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Formal snow training

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Formal snow training

Postby ColoradoGold » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:03 pm

Can anyone recommend where to get good formal instruction
on snow climbing, descending, camping, etc?

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Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Formal snow training

Postby swadmin » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:38 pm

Basic Mountaineering Schools offered by CMC. Depends on where you live, you can pick from

Denver Group
http://www.hikingdenver.net/schools/bms

Boulder Group
http://cmcboulder.org/bms/bms.html

Pikes Peak Group (Colorado Springs)
http://www.cmc.org/ppg/programs_ppg.aspx

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby It Escapes Me » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:45 pm

Another recommendation for CMC. I took some BMS classes with the Pikes Peak group and have been pleased with the material they present.
Not to be confused with Cvrti5!

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby peter303 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:57 pm

If you are younger, nearly every college and many high schools have outdoors groups and classes.

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby tmahon » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:16 pm

In the Denver area? Or where?

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby Vellum_and_Ink » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:58 pm

I am also looking to get snow climbing experience and training. Unfortunately I live in Indiana and cant plan a trip to Colorado just for some classes. I have snow / winter camping experience (below zero temps), and I have climbing experience in good, warm weather. What can you guys suggest to help gain experience and knowledge on the topic? I would like to attempt Mt Rainier in a few years, and while that sounds like ample time to prepare, due to the distance between home and the mountains I really need to make the most of the time in between.

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby schrund » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:06 pm

Wow, that's a tough one. The primary skill set for Rainier will be Glacier Travel and Crevasse rescue. Those type classes are usually taught in the mountains. Here's a video though that attempts to present the basics: http://sectionhiker.com/glacier-skills-and-crevasse-rescue/
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams... as "wild". Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness".
-Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Chief

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby schrund » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:08 pm

Here's a book that is often used for instruction in these subjects: http://www.andyselters.com/glacier.html
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams... as "wild". Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness".
-Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Chief

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby Vellum_and_Ink » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:47 pm

Thanks, I guess I did forget to mention I plan on doing one of the guided climbs that includes a several day training course on glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Im not foolish enough to attempt something of that magnitude on my own (and no, I dont think you implied I was :D ). But when I was looking at the training courses on the Rainier package they highly recommended at least some experience on snow and ice before they try and teach you the more important skills. Maybe I was just reading that wrong and need a lot more experience before I even consider taking the training course.

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby hunterwf » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:08 pm

Vellum_and_Ink wrote:I am also looking to get snow climbing experience and training. Unfortunately I live in Indiana and cant plan a trip to Colorado just for some classes. I have snow / winter camping experience (below zero temps), and I have climbing experience in good, warm weather. What can you guys suggest to help gain experience and knowledge on the topic? I would like to attempt Mt Rainier in a few years, and while that sounds like ample time to prepare, due to the distance between home and the mountains I really need to make the most of the time in between.

International Mountain Guides (IMG) offers a 3.5 Day MT Rainier package that may fit what you are looking for. I will be going up with them on that trip 15-18 June.
There are other Annapurnas in the lives of men.

- Maurice Herzog

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby Vellum_and_Ink » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:00 pm

Thanks, let me know how that goes. Im pretty sure thats the package I was looking at. Im just wondering the best way to get some relatively safe "first time" experience before that training.

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Re: Formal snow training

Postby PolishPete » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:11 pm

Vellum_and_Ink wrote:Thanks, let me know how that goes. Im pretty sure thats the package I was looking at. Im just wondering the best way to get some relatively safe "first time" experience before that training.


You're welcome to come out with us if you'd like. We're a group from IL (4 us of friends), who like to go out to CO a few times a year. We've been out there 5 times in the past 2 years, but this year decided to pick things up a bit. Planning for one climb each month of March/April/May/June and hopefully July.

We usually roadtrip it from Chicago, leaving Thursday after working, packing in the Denali, and luxuriously make our 14 hour trip towards CO. Climb and/or do whatever the plan is Fri/Sat, and return home sometime Sun so we can make it to work Monday. It's definitely quite a weekend, but always been a good time.

Search a trip report by my name (PolishPete) and you'll get an idea for our experience. We're by no means near the level of a bunch of folks here (lots of smart/knowledgeable/experienced people here)...but educated as much as you can be from reading books, using online resources, and traveling to CO a few times to pretend we're mountaineers after reading all that material.

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