The Gunnison Valley, located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, is an ideal place for an introduction to mountaineering. This trip will teach you the essentials for a successful mountaineering trip including trip planning, rock climbing, navigation, backpacking and alpine climbing. This fast-paced and rewarding course requires carrying a large backpack at high altitudes (12,000 feet plus). Expect to be physically challenged, learn new skills, and build an effective team. This is a backcountry trip with camping in unestablished sites at high altitudes.
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This course location changes each year due to permitting restrictions in Wilderness, but the curriculum remains the same. You will begin with a "ground school" learning the basics of belaying, equipment and rope team travel and fixed line technique. You will learn how to properly pack your backpack and set up a proper alpine campsite keeping LNT principles in mind. From there you will head into the backcountry and spend 4 days climbing peaks, backcountry cragging and exploring the amazing San Juan Mountains. Coming into this course with some experience rock climbing is helpful. This course will take you high into the mountains of Colorado and provide a wonderful introduction to mountaineering. This trip is capped at 8 participants.