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Mountain Hiking

Contact: Ward Whicker

This course is designed to teach Club members the necessary skills to safely hike in the mountains of Colorado and participate in Club-sponsored hiking trips. It is typically taught annually and involves multiple evening lectures and weekend field trips.

MHS 2019

The Mountain Hiking School (MHS) will be offered in the spring of 2019.  The course will be patterned after our previous offerings of the MHS, as well as the Denver Group’s Wilderness Trekking Course.  The school will consist of six 3-hour lectures (Tuesday evenings) and six all-day field trips (Saturdays).  The primary subject areas include Basic Fundamentals such as: gear, nutrition & hydration, natural hazards, trip planning, hiking styles, group dynamics, and back-country ethics.  Navigation and route-finding on- and off-trail will be heavily emphasized, using maps, compass and other readily-available tools and I-phone applications (other than GPS).  You will also learn how to deal with Emergencies such as illness, injury, getting help and overnight survival.

This course will help prepare students for hiking safely and competently in all seasons in the Colorado Mountains, at varied elevations and under challenging weather conditions.  It will also provide invaluable information & experience for those who might want to eventually become official CMC leaders.  Completion of the course will also help prepare those who may be interested in enrolling in our springtime Basic Mountaineering Course, as well as other courses.  Because the course extends into early December, some snow cover is very likely, and may involve snowshoe travel and avalanche avoidance when necessary.

Students will be expected to attend all lectures and field trips in order to receive a certificate of completion.  Enrollees will be expected to be CMC-Fort Collins Group members, 18 years of age, to have good fitness & motivation, and to provide or purchase all necessary clothing & basic recommended gear.  Purchases can be made after the first classroom where gear will be discussed. Questions about the course may be directed by email to JoAnn or to Ward Whicker, Course Director.

School Overview

Are you new to mountain hiking and want to hit the trails this season? Are you an experienced backcountry traveler who wants to gain mountaineering knowledge and improve skills? Plan to enroll in the next Mountain Hiking School session with the CMC's Fort Collins Group. 

Classroom topics include dry-land travel (gear, weather, knots, scree, and talus), navigation with map and compass, emergency survival, and snow travel. Experienced volunteer instructors will help you learn and practice techniques in an open group environment. 

You must be a CMC member to participate. You may register for a specific class and the related field trip if you are not seeking knowledge in the other areas, if space permits. Experience on CMC hikes of equivalent difficulty is required for participation in field trips.

Course Schedule

1. Introduction to Mountain Hiking (equipment and more)

2. Map and Compass Navigation, Nutrition/Hydration class

3. Dry Land Travel Field Trip

4. Navigation with Map and Compass Field Trip

5. Snow Day / Intro to Ice Axe class

6. Wilderness Survial/Emergency Situation Process class

7. Wilderness Survial/Emergency Situation Process field trip

8. Weather, Knots, Online Resources class

9. Graduation Hike/Field Day

Be safe and leave no trace!