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Event Details

Date Tuesday  5/20/2014
Group Fort Collins
Event Title Ft. Collins Alpine Scrambling Course
Start Time 12:00 AM
End Time 12:00 AM
Status Complete
Leader John Raich
Co-Leader Ward Whicker
Group Price $50.00
Available Participants 3
Type Members Only (Programs/Education)


    Evening lectures scheduled for May 20 and May 27 will be held in Fort Collins, starting at 7:00 pm.  Specific location is being arranged.

    A basic skills field trip day is scheduled for June 7.  This day will be spent near Fort Collins at a specific location to be announced.

    Two additional full-day field trips, a snow climb in June, and a rock scramble in July, will likely be held within a 2-hour drive from Ft. Collins.

    A final overnight backpack trip and alpine rock scramble will be held in August at a Colorado location withing a 4-hour drive from Ft. Collins.


For more info Contact

Contact the Course Coordinator, Ward Whicker (email:  or phone 970-225-3747) for information and application form.


    The Fort Collins Group will offer a new course on alpine scrambling.  The course starts evening lectures May 20 and May 27, continues with a basic skills field trip June 7, a snow climb June 14 or 21, an alpine rock scramble in July, and an overnight scramble in August.

     Scrambling covers the realm between hiking mountain trails and technical climbing of very steep terrain, and involves the use of hands and feet to ascend and descend terrain too rugged to simply walk.  Scrambling requires physical coordination and sustained search for foot and hand holds.  It usually does not require ropes for safe ascent or descent, although scrambling leaders may carry minimal technical gear to assist less-experienced climbers.  The majority of Colorado’s alpine peaks can be ascended in good weather without roped protection, providing climbers have proper knowledge, adequate scrambling skills, and use good judgment.

     This course provides instruction and field practice on steeper rock and moderately steep snowfields that can be traversed without crampons.  Field trips will start on moderate terrain, and become more challenging as experience is gained.  Instructors will  provide roped belay to those requesting it, or roped descent if needed.  Topics include gear and equipment, mountain hazards, planning, route-finding, decision making, ascent and descent techniques, snow travel, and emergency procedures.   We will not specifically teach general navigation; first aid; avalanche skills; glacier travel; ice/hard snow climbing; or technical (Class 5) climbing.  Basic knots and roped belay techniques will be demonstrated, but only performed by students under close instructor supervision.

     Acceptance to the course requires active CMC membership, and prior completion of the Mountain Hiking School, Wilderness Trekking School, or equivalent experience.   A formal application is required of each potential student, documenting mountain hiking experience, peak climbing history, fitness, stamina, climbing goals, exposure tolerance, and related items.  Applications are due by May 1 to allow time for review by course faculty.  Students will be required to provide personal gear such as appropriate footwear, pack, helmet, ice axe, seat harness webbing or lightweight waist harness, and 2 carabiners.  Successful applicants will be assessed a $50 fee to help cover costs of textbooks, course materials, and potential fees for classroom, projection equipment, etc.  Costs will be shared for field trip travel per normal CMC policy.

     Course faculty include Senior Instructors:  John Raich, Kevin Willey, Tom Chapel, Laura Hinds, Bob Dietz and Mark Sickles.  A group of Assistant Instructors is being assembled.   John Raich is Technical Director of the course, and Ward Whicker is the Course Coordinator.  Contact Ward Whicker [email:  phone: 225-3747] for more detailed information and application forms.


The textbook "A hiker's guide to scrambling safety" by Tom Morin will be provided for the course participants.