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Intro to Mountaineering

  • Price: $599.00
  • Duration: 2 Days
(5 customer reviews)

On day one, we cover skills needed to climb a peak like traveling as a roped team, walking in crampons, using an ice axe, and arresting a fall. On day two, we put it all together on an alpine mountain climb.

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Overview:

The Intro to Mountaineering weekend course will teach you the skills needed to climb a peak. Day one is a skills day. In the winter months we’ll work on such skills as traveling as a roped team, walking in crampons, using a mountaineering axe properly, and self arresting a fall. In the summer months we’ll be focusing more on rock skills. We’ll be working on belaying, basic movement, short-roping, and rappelling. On day two, we’ll utilize the skills we learned on day one and climb a mountaineering route in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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.

Details:

Rocky Mountain National Park provides excellent terrain for learning mountaineering skills at any time of the year. Depending on your own personal goals, climbing conditions may affect which time of year you decide to enroll.

May through early July: The best time for snow climbing in Colorado. The mountaineering program this time of year is prime for alpine snow and couloir climbing.

July through November: Much of the seasonal snow has melted by this time of year and all that remains are the perennial snowfields.  Largely, the mountaineering courses during this time are centered on rock skills with 3rd/4th class terrain management being the focus. Snow can still be found at times, but can sometimes be difficult to reach and is never guaranteed.

December through February: Winter in the Colorado Front Range.  The focus of the mountaineering program during this time is winter travel skills.  Often times snow conditions are 1) Too unconsolidated to provide any option for true snow climbing and 2) Too dangerous from an avalanche hazard perspective to venture onto steep snow slopes.  The course is centered on mixed rock, snow and ice objectives in a wintry environment.

March and April: March and April can be hit or miss for prime snow conditions. Often times the Front Range receives large spring storms that can make snow climbing unreasonable or we can benefit from warmer temperatures creating good snow climbing conditions on particular aspects. This time of year, the focus of the program could be on snow climbing or rock-centric depending on conditions, which are often quite variable.

Sample Itinerary:

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

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.

Meeting location:

Colorado Mountain School
341 Moraine Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517

Lodging:

If you require lodging at our Estes Park Adventure Hostel, please make your reservations online in advance. Beds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Our hostel features 16 beds in 3 rooms, bathrooms, showers, a full kitchen with appliances, dishes and utensils, wi-fi, ping-pong table, and a lounge area. Please be considerate of others lodgers during your stay.

Notes:

COVID-19 Contingency:
We believe that your training is best taught by combining theoretical concepts and experiential learning. Some topics are best learned in a comfortable classroom setting and others in the mountains, moving through terrain. You’ll have both.

The first portion of your course will be conducted in a classroom setting. In the interest of health and safety for our students and instructors, classroom format for the 2020/21 season may include e-learning and/or group video discussions in an effort to limit close contact in closed spaces.

The majority of your course will take place in the mountains where we will learn in an open-air environment. You should be prepared, mentally and physically, to stay immersed in the backcountry for up to eight hours. You will be assigned to a small pod consisting of one Instructor and a maximum of six students to allow intimate instruction and physical distancing.The nature of this pandemic requires us to be flexible and adaptable in how we deliver a quality training experience. Rest assured, from the moment you enroll all the way up to your course field day(s) and beyond, our instructors will be a part of your learning progression and will provide you with the tools and resources you need to best prepare for your training. If you’d like to learn more about what we are doing to manage COVID-19 risk for our students and guides, please view our FAQ page.

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

  • November 6, 2021 - November 7, 2021 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • November 20, 2021 - November 21, 2021 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • December 4, 2021 - December 5, 2021 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • December 18, 2021 - December 19, 2021 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • January 8, 2022 - January 9, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • January 29, 2022 - January 30, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • February 5, 2022 - February 6, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • October 23, 2021 - October 24, 2021 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • February 26, 2022 - February 27, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • March 12, 2022 - March 13, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • March 26, 2022 - March 27, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • April 9, 2022 - April 10, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • April 23, 2022 - April 24, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • May 7, 2022 - May 8, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • May 21, 2022 - May 22, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • May 28, 2022 - May 29, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • June 4, 2022 - June 5, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • June 18, 2022 - June 19, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • July 2, 2022 - July 3, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • July 16, 2022 - July 17, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • July 30, 2022 - July 31, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • August 27, 2022 - August 28, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • September 24, 2022 - September 25, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado
  • October 22, 2022 - October 23, 2022 - Intro to Mountaineering - Estes Park, Colorado

The first steps toward your mountaineering objectives:

  • Personal gear selection for mountaineering
  • Use of crampons and ice axe
  • Minimum-impact travel techniques
  • Efficient movement on moderate rock and snow covered terrain
  • Knots, belaying, simple anchors, and stance management
  • Risk awareness and avoidance techniques
  • Experience a technical climb and attempt a summit

Time:

Day 1: 8:00am – 4:00pm, Day 2: Roughly 6:00am - 4:00pm

Duration:

2 Days

Maximum Ratio:

Day 1 = 6:1, Day 2 = 3:1

Minimum Age:

Please call to register participants under 18
Experience Level

Beginner

Activity Level

Moderate

Category

Mountaineering

Duration

Multi-Day

Includes:

  • 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

Excludes:

  • 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
Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Athletic Tape

Roll of 1.5-2” tape; These are best found at rock climbing gyms or shops such as Neptune Mountaineering. Not all tape works well for climbing - gear shops have usually identified a brand that works well - the local pharmacy has not.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

 

 

Optional
Backpack: 20-40 liter

Packs smaller than this tend not to be able to carry the necessary amount of equipment and clothing. Large backpacking packs are acceptable, depending on the climb.

1

CAMP M3 30L

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Rab Forge Leggings
Women: Rab Forge Leggings

Rab

Clothing
Beanie or Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Rab Logo Beanie

Rab

Clothing
Belay and Rappel Device

Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

1

CAMP Piu 2

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Climbing Harness

UIAA or CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

1

CAMP Laser CR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Face Mask (PPE)

Should be made with at least two layers of fabric. Your mask needs to cover your nose and mouth without large gaps. The mask should have ear loops or ties so you can adjust it. Look for a mask with a bendable border at the top so you can mold the mask to fit the bridge of your nose and prevent your glasses from fogging.

2 Clothing
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Heavyweight Waterproof Glove

This glove comes out when the winter going gets cold and wet or at higher altitudes.

1

Men: Pivot GTX Glove
Women: Pivot GTX Glove

Rab Store

Clothing
Hot Drinks

Coffee, tea, hot cocoa are great for warming up when it's cold outside.

1

Cusa Tea; Alpine Start Coffee

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men: Rab Forge LS Tee
Women: Rab Force LS Tee

Rab

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

Rab Vapour-Rise Glove

Rab Store

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men: Rab Nexus Jacket
Women: Rab Nexus Jacket

Rab

Clothing
Midweight Softshell Glove

This is the workhorse glove and is most often worn on warmer days when mountaineering. Softshell gloves are water-resistant and durable. They often have leather palms and fingers.

1

Rab Khroma Tour Glove

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Axe

Utilized in ascending or descending snow slopes. Ideal length is variable based on terrain and height of person.

1

CAMP Alpina

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Mountaineering Boots

Waterproof, insulated, leather or synthetic boots. Two levels of boots can be appropriate depending on the season, conditions, and personal needs. These boots have rigid and semi-rigid soles so they climb rock well and are compatible with crampons. 1. Lightweight (May - October): This is a single-layer, semi-insulated, waterproof boot, such as the La Sportiva Trango Cube. 2. Mid-weight (October - June): This is a single-layer, insulated boot, such as the La Sportiva Nepal.

1

Men: La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX 0r G5
Women: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Women's or G5

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mountaineering Crampons

Steel crampons with horizontal front points are ideal. Must be semi-rigid and compatible with your boots.

1

CAMP Alpinist Universal

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Neck Gaiter

"Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

CMS Neck Gaiter

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Rock Climbing Helmet

UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

1

CAMP Titan

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell and Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab VR Summit Jacket
Women: Rab VR Summit Jacket

Rab

Clothing
Softshell Pants

Softshell material is stretchy, wind-proof, water-resistant, and resists abrasion. Mid-weight is recommended and light-weight pants can work for warm days. Typical thin, nylon "hiking pants" are generally not tough enough.

1

Men: Rab Sawtooth Pants
Women: Rab Women's Sawtooth Pants

Rab Store

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Rab Freight Cap

Rab

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Shield

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Rab Electron Pro Jacket
Women: Rab Electron Pro Jacket

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Synthetic or Merino Wool Socks

Wool and synthetic blends are great for long days on the trail. "Ski" and "Snowboard" socks are especially useful when warmth is desired.

2

Point 6 AT Hike Light Crew

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Thermos

Many ice climbers prefer to bring a thermos of hot water or soup instead of one of their water bottles.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Toe Warmers and Hand Heaters

Help keep you warm on particularly cold days.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Trekking Poles

Adjustable and without powder basket.

1-2

CAMP Backcountry

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Optional
Watch with Altimiter

An altimeter is very useful in gauging progression of altitude gain or loss when climbing, and especially when visibility is decreased due to weather. Many Altimeter watches have compasses or GPS tracking functions.

1

Suunto Vector; Suunto Core

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: Rab Downpour Eco Waterproof Jacket
Women: Rab Women's Downpour Eco Waterproof Jacket

Rab

Clothing

COVID-19

Q: Will COVID-19 impact my course?

A: 2020 made it clear that running programs while managing the risk of COVID-19 transmission is a challenge. It is a challenge that the Colorado Mountain School team tackled creatively and courageously. We may need to shift our classrooms to virtual settings at a moment’s notice. We may need to put on masks unexpectedly. We may need to go outside and distance ourselves. No matter what though, we are committed to running programs, providing education, and serving our mission, while also maintaining the highest standards of risk management. Please visit our FAQ page or contact us for more information.

5 reviews for Intro to Mountaineering

  1. Shai Simchi (verified owner)

    I did a 2 day intro to mountaineering course with Ian Fowler. There are not enough words to describe how awesome those 2 days were and how amazing Ian has been as a guide to learn from. Ian was super knowledgeable and patient and I learned so much during these 2 days. But most importantly – I was left with a taste for more mountaineering and I am eager to learn more and do more! 5 stars!!!

  2. warrenyoungblood (verified owner)

    Dec 4-6, 2020 Intro to Mountaineering with Jesse Ramos, in a word…excellent! Skills on first day with a superb and well thought out climb on second day. Weather was perfect! Jesse is a great instructor, guide and motivator! Thanks very much for an awesome experience!

  3. Matthew Fulford (verified owner)

    My friend and I had the best weekend learning some mountaineering skills. Our guides, Jesse, Wes, and Jason were fantastic—they were so knowledgeable and highly skilled while also being really good teachers. They adapted things to everyone’s pace and interests so everyone in our group learned a ton. I’ll reconnect with CMS and these guys again for AAIRE 1 and maybe some guided adventures.

  4. Sydney Webster (verified owner)

    Amazing instructors and such an informative and fun course! Bruce, Bob, Jesse and Josh were kind, informative, and personable. They worked around our needs and answered any questions we had. Highly recommend!

  5. alex_altman (verified owner)

    I had the Intro to Mountaineering 2 day course with Mike Coyle, Josh Burke, Wes Fowler, and Ryan Pedersen. It was exactly the experience I was looking for. All the guides did an excellent job of both taking us out of our comfort zone, and still making us feel safe. If you have any interest in mountaineering, I can’t recommend this course enough.

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