Mountaineering Development Series: Level 1

5-Day Mountaineering Course

The five-day Mountaineering Development Series course is the perfect introduction to mountaineering. Don’t let the winter months keep you inside. With plenty of climbing and skills work, individuals will learn the basic of mountaineering. Start with snow travel skills – such as travelling as a roped team,  techniques for walking in crampons, using a mountaineering axe properly and self-arresting a fall. – and end the course doing a big mountaineering route in Rocky Mountain National Park. This course is a great first step towards winter ascents, glaciated peaks, and expeditions.

Course Details


No experience necessary


Days 1-4: 8:00am – 4:00pm, Day 5: Roughly 6:00am - 4:00pm


5 Days with multiple participants; 4 Days with one

Maximum Ratio:

6:1 and 3:1

Minimum Age:

Please call to register participants under 18

Price includes & Excludes:


  • Trained and/or certified guide
  • Group climbing gear
    • Technical hardware - climbing protection, carabiners,etc
    • Ropes
    • Technical softgoods - slings, cordellette, etc
  • Personal climbing gear
    • Harness
    • Helmet
    • Boots
    • Rock shoes
    • Crampons
    • Ice Ax
    • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe


  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Clothing, backpack and non-technical personal items
  • Park Entrance Fees (where applicable)
  • Rescue Insurance
  • Trip Insurance
  • Gratuity
  • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Colorado Mountain School

Meeting location:

Colorado Mountain School
341 Moraine Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Snow travel skills – Learn how to travel as a roped team, including belaying, techniques for efficient travel in crampons, using a mountaineering axe and self-arresting a fall.

Day 2: Climb a route – We've covered a lot of great skills on day one, now let’s put them to use. We’ll head out and climb a route that best suits the group and conditions.

Day 3: Advanced rock climbing skills or ice climbing – If ice is available, the group will learn the skills needed to climb technical ice. If ice hasn't formed, we'll focus on skills needed to climb rock and mixed routes in winter conditions.

Day 4: Navigation/route preparation – After three days of climbing and working on skills, it is time for a bit of a break (physically). Navigation is a necessary skill to have if you plan on spending any time in the mountains. We’ll work on map and compass skills and prep for our big climb the next day.

Day 5: Mountaineering Objective – Time to head in and do a big mountaineering route.  We'll utilize all the skills we learned over the past 4 days.


Colorado Mountain School offers a 16 bunk lodge that is conveniently located upstairs from our office and classroom in downtown Estes Park.  The lodge features a full kitchen, WiFi, a lounge and hot showers. Reserve a bed now for just $40 per night (plus tax).


All of our courses can be run as custom outings.  If you're interested in a course, but it doesn't fit into your schedule, please check out our custom guiding options.