Intro to Mountain Climbing-The Weekend Edition:Alpinism 101
- Rock Dates: Custom & April 29th; Snow Dates:Custom & April 8th;
- Sahale Dates: Custom and June 10-11
- Baker Dates: Custom and July 15-16
- Duration:6 Days
- Level: Beginner
- Client Ratio: 4:1
- Cost:– $1295
- Included:Park fees, group climbing equipment, and guide services. *(meals while on the mountain, tents, stoves, cook kits and personal climbing equipment rentals available)
- Not Included:Ground transportation airfare, transportation within Seattle, hotel accommodations, restaurant meals, gratuities for guides, meals while on the mountain, tents, stoves, cook kits, and all personal items.
Intro to Mountain Climbing – The Weekend Edition is designed with the busy person who does not have enough vacation time to give up for their alpine education. Our Weekend Alpinism 101 begins with:
- 2 days of snow and rock climbing at Snoqualmie Pass covering basic knots, rope and movement skills.
- The next weekend alpine instruction covers glacial travel up in Boston Basin and offers a chance to summit Sahale Mountain to develop the ability to climb in mixed terrain.
- The third weekend takes us to Baker we learn crevasse rescue skills and incorporate the philosophy of fast and light alpine climbing in the rugged, glaciated North Cascades. The topics taught include: rock, snow &, ice climbing techniques, equipment choice, anchor systems and self-rescue techniques.
We keep the Intro to Mountain Climbing-The Weekend Edition small to facilitate a better learning environment. This course is the baseline for all our bigger climbs and more advanced courses. For new climbers looking to be independent, this program offers self-rescue skills necessary to manage the risks of a crevasse fall in the high alpine of the Cascades. With the addition of 1-2 days this intensive training program will include summit attempts ascents of Mount Baker or Sahale. This course is perfect training for Rainier and high altitude peaks that prepare your for your own personal ascent goals.
- Knots and anchors
- Snow and ice anchor placement, construction, and equalization
- Ice axe application for climbing moderate snow and ice
- Ropes usage in glacier travel team management,
- Crampon usage and techniques: French and American techniques
- Crevasse rescue
- Route finding, and crevasse navigation and trip planning techniques
- Hazard assessment of: objective vs. subjective hazards
- Discussions on mountain weather, alpine ecology, Leave No Trace ethics, and moving fast and light – balancing speed with safety.
Day 1 • Rock Instruction@ Exit 38
Arrive at 8 AM at Exit 38. Our 10 minute approach allows us to introduce knots, belaying, rappelling and fundamental rock movement skills in preparation for our mixed mountaineering weekend.
Day 2 • Mountaineering Instruction@ Snoqualmie Pass
Today is dedicated to learning the fundamentals of mountaineering. Today’s instruction focuses on: snow climbing, use of ice axe and self rescue, crampon techniques, glacier travel and basic introduction on anchors and crevasse rescue. Throughout the program guides will host discussions on numerous mountaineering topics. Hike out by 4 .
Day 1 • Hike to Camp-Mountaineering Instruction-3,
Start time and location to be determined. Gear check and drive to the trailhead. Hike to Camp. Throughout the day our guides will begin to introduce mountaineering skills:crampon techniques, glacier travel and basic introduction on anchors and crevasse rescue. Throughout the program guides will host discussions on numerous mountaineering topics. We will enjoy a big dinner and prepare for our summit attempt. (B)
Day 2 • Summit Day • Mountaineering Instruction
Summit day starts early. As we ascend the peak guides will continue to introduce the basic mountaineering skills necessary to make the climb. After reaching the summit we descend to camp. In the afternoon guides will continue instruction as time warrants, then we pack our gear and return to the trailhead. (B)
Day 1 • Hike to Camp Mountaineering Instruction
Start time and location to be determined. Gear check and drive to the trailhead. Hike to Camp. Throughout the day our guides will review basic mountaineering skills.introduction on anchors and crevasse rescue.(D)
Day 2 • Summit Day • Mountaineering Instruction
Summit day starts early. As we ascend the peak guides will continue to introduce the basic mountaineering skills necessary to make the climb. After reaching the summit we descend to camp. In the afternoon guides will continue instruction as time warrant and return to the trailhead. (B)
Itinerary Notes: BCAG makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
MULTI-DAY ALPINE CLIMBING EQUIPMENT LIST
Our recommended clothing system has four layers.
- Base layer: manages moisture and wicks perspiration away from your skin. (synthetic or merino wool)
- Softshell: should be a durable, comfortable, insulating and wind/water resistant layer that breathes well.
- Hard shell: windproof, waterproof and breathable. (e.g. Gore-Tex, or similar)
- Insulating layer: should be down-fill or synthetic-fill and fit over all layers. (e.g. down, primaloft or polarguard)
These four layers are usually sufficient for most people, but if you tend to be colder bring one extra medium-layer that would be ideal for extra warmth around camp, such as a vest. When deciding what to pack, remember to bring enough clothes and accessories to ensure your safety and comfort, while not over-burdening yourself with items you probably won’t use.
- Adjustable Ski Poles
- Alpine Climbing boots Full shank crampon compatible leather, synthetic, or hybrid boot depending on climb and season.Single-weight synthetic/leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid and late-summer climbs on Mount Baker and in the North Cascades when conditions are expected to be dry.
- Alpine climbing harness Must have adjustable leg loops and fit over all clothing and can be put on with ski boots
- Ice Axe – Lightweight
- Crampons with anti-ball plate * Must be fit to boots prior to trip,
- Climbing/ski helmet * Adjustable, should fit with hat on
- Crevasse Rescue Equipment Kit*:
- 4 locking carabiners – 2 Large, pear-shaped carabiner is best, screw gate type recommended and 2 smaller locking screwgate
- 4 regular carabiners (e.g. small wire gate are recommended)
- 1 double length sling
- 1 single length sling
- ! Cordelette 6 mil 18-20’(6-7 meters)
- 1 12” Prussik or Hollow Block*
- 1 Microtraxion & Tibloc*
- 1 synthetic T-shirt
- 1 long sleeve Sun Hoodie or shirt Lightweight, light colored for sunny days
- 2 synthetic sports bras*(WOMEN)
- 1 soft shell jacket
- 1 Down/synthetic jacket with hood
- 1 Hard shell jacket with hood Waterproof and breathable. Gore-Tex or equivalent is best, roomy enough to fit over multiple layers.
- 1 pair lightweight gloves
- 1 pair warm waterproof gloves
- Warm hat Wool or synthetic
- Shade hat or Visor
- 2 pair med- heavy wool/synthetic socks Check boot fit with liner and wool socks on
- 1 pair lightweight long underwear
- 1-2 pairs of underwear boxers/briefs
- Softshell pants
- Shell pants Waterproof/breathable with full side zips
- Sleeping bag Rated to at least 20º F. Line the stuff sack w/ plastic bag.
- Sleeping pad 1 closed cell foam and/or Neo-Air for extra warmth and comfort.
- Internal frame pack 3500-4500 cubic inch capacity able to carry snowboard/skis
- Goggles and Sunglasses 100% UV protection with side shields or wrap around.
- Personal first aid repair kit Basics: moleskin/blister kit, Band-Aids, first-aid tape, ibuprofen, personal medications, and batteries etc.
- Lip balm At least SPF 20
- Sunscreen At least SPF 40
- Headlamp lightweight LED
- 2 water bottles 1 liter wide-mouth Nalgene and 1 bottle holster, or
- Hydration bladder With drinking tube and 1 Nalgene bottle
- Bowl and spoon Plastic, small Tupperware works well. Lexan spoons are best.
- Toiletry kit Be sure to include WAG Bag or toilet paper stored in a plastic bag.
- Hand wipes
- Favorite snack foods (no more than 2 pounds)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WILL MY GUIDE (OR GUIDES) BE?
We are small company who enjoy working together in the mountains as well as highly skilled professionals who hold current Wilderness First Responder certification and are proficient in technical rescue and evacuation skills. Our guides are dedicated to the world of alpinism, many having first ascents and hold professional certifications with the AMGA in the rock, alpine, and ski disciplines. The AMGA is part of the IFMGA, which is the international body of certified mountain guides.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDES?
Tipping is considered standard practice in the guiding industry. Tipping amounts vary, often 10% of the course cost is a good rule-of-thumb, so $20-30 per day per person/per guide is average that works well for the guides without a serious blow to your wallet. If you feel that the program was exceptional or substandard the tip can reflect that.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT FROM BCAG?
No, we recommend renting from Ascent Outdoors where they have a full selection of rentals.
HOW HEAVY WILL MY PACK BE?
You will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food in addition to your personal gear. This should be taken into consideration when deciding what you will bring. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your pack weight below 40 pounds, which will allow for extra items to be carried of the group equipment.
WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY THE BALANCE OF MY TRIP?
For Scheduled Domestic Courses and Climbs: Your balance is due 30 days from trip departure. Payable by credit card, check, Venmo or Paypal.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
If you should decide to cancel your trip, BCAG must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date we receive written notice. You will be assessed a cancellation fee according to the following schedule:
90 to 31 days from trip departure – 50% of trip cost
30 days or less – 100% of trip cost
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CHANGE THE DATES OF MY TRIP?
Schedule changes are subject to a $100 fee per person up to 2 weeks out and $150 less than 14 days from the start of the trip and may not be possible. If conditions or circumstances preclude running a scheduled program we reserve the right to make the decision as to whether the program will be canceled, rescheduled, or an alternative provided.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BC ADVENTURE GUIDES HAS TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
In the rare circumstance where we need to cancel a program you can reschedule without a fee or receive a refund on your deposit. If circumstances arise that force us to cancel a program that is already in progress we reserve the right to decide whether a refund or credit, at a prorated rate, will be issued. We are not responsible for cancellation fees or costs arising from your changed or cancelled flights, lodging, or other arrangements. We strongly recommend obtaining trip cancellation insurance from your travel agent.
DO I NEED TO PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE?
BCAG highly encourages the purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance on domestic trips and requires it on international trips. Europeans and Canadians use it because travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance. To avoid any financial hardship that an unexpected cancellation or interruption could cause,
Trip Cancellation/Interruption costs about 5% of your trip cost and it’s worth the peace of mind! If you find that you are not already covered for any of the above circumstances you have options!
BCAG has an account with Global Rescue, the world’s leading membership organization providing integrated medical, security, travel risk and crisis response services to our travelers worldwide. They can provide you with medical and evacuation coverage.
WHEN SHOULD I PLAN TO LEAVE A RETURN HOME?
We often get this question because most people need to know how much total time they need to take off work. Our Northwest trips begin at 7 am in Seattle on the first date of your trip. Therefore, you will want to arrive the day before your climb or course begins. Our return to Seattle on the last day typically extends into the early evening with the descent and drive back. We suggest you make a hotel reservation for the night of the last day or a late red eye flight to return home on the day following the end of your course or climb.
WHAT IF I WANT TO ARRIVE EARLIER OR DEPART LATER THAN THE TRIP DATES?
No problem. There is a lot to see and do in the Seattle area and we would be happy to recommend our favorite attractions, restaurants, and day trips.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY IN SEATTLE?
There are many other hotels nearby to choose from as well and suggest one that includes parking and possibly north of downtown.