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kingfrankiv

Mountaineers

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Is anyone here members of the Olympia Mountaineers? Looking to join a group to start climbing and learning the ropes and safety and wanted to know your experiences with them.

Thanks

Frank

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you will hear many things, positive and negative. You could do worse than the mountaineers. You could also do better. All depends on how much you put into it for either option.

 

mountaineers have there strength and weaknesses, but overall it is a good value for the money spent.

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself.

 

I missed that thread Matt. Got a link?

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.

 

that is a rather broad judgement call for such a large population. Sure you will meet some people like that in the organization, but when I took the basic class about 21 years ago, I had a very skilled and knowledgable teacher (as good as any guide) in a small group setting. Will someone else get the same? Can not say, but I can not cast judgement on a entire group because I have seen some good instruction there. Plus, it was $100 for something like 20 days of instruction. damn cheap. No idea how they run today. But for such a price, why not take both?

 

FWIW, I support the idea of hiring a good guide service for instruction. That is a good value for the money too.

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I a planning on doing the kautz glacier seminar with rmi, juSt to get some first hand experience climbing. Does anyone have experience with rmi or similar group on learning mountaineering first aid? Also hoping to team up with some of you to gain some skills and knowledge

 

 

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I think in both circumstances you get what you put into it. I took the basic alping climbing course with mountaineers last year and am most of the way through intermediate course now. There were several times when I was shown a skill or taught something that was not correct.... it's volunteer run. You will not get that if you hire a guide.

 

However, if you get a guide it's much more up to you to be proactive and learn the skills instead of just being guided up something. I haven't been on any guided trips, but I've witnessed many of them in the mountains - most of the time it was unfit folks being dragged up a mountain. Short roped all the way up Shasta... did they not learn self arrest?

 

I paid somewhere near $300 for the basic course. It's a time commitment, and I was lucky to get a really good instructor for basic who taught us the basic skills and the why/when behind them.

 

either way... good luck. The mountaineers have a decent layout of their programs on the website: www.mountaineers.org

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Thanks for all the info. The last thing I want is an unfit group of people being drug up the mountain. That is why I am hoping doing the kautZ glacier will eliminate those people.

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THe mounties Basic course is 550. Registration starts Oct 15. It fills up fast. You're also required to take MOFA 125 and Navigation 50 = 725.

 

Alternatively, you could cherry pick: Take MOFA and Nav (skip Nav if you already know it, but MOFA is well worth it and its taught by EMTs) from the mounties and two one day clinics: Mountaineering Day School 187 and Crevasse Rescue School 187, in that order, from RMI (total 374) from the Mounties for more professional, less time consuming instruction. The RMI option doesn't cover rock climbing/belaying but you can learn that with friends at the crag and a bit of self study. That way you pretty much get all 4 classes for just the price of the Mounties Basic Course.

 

Shopping for my GF right now, so this info is current. She's leaning towards the cherry pick option - she doesn't need 'gear selection advice' and a bunch of other stuff covered in the Basic Course at this point - but ax arrest and glacier travel are best learned in a focused course setting rather than on the fly.

 

I wouldn't be so dismissive of the fitness level of the students in any of these courses, particularly as a newbie. Kind of luck of the draw, no? Gumbies can pony up for guides, too, and ironmen can take the Basic Course. I've seen both. If you want experienced partners, humility probably works better than uninformed bluster.

 

FWIW, I had some great climbers as Mounties instructors way back, some of whom became great partners. A couple of bozons, too, but they didn't really water down the experience too much. After all, you're ultimately responsible for doing the learning part. Critiques of the Mounties courses are more credible from people who have actually taken their courses, BTW - I'd check to see where the complaints are coming from before you swallow them hook line and sinker...even if you DID read it on the internet.

 

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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Hey, one thing I would say about the local clubs - including the Mountaineers - make sure you keep an OPEN mind and learn all you can. I'm a board member of one of the local Seattle area clubs and no matter what dogma we spew or others spew, get as much knowledge as you can and mix it together to become a fully skilled climber. This includes balancing what the guides, paid instruction teach you. If you keep an open mind, you can learn a ton. Don't take anything at face value at all either. If you question something, read up on it and see what the community is doing as a whole and then make your decision of how you'll add it to your abilities. You'll learn a lot if you don't limit yourself to absolutes.

 

NOTE: One thing to consider about RMI/Guide Companies (not all, but some).... they will teach you some skills you can take away. Additionally, they will teach you some things they only really need you to use on THEIR guided climbs. Some things they do/teach on those climbs may not be skills you'd want to use as an independent in the field. Just pay attention and even ask them - "would you do this on your own? or is this just because you don't trust me or others as clients?"

 

Good luck!

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That is one thing I have learned about instruction is always take things with a grain of salt and an open mind some people lean way way or another. I definetly am going to cherry pick my way through some courses by different groups that way I am just well rounded and didn't learn everything by a particular group. A broad range of instruction is better than a narrow one side.

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.
That was AWESOME, Matt.

 

You sound kinda cute, too.

 

 

 

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Thank you Wookie. I have learned so much from guides.

 

And I'm not sure how you can sound cute but I appreciate the comment.

 

And you may want to check my TR on Classic Crack for more opinions.

Edited by matt_warfield

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.

 

Actually "knowledge, judgement, and fitness" are given much more emphasis in the Mountaineers climbing courses than the "10 essentials".

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.

 

Actually "knowledge, judgement, and fitness" are given much more emphasis in the Mountaineers climbing courses than the "10 essentials".

 

I almost got kicked out of the navigation field trip during one of those November monsoons that goes on for 5 or 6 days because I didn't bring sunscreen.

 

edit: it was still a pretty good class for the money, though

Edited by rob

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I completed the basic course through the Tacoma branch this past year and am found the experience to be some odd mix of Army basic training and a full semester of college.

 

This is not to say that these are bad things, just that the course requires a lot of time, commitment, and discipline.

 

An important component is, as Cale stated above, keep an open mind.

 

There are many excellent instructors in the Mountaineers (as well as the standard level of douchebags) and I rarely found the level of dogma for which the Mounties are reputed, not saying it isn't there, just not as bad.

 

Anyhoo, just my .02

 

 

 

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.

 

Actually "knowledge, judgement, and fitness" are given much more emphasis in the Mountaineers climbing courses than the "10 essentials".

 

I almost got kicked out of the navigation field trip during one of those November monsoons that goes on for 5 or 6 days because I didn't bring sunscreen.

 

edit: it was still a pretty good class for the money, though

 

yeah, but that's more general than a "climbing course" and the demographics and experience of the people teaching that are different than say those teaching "winter and mixed climbing"

 

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I completed the basic course through the Tacoma branch this past year and am found the experience to be some odd mix of Army basic training and a full semester of college.

 

This is not to say that these are bad things, just that the course requires a lot of time, commitment, and discipline.

 

An important component is, as Cale stated above, keep an open mind.

 

There are many excellent instructors in the Mountaineers (as well as the standard level of douchebags) and I rarely found the level of dogma for which the Mounties are reputed, not saying it isn't there, just not as bad.

 

Anyhoo, just my .02

 

 

 

Regarding dogma: in the beginner course there is definitely a certain amount of "learn it this one way and don't ask a lot of questions". This is primarily due to risk management and making sure that a mix of inexperienced folks (and more experienced) base line to some minimal standard. Those that go out climbing a lot afterwards, read on their own, go out with guides or private partners, or take more advanced courses will quickly move far beyond the "one way". :-)

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To continue the theme from a parallel thread, one trip with an experienced guide or equivalent will be more valuable than many trips bumbling about with people that think the "ten essentials" are more important than the three essentials of knowledge, judgment, and fitness.

 

Actually "knowledge, judgement, and fitness" are given much more emphasis in the Mountaineers climbing courses than the "10 essentials".

 

I almost got kicked out of the navigation field trip during one of those November monsoons that goes on for 5 or 6 days because I didn't bring sunscreen.

 

edit: it was still a pretty good class for the money, though

 

yeah, but that's more general than a "climbing course" and the demographics and experience of the people teaching that are different than say those teaching "winter and mixed climbing"

 

Fair enough.

 

Two memorable moments from my basic class are when an instructor on the Mt. Si "conditioning" trip reprimanded an older gentleman she ran into randomly on the Mt. Si trail for wearing jeans. "COTTON KILLS, SIR!" :lmao:

 

followed by the time they tried to make me wear my helmet in the parking lot as we grouped up for the first day of rock 2.

 

I remember it being pretty cheap. Like, $250? And MOFA *definitely* wasn't taught by EMTs, although that may be a new thing? I didn't enjoy the experience, but it was a great deal for the money and it's a great way to learn a lot in a short time, especially if you're not into the "self-learning" thing -- as long as you get out an go on non-mountie trips ASAP.

 

My $0.02

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Two memorable moments from my basic class are when an instructor on the Mt. Si "conditioning" trip reprimanded an older gentleman she ran into randomly on the Mt. Si trail for wearing jeans. "COTTON KILLS, SIR!" :lmao:

 

WTF??

 

followed by the time they tried to make me wear my helmet in the parking lot as we grouped up for the first day of rock 2.

 

Dude a rock could fall from the heavens bounce and crush your skull in the parking lot! ;-)

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I will say that a couple of the ten essentials should be to not trip over your crampons on steep snow or think you can self arrest on any terrain. On rock, taking a 100 ft. fall on a steep wall is better than pulling a boulder down on you in the alpine.

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