The Steep Snow and Ice Skillbuilder is designed to take an ICS graduate or equivalently trained climber and develop their movement skills and judgment so that they can safely start to climb in steeper snow terrain that may have some short sections of alpine ice on it. On both mediums, we will focus on the usage of the ice ax and crampons as the primary tools for security and progress, whether it be pied troisieme or piolet traction. Students will be introduced to ice screw placement, but leading ice will not be covered. Risk management and decision-making will underpin all of the course content. Participants will acquire a skill set that, in combination with the ICS curriculum, will provide them with a foundation necessary to independently climb routes like the Reid Glacier Headwall. 

Course Details

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Schedule

SSI is typically held in the late summer and consists of two to three lectures and one 2-day weekend field session. The group will be split into two teams for the final lecture and the field session.

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Time Commitment/Duration

Moderate—SSI is moderate in its time commitment several lectures and a weekend field session.

Moderate—SSI takes place within a 3-week period.

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Tuition

The 2021 course is $250 members and $295 nonmembers.

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Prerequisites

ICS graduate or equivalent climbing experience on snow and ice including ability to build a rock anchor, tie in to rope, belay, rappel, and use ice ax and crampons.

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Scholarship Opportunities

We are offering a limited number of scholarships to allow students to participate who will not be able to do so without financial assistance and whose participation can help expand the Mazamas membership base beyond current cultural, economic, and ethnic demographics.

A scholarship is for course tuition ONLY. Mazamas may cover the cost of your course up to 90% of the course tuition based on factors listed above. Other costs associated with the course may apply. 

Applications for scholarships will be part of of the class application. The Mazamas will contact you with details of the status of your scholarship application when you are notified of your acceptance into the SSI.

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Application Process

The application will be open for appx. 2 weeks. The application asks several questions about your climbing experience and the application should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The scholarship and payment plan forms are built into the application. Credit card information is required to finalize your application; if you apply for a scholarship or payment plan, you will only be charged the amount agreed to under the scholarship or payment plan.

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Required Gear
  • Stiff winter mountaineering boots (such as the La Sportiva Nepal Top or equivalent)
  • Crampons (steel only, no aluminum) - can be horizontal or vertical points
  • Mountaineering ax
  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Belay device
  • 3 locking carabiners
  • 40+ liter pack for the day
  • Appropriate clothing for the day
  • Sufficient food and water for a day on the mountain
  • Car camping equipment for 2 nights during the field session weekend
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Locations

Lectures: Mazama Mountaineering Center, 527 SE 43rd Avenue, Portland, Ore.

Field Session: Cloud Cap Campground and the Eliot Glacier on Mt. Hood

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Refund Policy

Cancellations received at least 14 days in advance of the class may request a refund less a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
Cancellations received less than 14 days and greater than 7 in advance of class may request a 50% refund.
Cancellations received less than 7 days in advance, no shows, or withdrawals after the class begins will not be issued a refund
Cancellations due to medical issues will be considered on a case by case basis and will require coordination with the Mazamas office to be considered.
If a course is cancelled after it has begun, you will be issued a pro-rated refund based on the sessions delivered and the prepaid expenses.