Climbing Curriculum Committee

Climbing Curriculum Committee


We have recognized that our climbing course curriculum faces a number of challenges: our curriculum is inconsistent across branches leading to student and leader frustration; our curriculum and course variety is limited and fails to meet the needs of many incoming students; our curriculum in many cases develops safe, technically savvy climbers but does a poor job at developing leaders, and we lack systems for easy updating of curriculum. We must review and align curriculum across branches, ensuring the curriculum we offer provides a natural progression of skill building, ensuring our suite of courses are compatible with one another, and that we offer enough variety of courses to meet the diverse needs of a growing climbing community. The Curriculum Development Committee will be a group of leaders from all branches tasked with accomplishing these goals.


The Curriculum Development Committee will review existing courses and revise curriculum such that all courses by the same name are teaching the same, agreed-upon curriculum. This is the first and most critical objective. Once curriculum is standardized the committee will assess where our course selection is leaving gaps in skill progression and leadership development, where our curriculum is creating inefficiencies, and where our course selection is failing to meet the needs of aspiring climbers and aspiring leaders. The committee will work with the Leadership Progression Design Group to ensure our course curriculum provides the necessary leadership development training, and will also work with the Equivalency Staff to assess opportunities for reciprocity with partner organizations. Subsequent to these assessments, the committee will propose new courses including short-course modules that are directly compatible with our longer courses and potentially reciprocal with courses offered elsewhere, to better meet the diverse needs of our students. The committee will propose curriculum changes to courses as needed to close skill progression gaps, reduce skill progression duplication, and improve efficiency in course delivery. Additionally, the committee will develop a system whereby leaders and course chairs can make curriculum recommendations.


The Climbing Curriculum Committee will be a group of 7-14 volunteers representing a variety of branches and committees and may include guest members from partner organizations in the climbing industry. During the first year, we’ll recruit 7 members to establish the committee and charter. The 7 initial members will recruit an additional 7 to join during year two. Each year thereafter, 7 members will roll off, leaving a spot for each branch to nominate a new representative on the Climbing Curriculum Committee.


  • 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 opportunities for our new and veteran members
  • Belief in the importance of consistency and in the value of innovation


  • Membership is a 1-year commitment, approximately 3-5 hours per month
  • Attend monthly meetings (some in person, some remote)
  • Liaison with your branch & committee(s), including ongoing two-way communication


The committee will meet beginning in the fall of 2017, taking careful inventory of all climbing courses and seminars offered by all Mountaineers branches. The committee will target Summer of 2018 to release agreed-upon standard curriculum in preparation for the 2019 course season. Beginning in the Fall of 2019, the committee will engage in ongoing assessment of our course offerings and making subsequent recommendations for new or additional modules, course changes, and reciprocity opportunities.

Expected Outcomes

We believe that by investing in curriculum development, we will provide consistency that builds trust across branches and the broader climbing community, we will provide increasing options that help meet diverse student needs and allow students to engage at their own level, we will reduce inefficiencies in our existing programs, and we will create opportunities for graduates of partner organizations’ courses to receive equivalency, thereby allowing us to fast-track more new members into leadership roles.

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

 Interest Form