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mountaineering schools?

Original Post
Drew McAdory · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2019 · Points: 0

A friend and have been thinking about going to an intro to mountaineering course. Any recommendations for courses in the US? Preferably courses that provide gear.

Abandoned User · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 9,705

When you say “mountaineering”, what do YOU mean?  Also, where in the US are you, any preference where you learn, if it isn’t defined by your definition of mountaineering, and how long do you want to be out?

Pat K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 40

American Alpine Institute in Bellingham Washington is pretty good.  I have done two of their courses and the guides and instructors are great.  You can rent a lot of the gear from them if you need it.  They also accept the GI Bill for certain courses also.

Mark Frumkin · · Bishop, CA · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 11

Does the Sierra Club still do it's Basic mountaineering course? 40 years ago it was pretty good.

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

I advocate that you go to the Northwest and hire a private guide for a seminar style climb that may or may not involve a summit bid.  Because there are two of you, cost could be similar to a course, where as a private guide will be more expensive if it was just you (solo).  With a private guide, you have much more autonomy and will have bigger and better takeaways.  The Northwest is the best venue for this as you can spend time on a glacier.  Think about next June or July.  Weather will be on your side.  Mount Shuksan is ideal, it's a glaciated peak with a 600' rock pyramid summit.

Johnny Shrock, Dallas Glass, Nickel Wood at IMG are all fantastic.  AAI has a good North Cascades program.  Paul Taylor at KAF is out of Portland,  also good.

Abandoned User · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 9,705

Less than a week:
Exum Mountain guides in Moose, WY for anything other than glacier travel...a more rock oriented experience but add a snow school if self arresting and some basic snow safety/travel is what you want.

American Alpine institute in Bellingham, WA has short glacier travel classes on Mt. Baker if glacier skills are “mountaineering” by your definition.

About a week:
Again, go with AAI on Mt. Baker for an intro to alpinism class that will last a week.
Or, Alpine Ascents International in Seattle runs numerous 8-10 day classes on in the North Cascades and on Rainier and in Alaska that I think would meet your needs...pick your travel interests.

Or, Alaska Mountaineering School if you want a week of hanging out around Denali with big glacier focus.

A month or more.
Contact the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, WY and go anywhere with them for whatever they are offering for a full month or more.

Generally speaking, I 100% agree with Chris Magnes about locations, timeline, and considering a guide/instructor as well as looking at an organized course.  Each has its benefits over the other.

TLDR: Pacific Northwest, American Alpine Institute.  Sign up for a class or contact them to roll your own.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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