Get ready to boost your alpine skills with inexpensive, bite-sized classes based on specific topics. Topics will include practical self rescue, mechanical advantage hauling systems, belay/ rappel transition tricks, descending and rappelling tactics to increase efficiency, especially with larger groups, building and cleaning sport climbing anchors, map and compass navigation, smart phone GPS navigation.

Activity Notes

  • Sunday Skill-builders: Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue
  • Sunday May 28
  • Registration opens: April 28 
  • 6:00 pm sharp - 9:00 pm
  • Location: South end of Normandale Park, NE Portland.  5550 NE Hassalo St, Portland. Map is here.
  • Mazamas members $25, non-members $35
  • Recommended experience level: intermediate/advanced. Familiarity with basic climbing knots and friction hitches. (Minimum experience level of Mazamas BCEP class is highly recommended.)


New for 2023, the Sunday Skill Builders happen on the second and fourth Sunday of the month, usually from 6 to 9 PM. The second Sunday is more for beginner/intermediate topics, and the fourth Sunday is more for intermediate/advanced techniques.  Registration opens one month before the class. Topics will rotate and repeat, so if you miss one and want to take it, keep an eye out for it again.

Students are generally accepted first-come first-served. Please apply ASAP after the opening of registration to have the best chance of getting in the class.


Do your climbing goals include Northwest volcanoes such as Rainier, Baker, and many routes on Hood?  You better have your crevasse rescue skills dialed. This will be a dry land (no snow) practice of the basics. (Additional practice on real snow is highly recommended.) 

We’ll cover proper rope rigging for three and four person teams, recommended rescue gear (hint, you don't need a leg prusik) and do some rescue scenarios, based on the modern “drop C” method.  

If mechanical advantage systems are new to you, please have a look at the mechanical advantage portion of my website, Alpinesavvy, or consider taking the Sunday Skillbuilder clinic on May 14, which covers this topic.

Gear needed: harness, a few carabiners, a few slings/runners, friction hitch/prusik loop. If you have any fancier gear like pulleys, a Petzl Traxion or rope clamps like a Petzl Tibloc, please bring those also. If you don’t have this gear, no problem, we can share.

Highly recommended reading before class is the outstanding (and hilarious) cartoon book Glacier Mountaineering: An Illustrated Guide to Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue, by Andy Tyson and Mike Clelland. There are a few different editions. Get whatever one you can, they are all about equally good. 

Please read these web links before class. Having a basic understanding of these will make our class time more effective, hint hint. They are all from my website,