“Every time I go into the mountains, I learn something,” said legendary climber Michael Kennedy once, and I find this statement conveys the essence of mountain climbing. The mountains always provide adventure, and often in unforeseen ways. May it be figuring out the early morning route finding when the sun is barely cresting the horizon, or hustling to put your waterproof layers on as a squall moves in, or simply rounding the corner of a foot path into a beautiful alpine valley – opportunities for learning are plentiful.
The unpredictability of climbing in the mountains is exiting, but also requires a hardy soul. The alpine is not a place for the faint of heart. A spirited sense of adventure, and a learned skill set is required. At Chicks, we take learning seriously. We start with the basics, building a foundation of snow and ice movement, rope skills, and travel techniques. Along with the hard skills comes the less glorious sounding but equally important knowledge of taking care of oneself, while out climbing as well as in camp. We also incorporate big picture thinking and making decision in the mountains. Knowing how to read the weather and the conditions, when to push on and when to turn around are keys to a happy-ending adventure.
Intrigued? You should be. Mountaineering is hard earned, but more rewarding and fulfilling than anything else. Check out our alpine programs for summer 2017:
Tetons: We will be climbing in the Tetons June 29 – July 2, using the beautiful rugged mountains of Grand Teton National Park for our training grounds. This program is focused on snow travel and alpine rock climbing. Fitness is the main requirement for this program as we climb up several thousand feet into a beautiful alpine canyon to our High Camp at 11,700’. It’s a great program to refine your alpine skills up high on the mountain or venture into the alpine realm for the first time.
Mt. Baker: If you are interested in heading out onto glaciers, join us for our Mt. Baker Mountaineering Program July 29 -August 3. This is a comprehensive alpine training camp in the heart of the North Cascades. We will be camping for 3 nights, working on snow skills and glacier travel. This program is a great step up from the Tetons, as we will get into more advanced skills such as crevasse rescue. Good fitness and basic camping and snow hiking experience is a great starting point for this program, as we will be carrying all our gear into camp, but no prior experience on glaciers is required. The choice is yours! Take the road less travel and come with Chicks on an alpine adventure.