrain, introduction to companion rescue, and construction of emergency shelters.

Graduates of this course are eligible to join Intermediate Snowshoe trips. 


  • Attend Intermediate snowshoe lecture and complete online classroom assignments,
  • Attend Field Trip 1 - Avalanche 
  • Attend Field Trip 2 - Snow Travel 
  • Complete two Mountaineers Intermediate snowshoe trips (rated S3+, T3+) after completion of both Avalanche and Snow Travel Field Trip. 
  • Completion of free, online Low Impact Recreation eLearning course
  • Completion of free, avalanche awareness seminar
  • Completion of Wilderness Navigation
  • Completion of Wilderness First Aid
  • Completion of conservation activities required to obtain a Stewardship Badge on your Mountaineers’ profile page.


  1. Snowshoeing trips, including the field trips for this course, are usually held at locations near mountain passes that require driving on side roads or icy parking lots. Before signing up for this course please be sure you have access to a winter-capable vehicle.  An AWD or 4WD vehicle is best, but a 2WD vehicle with reasonable ground clearance and snow chains can work in benign-to-moderate conditions.   Lack of access to adequate transportation will not be considered a sufficient reason to refund the course fee.
  2. This is an intermediate course requiring good cardiovascular conditioning. The more challenging and steeper terrain of Intermediate snowshoe trips requires a greater level or physical fitness than Basic Snowshoe.  If you are comfortable hiking routes of 8+ miles with 2500’+ of elevation gain, you are probably in adequate condition. 
  3. Expect a moderate level of investment in equipment ($100-500). Check the Required Equipment list in advance to begin budgeting for the items you will need for this course.
  4. Students must complete the lecture, online classroom, and field trips during the first year.  Completion of the lecture and online classroom materials is required to attend the field trip.  There will be a $50 administrative fee charged to second year students needing to make up lecture and field trip activities.  Students may take up to three years to complete the Wilderness Navigation, Wilderness First Aid, two Mountaineers Intermediate Snowshoe Trips, and conservation requirements.


  1. Register and pay for the course
  2. Register for the Lecture
  3. Register for  Field Trip 1 
  4. Register for  Field Trip 2 

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Items required for the field trip include the following:

  • Probe
  • Shovel
  • Beacon (Recommended but not required)
  • Ice ax
  • Climbing helmet
  • Eye protection - glacier glasses/sun glasses. Consider clear/yellow lenses for flat light conditions

* Eye protection required for ice axe skills test.

Course Materials

There are no materials for this course.