Intro to Mountaineering 2002

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Note: this is copied from this old website in 2010. We're not sure how many of these events actually happened, but they did serve to inspire many events from 2005 to 2010.

Introduction to Mountaineering Series

There are no firm plans for these courses yet. Whether or not they occur, their dates, and content will depend on the interest level in the community. They will probably be offered over weekends during the term. The cost of the courses will be minimal, but you will be responsible for bringing some basic gear which can be rented or borrowed with relative ease and little expense. Please email us if you are interested in any of the following courses:

Technical Trips

Introduction to Rock Climbing I: Anchors and Outdoor Top Roping (OTR)

Editor's note: this trip actually happened in Feb 2002; see Joshua Tree 2002.

This is a trip teaching the fundamentals of anchor building for top roping outdoors. The emphasis of this course will be anchor building techniques and safety rather than climbing. Basic gear placement will be taught in addition to the use of natural anchors. This trip is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get started climbing outdoors, novices wishing to polish their skills, and those wishing to try out a lot of different gear. Anyone hoping to take the third part of this sequence will be expected to be familiar with the techniques taught on this trip.

Introduction to Rock Climbing II: Sport Climbing (SC)

Want an introduction to clipping bolts? This is the trip for you. On a weekend trip to Williamson Rock, we will teach the basics of sport climbing and at the same time climb a lot. Of the three technical climbing trips, this one will involve the most climbing. We will expect the participants to feel confident climbing 5.6. Anyone hoping to take the third part of this sequence will be expected to be familiar with the techniques taught in this class.

Introduction to Rock Climbing III: Traditional /Alpine Climbing (TAC)

This trip is for strong climbers who wish to learn how to lead trad--non-bolted routes where the climber places his(her) own protection. The emphasis will be on gear placement and anchors rather than climbing. This course is a great opportunity for anyone who wishes to move beyond sport and top roping. Participants will practice placing gear on the ground, follow harder climbs, and participate in simulated leads (the climber will be on top rope but will place gear and drag a rope as if he (she) were leading. Afterwards,a guide will examine and and discuss the participants placements.) The number of participants is extremely limited in this course.

Back Country Travel I: (BCT1)

Back Country Travel II: Winter Camping--the Baldy Trip (BCT2)

Editor's note: this trip actually happened in April 2002; see Baldy Mountaineering 2002.

I: This is a back packing trip where the instructor will teach basic to advanced skills from packing a pack to minimum impact camping. II: This is a winter back packing/mountaineering trip where we will spend the night of top of Mount Baldy the highest peak in the immediate vicinity.

Introduction to Alpinism I: Glacier Travel (GT)

This trip will teach the basics of glacier travel. The emphasis here will be on snow and ice anchors, rope techniques, and crevasse rescue. On the first day we will hike into the back country and learn the necessary skills. On the second day, we will practice a rescues at a crevasse and discuss route finding--how to avoid crevasses.

Introduction to Alpinism II: Ice Climbing (IC)

This trip will teach basic ice climbing techniques. Both days will be spent at Lee Vining building anchors and top roping. The emphasis will be on teaching safe ice climbing techniques and anchor building. Leading ice will be discussed but all climbing will be on top rope. In addition participants will learn about winter back country travel.

Back Country Skiing/Avalanche Safety (BCSAS)

Like the rock climbing and alpinism courses, don't expect to ski very much on this trip. Basic techniques for ascending using skins will be taught, but the emphasis here is again on safety. How to use a avalanche transceiver, how to find a buried victim, and how to avoid avalanches by studying snow conditions and careful route finding. Teams of students and instructors will find and dig for simulated victims. (We may offer a quick tele seminar depending on who teaches this course.) You must provide your own skis (AT or Tele ) and skins. (These can be rented.)

Canyoneering (C)

Editor's note: this trip was scheduled for October 2001, but delayed. Not sure if it happened. More details here at the old website.

This will be a really fun trip and is one of the least technical. The first short day will be spent at Caltech and concern rappelling, anchors, and safety. Participants will rappel from Milikan Library. The second day will be spent in (local) Eton canyon. Canyoneering is like visiting an amazing natural water park. Don't expect to stay dry on this trip!

Weekend Trips

... of the noninstructional variety.

Rock Climbing

  • Top Rope Trips: (TRT)

Guides set up climbs. Interested participants can watch and participate but there will be no instruction on anchor building.

    • Intro--Point Dume w/ BBQ. Editor's note: this trip actually happened in Oct 2001; see Point Dume BBQ 2001.
    • Intro--Stoney w/ Bouldering
    • Intermediate/Advanced--Joshua Tree. Editor's note: this trip actually happened in Feb 2002; see Joshua Tree 2002.
  • Advanced Trips: (AT) (This is just a ride out to _____ for the weekend, BYOP (bring your own partner.))
    • Advanced--Taquitz/Suicide
    • Advanced--J Tree. Editor's note: this trip actually happened in Feb 2002; see Joshua Tree 2002.
    • Advanced--Williamson Rock
    • Advanced--Red Rocks


  • 15 Glorious Ways to 14. Hike California's Fourteeners with the Alpine Club. More details at this old website.

First Aid

Depending on the response we get get a WFR (Wilderness First Responder) or WFA (Wilderness First Aid) course or teach something ourselves.

Editor's note: I don't think this ever happened. However, much later, we brought WFA courses to Caltech, in 2006 and again in 2008.