Alpinism 2 - Intermediate Mountaineering

Overview

This program is designed for climbers who have participated in an introductory level mountaineering course or who have a similar level of skill and climbing experience. In this program you will review and refresh those glacier and alpine rock skills and advance your climbing to the next level. Based around a series of ascents of American mountaineering classics, this program is the perfect follow-up for climbers who have completed AAI's Alpinism 1 - Intro to Mountaineering. It includes three days on alpine rock and three on glacier routes.

Eldorado Peak is a classic in the heart of the North Cascades. Dylan Taylor

The summit of Eldorado Peak is a classic snow ridge with stunning exposure. Dylan Taylor

To qualify for the course, you need to have a few days of rock climbing under your belt plus previous experience with the basics of self-arrest, cramponing, crevasse rescue, and glacier travel. We review those skills briefly and then build on them in order to help you move confidently to the intermediate level of alpine climbing.

This program constitutes the second half of AAI's Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership Part 1 (AMTL). If you have successfully completed the Institute's course titled Alpinism 1 in the last 14 months, you will receive a $150 tuition waiver on this program. When you successfully complete this course, you will receive certification in AMTL Level 1, and satisfy prerequisites for AMTL Part 2

Alpinism 2 - Intermediate Mountaineering

Curriculum

Day 1 – Rendezvous at The AAI Equipment Shop and Introduction to Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing

Plan to meet your fellow climbers and instructor(s) at the AAI Equipment Shop promptly at 7:00am. Your guide(s) will take the time to go over equipment, finalize rentals and purchases, review the itinerary, and ensure everyone is adequately prepared.

We then travel to the rock climbing area, such as Mazama, WA, where we will spend the first few days. 

Curriculum:  This day will be spent reviewing basic climbing concepts and adding more intermediate climbing concepts such as toprope systems, traditional climbing gear removal, rappelling, knot passing, and more.  As with all AAI programs, throughout you will be learning Leave No Trace techniques and principles.

 

Day 2 – Alpine Rock Route (7807 ft/2379m)

This day will be spent climbing a Cascade Classic like a peak in the Liberty Bell Group.  

Curriculum: Multi-pitch climbing, rappelling, route-finding, and risk management as well as additional concepts as they come up and time allows. 

 

Day 3 – Alpine Rock Route (7720ft/2353m)

We will venture back to Washington Pass for a second day of practical application. Over dinner we will begin to plan the student-led objective.

Curriculum: Similar to Day 2 to reinforce concepts. We will also review of single-line crevasse rescue and the knot pass.

 

Day 4 – Alpine Rock Route (elevation and distance vary depending on objective)

Today we wake, pack, and drive to one of several areas for the glacier segment of this course. Day 4 may also, on occasion, be spent doing another day of alpine rock, at the guides’ discretion.

Curriculum: We will start our review of glacier travel procedures. Your instructor will discuss topics such as glaciation, navigation, or geology over dinner.

 

Day 5 – Student-Led Ascent (elevation and distance vary depending on objective)

Today we will hike to a glacier training area and do a full skills review and training. This will also be our summit attempt prep day.

Curriculum: We will review cramponing and ice axe technique, and then, time allowing, may move on to the more advanced skills of snow and/or ice screw anchor building and running protection, and team crevasse rescue. 

 

Day 6 - Summit Day (elevation and distance vary depending on objective)

The group will get an alpine start and attempt their summit objective.  We aim to get climbers back to town between 3-7 pm.

*If students summited on day 5 of the course, then this day will be additional skills training or another day of cragging before heading back to the AAI headquarters.

Curriculum: Summit strategies, route finding, navigation, and hazard assessment.

 

On a snowfield adjoining the Inspiration Glacier, Eldorado Peak, North Cascades

On a snowfield adjoining the Inspiration Glacier, Eldorado Peak, North Cascades.
AAI Collection

The Skills Review & Training Includes:

  • Map, compass, altimeter, and GPS use
  • Self-arrest from all positions
  • Belaying techniques on rock, snow, & ice
  • Rappelling in complex terrains
  • Principal ice axe positions
  • Cramponing techniques

 

Alpinism 2 - Intermediate Mountaineering

Dates

2024

  • June 10 - 15, 2024
  • June 24 - 29, 2024 - Filling fast!
  • July 08 - 13, 2024
  • July 21 - 26, 2024 - Womxn's Only
  • July 22 - 27, 2024
  • Aug 5 - 10, 2024
  • Aug 19 - 24, 2024
  • Sept 02 - 07, 2024
  • Sept 16 - 21, 2024

 

2025

  • May 12 - 17, 2025
  • May 26 -31, 2025
  • June 09 - 14, 2025
  • June 23 - 28, 2025
  • July 07 - 12, 2025
  • July 21 - 26, 2025
  • Aug 04 - 09, 2025
  • Aug 18 - 23, 2025
  • Sept 01 - 06, 2025
  • Sept 15 - 20, 2025

 

 

Women's Specific Programs

Our women's specific programs are for all individuals who identify as female, and are taught by female instructors. That is the only difference. We cover the exact same skills and techniques as the co-ed courses, we go to the same venues and climb the same peaks.

 

Navigation Programs

Though this program does cover backcountry navigation, there is limited time. Some mountaineers choose to enhance their glacier navigation skills before or after a program by combining this class with either the three-hour Backcountry Navigation Essentials class, or the one-day Backcountry Navigation Comprehensive program.

 

Alpinism 2 - Intermediate Mountaineering

Details

Max Ratio - Days 1-3, 3:1; Days 4-6, 5:1 (Climber:Guide)

Capacity - 10

 

Prerequisites

  • Overnight backpacking experience
  • Ability to cook for yourself on a backpacking stove
  • Familiarity with the basics of rock climbing, including knots and hitches, belaying, rappelling, and basic climbing movement
  • Previous experience with self-arresting, cramponing, crevasse rescue, and glacier travel

 

 

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, the guide fee, and live Zoom gear consult.

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.

Alpinism 2 - Intermediate Mountaineering

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