Introduction to Ski and Splitboard Mountaineering

Overview

The Introduction to Ski & Split-boarding Mountaineering is designed for individuals who have little to moderate experience in outdoor rock/alpine climbing and ski touring or split-boarding.  The objective of this course is to give participants an opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals of Ski & Split-board Mountaineering which combines the basics of rock/alpine climbing with backcountry riding.

This course begins with the basics of rock climbing in Mazama, Washington where we will go over skills on how to belay, rappel, and rock climb in a safe environment within your comfort zone.  With a culmination of rock climbing and touring practice and skills the course will peak with a series of classic alpine rock ascent.  You will use your touring set-up for the beginning half of the approach then you will rock climb to the summit followed by an exciting rappel off and ski/snowboard out.  The climbs we make typically include one or two of the following: South Early Winter Spire, Liberty Bell, and Silver Star in Washington Pass.  Join this course for excellent skills development, a diverse and beautiful alpine climbing experience, and an exhilarating opportunity to combine the skills of rock climbing and skiing/snowboarding all in one trip!

Introduction to Ski and Splitboard Mountaineering

Curriculum

Rock Climbing:

  • Introduction to equipment: design, care, use, and selection
  • Knots and tie-ins
  • Hand and foot positions for easy to moderate climbing routes
  • Introduction to anchors and belays
  • Development of full repertoire of free climbing technique for moderate terrain
  • Rappelling

 

Split-board/Ski Touring Skills:

  • Selection & use of personal equipment as well as ropes, knots, harnesses, skins, crampons, axes, etc.
  • Basic backcountry travel tips
  • Uphill switchbacking techniques and tips
  • Packs, transceivers, shovels, probes equipment overview
  • Map and compass overview
  • Belaying techniques on rock & snow
  • The concept and application of the self-belay and self arrest while touring and skiing/snowboarding
  • Free climbing technique on rock & snow
  • Cramponing techniques
  • Rappelling from rock and snow
  • Safety, speed & efficiency in the mountains

Introduction to Ski and Splitboard Mountaineering

Itinerary

Day 1:  On day one this course, participants will learn or develop skills on how to belay, rappel, and rock climb in a safe environment within their comfort zone.  Instruction begins with an introduction to the design, use, and care of climbing equipment and continues with procedures required for safe, belayed climbing and rappelling. Then working from fundamentals on balance and posture we introduce hand, foot, and body positions to begin developing a complete repertoire of roped free climbing techniques for each climber.

Day 2:  We spend the first part of our morning reviewing backcountry travel techniques and transceiver use before stepping onto our boards and selecting terrain as we explore some low risk areas to practice transitions and efficiency. Uphill track setting will take up the middle of the day with emphasis on terrain selection, mastering tricky switchback moves, proper use of skins, and ski crampons.  We will go over setting snow anchors and belaying and rappelling on snow.

Day 3 & 4:  On day 3 and 4 we will pick an objective, combining the skills learned in the previous two days we will approach on skis/split-board to the base of either the Liberty Bell, South Early Winter Spire or Silver Star.  Once we reach the base we will drop our touring gear and rack up for the climb.  The climbs vary from a couple pitches of alpine 5.6 to about 1,000 +/- foot rocky scramble.  After summiting we will rappel off and ski/snowboard back down.

Introduction to Ski and Splitboard Mountaineering

Details & Dates

Cost - $790

Max Ratio:  3:1 (Climber:Guide) (Min. 2 Participants)

 

Prerequisites:

  • Overnight backpacking experience
  • Intermediate to advanced in-bounds skiing or snowboarding experience

 

Cost Inclusions and Exclusions:

Inclusions: Included in the course cost is group technical climbing equipment (personal climbing equipment is available for rent at a nominal charge), transportation to the climbing areas from AAI headquarters, all permits and camping fees, and the guide fee.

Exclusions: Not included in the course cost is all personal clothing and climbing gear (including crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet, tent, etc), gratuities to guide, meals while on the course, or travel insurance.

 

Dates:

  • (Contingent on Hwy. 20 opening)
  • May 8 - 11, 2014

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