Students in the ECP Mountaineering School will be engaging in activities and going to places where basic rock climbing skills and fitness are required for the safety of students and instructors. As a potential student, you need to have these in place before the school starts. Adequate rock climbing skills and fitness level must be demonstrated prior to be accepted as a student.
If you are interested in the school and lack these requirements, get to work and acquire them. If you are not sure, please contact us, or attend the Intro Party to discuss your qualifications and what you might do about them. The number of students accepted into the school will be limited for everyone's benefit. Students must try to get out as much as the Instructors put in!
These are the basic skills of top rope climbing. You do not need to be a high-grade, excellent rock climber, but you must be competent in these skills.
Knots & Hitches
If you do not have these skills, consider taking the ECP Rock Climbing School first.
You should have taken a few overnight backpacking trips (not car camping) in the recent past. Although mountaineering is not just extreme camping, you should at least know the following:
If you do not have these skills, consider taking the ECP Backpacking School first.
** Updated for 2022 - 2023 Season**
The purpose of the checkout is to ensure that all the students meet the basic fitness and technical requirements to take the Mountaineering School. Elite fitness is not required but a good starting point will help you get the most out of the school. Basic climbing skills are necessary for safety, and we won’t have time for catching people up. Anybody who doesn’t pass the checkout will be advised on how they can improve for the following year. Passing the checkout doesn’t guarantee acceptance into the Mountaineering School as other factors apply (max class size, etc).
What to bring:
Fitness Checkout Requirements
Climbing Checkout Requirements
The amount of gear and equipment required to be even basically comfortable is large. If you don't already have much technical outdoor gear, You will spend money to pursue this sport - maybe $1000, maybe $3000 in just your first year.
Students will NOT be expected to be fully outfitted by the time of the first class. In fact, we recommend waiting to purchase gear until you learn what works best in the mountains. However, students should be prepared enough by the time of the first outing to get through a day hike in inclement weather that October and early November can bring.
Below is an overview of gear & clothing that students will need to complete the outings prior to the post-graduation trip. It is NOT a complete list of all required gear but it should provide prospective students a sense of what they typically will need to purchase themselves (List 1) and what they can typically expect to be borrowed from the ECP or its members (List 2) over the course of the school. A more detailed explanation of the types of gear required will be provided during the first class.
List 1 - Gear & Clothing Typically Requiring Student Purchase
Note that NONE of the clothing items below should include ANY cotton...As you will learn in the mountaineering school - cotton kills!
List 2 - Group Gear, Gear that can be Rented or Borrowed
*The ECP Mountaineering School's instructors have many of the more expensive items that students will need (List 2) and are generous in lending their personal gear. However, we can not guarantee that each of these items will be available to every student.
The course is very inexpensive, but you have to understand, we are weekend warriors with a love for our sport, not paid guides! You must accept a level of self-sufficiency and responsibility. We will steer you in the right direction, nothing else!
This course is for those with a desire to learn the sport. We will provide you with the tools to ascend the world's mountains. You provide the desire and responsibility we all have on the high places of the earth. We are friends teaching friends, Mountaineers teaching Mountaineering.
Gear and Equipment
See the Gear and Equipment page
Each class will have a reading assignment from the required textbooks, to be completed before class.
The Mountaineering School kicks off mid October and finishes with a post-graduation trip in mid February
There are 9 classes, ~16 stair challenges, 7 outings, 3 fitness hikes, and 1 post-graduation trip. The schedule generally has classes on Tuesday with outings during the weekends. These are dispersed throughout the fall/winter with a break for the holidays. Students are required to attend every class, outing, and stair challenge.
Class Time Requirements
Outing Time Requirements
Fitness Time Commitments:
Adopting the motto "Research, Education, and Adventure" in 1947, for three generations the ECP has provided the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new friends who share a willingness to accept the physical and mental challenges of outdoor exploration and adventure.
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