Basic Alpine Climbing Course--Student Materials


Graduation Request Form

Meet and Greet Meeting, Sun Dec 7, 5 pm

Meet your fellow students, SIG leaders, Climb leaders and previous years’ students on Sunday December 7th from 5 to 8 PM at the Seattle Program Center. Food and beverages will be provided.  You will have an opportunity to buy the course text, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills 8th Edition and to check out clothing and gear from local outdoor equipment vendors, some of whom will offer special discounts for our students. Not a mandatory course activity but highly recommended.  Please let us know if you can join us by signing up online. We look forward to seeing you there.

Class Meetings

All meetings take place on Wednesdays from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Seattle Program Center. You are expected read the relevant sections of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills - 8th Edition prior to each meeting. 

  1. January 7 -- Basic Course Introduction; (chapters 9, 10, and the prusik section of chapter 17)
  2. February 4 -- Belay, Escape, and Rappel; (review chapters 9, 10; read chapters 11, 12)
  3. March 11 -- Rock Climbing;  (review chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12)
  4. April 8 -- Snow Travel and Safety; (read chapter 16)
  5. May 13 -- Glacier Travel;  (review chapter 16; read chapter 17)

Field Trips

Field Trips are hands-on opportunities to practice and/or demonstrate mountaineering techniques that you will need on climbs. You must attend one session (date) for each field trip. To register, click on the date below. Registration opens about one month before the first session of the field trip. Each date will accommodate ~40 students and are filled on a first come, first served basis. Get requirements and preparation info by clicking on the appropriate listing under "Field Trip Instructions".

Please review the Field Trip Code of Conduct before attending your first field trip.

2015 Dates
  Field Trip Instructions Dates (Choose one)  
1 Knots, Prusik & Belay Jan 14, Jan 15, Jan 21, Jan 22      Seattle Program Center @ 6:30 PM
2 Belay Escape, Weight Drop, Rappel Feb 14, Feb 15, Feb 21, Feb 22     Seattle Program Center @ 7:30 AM
3 SIG Rock Scheduled and run by each SIG     Full day, location TBD by SIG
4 Rock Skills Evaluation Mar 21, Mar 22, Mar 28, Mar 29     Seattle Program Center @ 7:30 AM
5 SIG Snow Overnight Scheduled and run by each SIG     Weekend including overnight, location TBD by SIG
6 Snow Travel May 2, May 3, May 16, May 17     Stevens Pass or Snoqualmie Pass @ 8:00 AM
7 Crevasse Rescue Evaluation May 20, May 21, May 27, May 28     Seattle Program Center @ 6:00 PM

Basic Climbs

Find and register for climbs on the website. You must successfully summit 3 climbs: one rock climb, one glacier climb, and one more of any type (rock, glacier, or alpine).  Climbs are classified as shown below.  For more info, see the Basic Climbs Guide

o   BR (Basic Rock): The route will include one or more pitches of class 4 to low 5th class rock

o   BG (Basic Glacier): The route will include one hour or more of glacier travel during the ascent

o   BA (Basic Alpine): The route will include at least one of these challenges:

        • Steep or hard snow
        • Class 3-4 rock (usually with no more than one roped pitch)
        • Glacier travel (less than one hour during the ascent)

Navigation Class    (evening workshop and outdoor practical exercises). 

Backcountry First Aid

Upcoming Mountaineers classes. Valid qualifications: AFA, MOFA, WFR, WEMT, RMAP.  Red Cross WRFA is NOT accepted. 


One day of volunteer outdoor-oriented stewardship is required.

Extensions:  Second Year Status

The class is intended to be a one year course, but can be completed in two years if circumstances require.  Extension requests should be emailed to Your request should state how far you have progressed and why you cannot finish this year.