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.
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.
Moderate—SSI is moderate in its time commitment several lectures and a weekend field session.
Moderate—SSI takes place within a 3-week period.
The 2023 course is $300 members and $375 for nonmembers.
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.
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.
The application will be open for appx. 4 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.
- 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
- 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
Lectures: Mazama Mountaineering Center, 527 SE 43rd Avenue, Portland, Ore.
Field Session: Cloud Cap Campground and the Eliot Glacier on Mt. Hood