The Olympia Mountaineers

2015 Basic Climbing Course

Basic Climbing Course Chair: Bob Keranen (360) 340-1882

On-line for Basic Climbing

Course: This course is designed to teach the fundamental skills necessary to safely climb most rock and glaciated peaks in the Pacific Northwest with an experienced leader. The course includes instruction and practice in alpine travel and in the technical aspects of roped climbing on rock, snow and glaciers. The course emphasizes basic climbing and mountaineering skills, including navigation, rope handling, knots, crevasse rescue, and belay and rappel techniques. Throughout the course, students will gain an appreciation for wilderness ethics and conservation.

The instructional portion of Olympiaís Basic Climbing Course can be completed in six months, but students who donít finish in the first year can choose to complete the course in the following year without extra charge. The course is divided into the following sections for administrative purposes: Wilderness Skills, Introduction to Climbing, Rock, Glacier, and Mountaineering Oriented First Aid (MOFA). Students must also complete a conservation or trail maintenance project. After finishing instructional course work, students must successfully complete the following types of experience climbs: conditioner, alpine, rock and glacier. Equivalencies for one or all of the sections can be granted pursuant to strict guideline upon application.

Read testimonials from past students.

Cost (includes January Wilderness Skills): $250 member

Wilderness Skills Schedule:

Students who have completed Wilderness Skills in a prior year are not required to attend these lectures.

Jan. 27 - Tuesday 6:30-9:30 Lecture 1 Friends Meeting House
Jan. 31 - Saturday 7:30-5:00 Lecture 2 Friends Meeting House
Feb. 7 - Saturday 7:30-5:00 Outdoor Workshop Friends Meeting House

Basic Climbing Schedule:

Feb. 17 - TuesdayLectureIntro to Climbing: Belay Skills 1Columbian Hall
Feb. 21 - SaturdayField TripIntro to Climbing Workshop: Basic SkillsTBD
Mar. 3 - TuesdayLectureIntro to Climbing: Belay Skills 2Columbian Hall
Mar. 8 - SundayField TripIntro to Climbing Field Trip: Belay SkillsPriest Point Park
Mar. 17 - TuesdayLectureIntro to Climbing: Snow TravelColumbian Hall
Mar. 21 - SaturdayField TripIntro to Climbing Field Trip: Snow IParadise (MRNP)
Apr. 7 - TuesdayLectureGlacier: Climbing HazardsColumbian Hall
Apr. 11-12 - Sat-SunField TripGlacier Field Trip: Snow WeekendParadise (MRNP)
Apr. 21 - TuesdayLectureRock: Rock ClimbingColumbian Hall
Apr. 27 - MondayField TripRock Workshop: Rock GymWarehouse Rock Gym
May 2 - SaturdayField TripRock Field Trip: Rock FundamentalsSpire Rock
May 16-17 - Sat-SunField TripRock Field Trip: This may be an overnight trip depending on class sizeMcCleary Cliffs or Vantage
Jun. 2 - TuesdayField TripGlacier Workshop: Z-PulleyTumwater Historical Park
Jun. 6 - SaturdayField TripGlacier Field Trip: Crevasse RescueNisqually Glacier
Jun. 9 - TuesdayLectureFinal ExamColumbian Hall


Olympia Mountaineers practice crevasse rescue on the Nisqually Glacier
(photo by Mike McIntosh)

Olympia Mountaineers practice rock fundamentals at McCleary cliffs
(photo by Toby Tahja-Syrett)