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Washington mountaineering courses

Nate G

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Hi all,

New to the forums and this is my first post. I'm a high school junior and aspiring mountaineer! Both of my parents have climbed rainier, my mom with rmi, and my dad once with rmi and once with a group of friends. Except for this my family doesn't have that much experience in the mountains, my dad wants to do baker this summer but I would like to learn much more. I have been saving my cash for a mountaineering course this summer, likely a 6 day course in the north cascades.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Alpine ice climbing course from American Alpine Institute, I figure this course will give me everything that an Alpinism 1 course will and il get the ice climbing/ technical route that I have been itching to do. I already have plenty of experience in the outdoors and mountains, hiking, backpacking, and doing short climbs in the cascades (Sloan, dickerman, etc), also this year I have completed the training for king county search and rescue.

I was wondering if any one has any experience with AAI, specifically with this course? Also I was wondering how to find partners after this course, hopefully someone with more technical knowledge than me so I can continue to be a student of the sport.




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I took the course a number of years ago and it gives a good grounding in the basic of steep to vertical ice climbing that you can build from. Well worth it I think. The trick is finding people to climb with after so you don't lose what you spent so much to learn.

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Hi Nate;

If you have not taken a general mountaineering/glacier climbing/crevasse rescue, and your goals are more to climb the standard routes on the volcanos and peaks like Shuksan/Sahale/Eldorado/Olympus; then I think you would be better off with a general mountaineering course than an alpine ice course. I think the American Alpine Institute "Glacier skills and crevasse rescue" or "Alpinism 1". If you call them and talk about what your goals and experience is, they could probably help point you at the right direction.


The courses offered by the Mountaineers, Washington alpine club are very good also and will give you the skills to do this level of climbs safely, and well and how to follow rock climbing. I'm not sure what their age requirements are, call and ask, but most people will be older then you.


The mountaineers also has a teen program which is very good and they do real stuff, definitely worth a look.



Good luck!


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