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Mountaineering Classes

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Mountaineering Classes

Postby PaliKona » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:17 pm

Are there any groups or classes in the Front Range area that teach the basics of mountaineering (climbing easy slopes with ice axe, crampons, avy safety, etc)?

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby Taillon75 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:26 pm

Join the CMC in Golden.
Catchy saying from someone famous.

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby aliciaf » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:29 pm

Colorado Mountain School out of Boulder has a class I think.

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby pseudoghost » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:41 pm

CMC is good, but they require you to take prerequisites and do other activities with the club before you can take more advanced courses. It's not hard to meet the requirements but can be time consuming. If you want to take a course immediately, there are plenty of outfitters who offer one or two day courses if you look around on the web.

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby ed20320 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:59 am

Pseudoghost is absolutely correct. Through the CMC, the class you need is the Basic Mountaineering School and if you want more specific skills (to climb Rainier, McKinley and so on), you need to take the High Altitude Mountaineering School seminars and class. All this will run you about 14 months, but is cheap. I went through this pipeline 10 years ago and if my memory serves me, all total was around $200. I"m sure it's more now. they also have Avalance Awareness classes and High Altitude First Aid Classes.

If you look at RMI in Seattle for example, some of their classes can run $2000 and you still have to get to Seattle and take vacation. BUT, you can finish everything in a matter of a few weeks.

The CMC is perfectly rigid when it comes to their classes. you have to do the pre-req's first no matter what your past experience level. while it can be exceptionally frustrating (as i was), I came to understand it over time. If some one would explain the reasoning to people, it would reduce some of the frustration.

so, short duration with lots of money or long duration with little money.

I'm not advocating the CMC, but when I climbed McKinley in 2003, i felt more than adequately trained by the classes I took. I guess i should also add that I have since taught both the high altitude Mountaineering Seminars and Class.

Good Luck with quest.

Ed
In the immortal words of Socrates, “I drank WHAT?”

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby PaliKona » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:26 am

Thank you!

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby Monster5 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:51 am

ed20320 wrote:The CMC is perfectly rigid when it comes to their classes. you have to do the pre-req's first no matter what your past experience level. while it can be exceptionally frustrating (as i was), I came to understand it over time.


They are not as rigid anymore. The pre-reqs and classifications are simply a general guideline to help them manage, sans perpetual lawsuits, thousands of members with dubious views as to their ability. With the proper resume, most of the instructors will gladly waive the pre-reqs nowadays. With the improper resume, they'll cite the pre-reqs.

It's a risky hobby; most of us fall under a bi-modal distribution between overconfident bull-shi**ers and incompetent pansies. I'm in the former category - you name it, I can climb it. Honest.

My general feeling is that the CMC is a great intro to mountaineering for people without connections, partners, and mentors with the time to take on noobs (like Fireonthemountain). In addition, they have excellent and accomplished instructors who can help prepare everybody from the casual lake hiker to the hardcore alpinist. That being said, personal instruction from a smaller outfit (Eli Helmuth, CMS) or from experienced friends can be more beneficial. And I mean actually experienced friends; not some jack-wad 23 year old male who thinks he knows what he's doing because he watched Ueli Steck do the same thing.
"The road to alpine climbing is pocked and poorly marked, ending at an unexpectedly closed gate 5 miles from the trailhead." - MP user Beckerich

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby davebks » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:32 am

I spoke with the CMC a few times and to be honest I didn't have a good experience at all. They were kinda rude and arrogant to me. I was really bummed by this because I was all ready to jump in and support them.
So...I hired Joey Thompson from Colorado Mountain School for some privates and it was the best decision I ever made. He was AWESOME. Taught me more in a day then I would have learned in a week in a class. We went out about 3 times, then climbed the cable route together. I HIGHLY recommend this route if you have some cash. The private with a good guide is worth every penny!!!!

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby Lemmiwinks » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:21 pm

Colorado Mountain School has classes just about every weekend through the winter for Avy Level 1 and Avy Level 2. In-field training takes place up in RMNP. I'm signed up for the second weekend in January. It looks like a good class, maybe someone who has taken it can comment further.
“If you're bumming out, you're not gonna get to the top, so as long as we're up here we might as well make a point of grooving." -Scott Fischer

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby Dave B » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:03 pm

Lemmiwinks wrote:Colorado Mountain School has classes just about every weekend through the winter for Avy Level 1 and Avy Level 2. In-field training takes place up in RMNP. I'm signed up for the second weekend in January. It looks like a good class, maybe someone who has taken it can comment further.


I took Avy 1 with CMS, Mike Soucy was the instructor. I just can't say enough good things about that class or Mike.

Profit driven organizations have it in their best interests to streamline classes so that customers are satisfied (and willing to recommend the class to others) yet no time is wasted on superfluous content.

Obvious downside is that the classes are way more costly than when taken through volunteer organizations.
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby SteveBonowski » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:57 pm

Dave B. wrote: "I spoke with the CMC a few times and to be honest I didn't have a good experience at all. They were kind of rude and arrogant to me......"

Dave: there are a lot of people at CMC, both staff and volunteers. Feel free to send me a PM and I will try and answer any questions you may have.

Steve Bonowski

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Re: Mountaineering Classes

Postby climbing_rob » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:09 pm

ed20320 wrote:The CMC is perfectly rigid when it comes to their classes. you have to do the pre-req's first no matter what your past experience level.
This is simply not true. The High Altitude Mountaineering Class that I direct does not necessarily require having taken other CMC classes, as long as you have and can prove you have the required experience. We have "skills nights" at the CMC for you to demonstrate these skills. The last couple years we have had numerous brand-new-CMC members in our HAMs classes.

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