Alpine scrambling is non-technical climbing of ridges, peaks, and mountains. Ropes are not usually required but are brought along only for emergency situations. Glaciers are not part of alpine scrambling. Mountaineer trips are one to several days long. Many of our scrambles are to locations in our own Olympic Mountains. Being a graduate and a member of the Mountaineers grants you the opportunity to sign up for Kitsap scrambles, as well as scrambles sponsored by other Mountaineer branches. No prior experience is required.
Every participant needs a good pack, an ice axe, a helmet, the Ten Essential Systems, and a good quality pair of mountaineering boots. Mountaineering boots are not hiking boots. They are not plastic boots either. They provide a sturdy, durable, stable platform on which to travel. They must also be able to accommodate crampons for when hard snow is encountered. Steel crampons are recommended.
You learn how to prepare for scrambling. You learn about good equipment choices. We teach you basic navigation and route-finding since much of scrambling occurs off the trails. We also teach you proper rock, snow, and ice skills that apply to alpine scrambling. Finally, we teach you how to take care of the fragile alpine environment.
The Alpine Scrambling Course begins in March and finishes in May. There are four or five classroom sessions and four or five weekend field trips. Field trips are in both the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Field trips are usually one day with an optional snow camping overnight. Class sessions are 6:00 to 9:00pm, and are held at Kitsap Cabin, 7 miles outside Bremerton, on Seabeck Highway. If you cannot achieve the required summits in one year, an extension may be granted if you are continuing to accumulate mountaineering experience.
The cost for Mountaineer members is $150. The cost for non-members is $250. Annual membership in the Mountaineers for an individual is $73. To sign up, call The Mountaineers or register on-line at www.mountaineers.org. The class is limited to 20 participants. Registration closes March 1, 2014. We pride ourselves on small, personal instructional groups.