Climbing Leadership Progression Design Group

Climbing Leadership Progression Design Group


Our current leadership development model poses a variety of challenges: individuals often find it challenging to navigate the requirements to become a leader; each branch has different climb leader categories with different requirements; students who would like to become leaders get discouraged by the bureaucracy; a lack of tiered leadership means that it can take years of alpine experience to become qualified just to take some students to climb at Vantage. We’ve identified the need to grow the number of leaders we have in order to meet the growing needs in the community. The Leadership Progression Design Group will be a task force comprised of climb leaders from each branch and possibly some partner organization representatives, facilitated by the Climbing Education Manager. This group will be charged with the task of designing a consistent and adaptable leadership progression that provides early entry points into leadership, maintains or enhances the safety and risk mitigation through leader identification and certification, and provides ongoing leadership development.


While specifically focused on developing a leadership progression for climbing, the Leadership Progression Design Group will be charged with ensuring the model fits well with like activities (scrambling, snowshoeing, BC skiing) and can reasonably be applied across the organization. The group will work closely with the Curriculum Committee and the Equivalency Staff. Several possible models have surfaced through the Progressive Climbing Education process that will be provided to the group for consideration, although ultimately the group is responsible for developing a leadership progression that can adapt as the climbing environment evolves.


The Leadership Progression Design Group will be a task force of 8-12 volunteers representing a variety of branches and committees.


  • Leader status in climbing OR leader status in another Mountaineers activity plus extensive experience climbing
  • Ability and desire to think creatively
  • Commitment to safety
  • Commitment to expanding leadership opportunities
  • Commitment to creating a transparent process
  • Commitment to ongoing leadership development


  • Membership is a 2-year commitment, approximately 2-4 hours per month
  • Attend monthly meetings (some in person, some remote)
  • Liaison with your branch & committee(s), including ongoing two-way communication


The Climbing Education Manager will begin working with the Leadership Progression Design Group in the summer of 2017. The group will meet monthly, with the goal of having a proposal written and approved by branch climbing committees by fall of 2018. The concept proposal will then be presented to the Safety Committee and Branch Leadership Committee for approval, after which a budget and timeline for implementation (including any technology development needed) will be built, with the goal of full execution and adoption completed by fall of 2019.

Expected Outcomes

We believe that redesigning our leadership progression will improve consistency and trust among branches and the broader climbing community, will improve the quality of leadership and instruction our students receive, and will provide earlier entry points to leadership as well as a clearer pathway to leadership, thereby growing our capacity to serve more students and better execute on our mission.

Interested in serving on this committee? Fill out the form at the link below.

 Interest Form