Alpine Rock Course and Climb
Learn new skills and climb Liberty Bell Mountain
Join our rock climbing school in Leavenworth or on Mount Erie for two days of instruction with our guides before traveling north to Washington Pass for a taste of the Cascades best alpine rock. This course gives students a solid skill base in all aspects of alpine rock climbing and includes ascents of South Early Winter Spire and Liberty Bell Mountain. And for those with future objectives in mind, it is an excellent way to prepare for climbs like the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps and Carstensz Pyramid in Irian Jaya.
While you go to climb, the opportunities for creature comforts are big on this course. You can car camp in comfort or find a cabin or hotel to stay at for the night. And if you’re so inclined, there’s ample opportunities to sample the food and beverages at one of the many fine restaurants nearby. This is what we call a “climber’s holiday!”
This is a beginner course and no experience is required. It is recommended you have some hiking experience prior to this trip.
- Selection and use of ropes, knots & harnesses
- Anchor construction, equalization, and evaluation of top-rope, lead climbing and rappel anchors
- Belaying a lead climber, lowering, and rappelling techniques
- Route selection, rope management and route finding
- Hazard assessment including a discussion of objective vs. subjective hazards
- South Early Winter Spire and Liberty Bell Mountain
- Development of face, slab and crack climbing techniques
- Multi-pitch climbing techniques in an alpine environment
- A whole of of climbing and fun!
Alpine Rock Course and Climb
$850 – 4 Days
Minimum 2 climbers
- Guiding and instruction
- Group climbing equipment
Price Does Not Include
- All personal climbing and camping equipment
*Available at additional cost
- $400 deposit at time of registration, which includes a $200 non-refundable registration fee
- Balance due 90 days prior to departure
- The balance may be paid by check, wire transfer, ACH or credit card with a 3% convenience fee
Alpine Rock Course and Climb 2020
- May 16, 2020 — May 19, 2020
- May 23, 2020 — May 26, 2020
- May 30, 2020 — Jun 2, 2020
- Jun 13, 2020 — Jun 16, 2020
- Jun 20, 2020 — Jun 23, 2020
- Jul 4, 2020 — Jul 7, 2020
- Jul 11, 2020 — Jul 14, 2020
- Jul 18, 2020 — Jul 21, 2020
- Jul 25, 2020 — Jul 28, 2020
- Aug 8, 2020 — Aug 11, 2020
- Aug 22, 2020 — Aug 25, 2020
- Aug 29, 2020 — Sep 1, 2020
- Sep 5, 2020 — Sep 8, 2020
- Sep 12, 2020 — Sep 15, 2020
Alpine Rock Course and Climb 2021
- May 15, 2021 — May 18, 2021
- May 22, 2021 — May 25, 2021
- May 29, 2021 — Jun 1, 2021
- Jun 12, 2021 — Jun 15, 2021
- Jun 19, 2021 — Jun 22, 2021
- Jul 3, 2021 — Jul 5, 2021
- Jul 10, 2021 — Jul 13, 2021
- Jul 17, 2021 — Jul 20, 2021
- Jul 24, 2021 — Jul 27, 2021
- Aug 7, 2021 — Aug 10, 2021
- Aug 21, 2021 — Aug 24, 2021
- Aug 28, 2021 — Aug 31, 2021
- Sep 4, 2021 — Sep 7, 2021
- Sep 11, 2021 — Sep 14, 2021
Custom Dates Available — Contact Us
Cancellation / Refund Policy
- MMI strongly recommends trip cancellation/interruption and evacuation insurance for all trips. Our insurance partner, Ripcord, offers comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation, as well as rescue/evacuation policies and can assist in answering any questions. In addition, Participant is expected to have sufficient medical insurance as prescribed by their country of origin. Participant understands that MMI does not include anytype of insurance with the cost of the trip.
- If you decide to cancel your trip or change your itinerary, MMI must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date written notice is received. If proper written cancellation notice is not received, amounts paid and reservations made will be forfeited.
- Non-refundable fees may apply for certain trips in order to secure permits and other services. MMI must strictly adhere to cancellation policies outside MMI’s control.
- Due to the personalized service we offer on our trips, MMI reserves the right to waive any fees. We will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations, waiving certain fees when feasible.
- Full refund, less the non-refundable registration fee, will be provided 91 days or more before the departure date
- No refunds will be provided 90 days or less before the departure date
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel cancellation insurance to protect you from the unexpected. You aren’t likely to think of it now, but people do get ill, break a bone, have a family emergency or get assigned to a last-minute business trip. If you are in remote areas, please note that emergency rescue & evacuation can be very expensive.
We also strongly urge you to consider rescue and evacuation insurance if your own policy does not provide the coverage needed. Services available may include, but are not limited to, helicopter evacuation, medical care, etc.
If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. We are not the experts and therefore ask that you please consult our travel insurance partner directly with any specific questions.
To protect against losses due to illness, accident, or other unforeseen circumstances, Mountain Madness strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance as soon as possible after making a deposit. Mountain Madness has partnered with Redpoint Resolutions as our preferred travel insurance provider. Redpoint’s Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ is designed for adventurers.
For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ or call +1 – 415-481‑0600. Pricing varies based on age, trip cost, trip length, and level of coverage.
Critical benefits of Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance include:
- A completely integrated program with a single point of contact for emergency services, travel assistance, and insurance claims
- Evacuation and rescue services from your point of injury or illness to your hospital of choice
- Comprehensive travel insurance for trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, baggage loss or delay, emergency accident and emergency sickness medical expense, emergency dental, accidental death and dismemberment, and more
- Optional security evacuation coverage in case of an unplanned natural disaster or other security events
- Waiver for pre-existing conditions (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
- Optional “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
For scheduled courses and climbs, you should fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac). You are responsible for your transportation to downtown Seattle. You will meet as a group with your guide(s) early morning on Day 1 for an orientation meeting and equipment check.
Alpine Rock Course and Climb Day by Day
Meet Mountain Madness Guides at ~9:00 am (exact location will be dependent on climbing location). After an orientation and equipment check, you’ll begin the day with a review of essential knot tying skills and proper use of equipment. You will also review proper belay commands and techniques that will prepare you for actual climbing. Once these basics are covered, you begin climbing! Communication signals and various friction, face, and crack climbing techniques will be covered. Top rope set-up, anchors, belaying a lead climber, cleaning protection, rappelling, and rope management will round out the day’s activities. In the evening we camp at a nearby campground.
You’ll get an early start and review any skills you feel you need to work on from Day 1, and then you’ll spend the rest of the day putting your skills to work climbing, including doing a multi-pitch climb which will give you a taste of what is to come. In the evening we’ll drive to Washington Pass and set up camp there.
After an early rise, we drive to the Blue Lake trailhead and begin the 2 mile approach up to the base of the Early Winter Spires. Our first route in this impressive complex of massive spires and granite faces is up the South Arête of the South Spire. This is a great introductory multi-pitch alpine rock climb with a spectacular summit! This 600-foot / 183-meter climb follows a blocky arête where climbers stem, chimney, friction, and hand jam their way to the summit. After our descent to the trailhead we head back to our campground, eat, and prepare for the next day’s climb.
We head back up to Washington Pass for some more classic ‘alpine cragging’! This day’s objective will be Cutthroat Peak, an 8,050-foot / 2454-meter granite peak, or the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell Mountain, a 7,720-foot / 2353-meter spire which captivates the imagination of every climber who looks up at its granite faces. From the summit of either peak we can look across to the summits of the Early Winter Spires, the Wine Spires, Kangaroo Ridge, and distant snow-covered volcanoes. After this final descent, we’ll hike back to the trailhead and drive to Seattle, likely arriving late in the evening.
Note on Itinerary: Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, the very nature of climbing in an alpine environment requires flexibility. This itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, and other reasons beyond our control.
Equipment for Alpine Rock Course and Climb
Medium duffel bag
To store your non-mountain gear; this will be stored at the hotel or vans, to be used after the climb
Patagonia Black Hole
day pack size (25-35L)
Rock climbing harness
comfortable and padded
Petzl Adjama, Black Diamond Momentum
Black Diamond Half Dome, Petzl Elios
Locking carabiners (2)
Two large, pear-shaped carabiners are best
Black Diamond Rock Lock, Petzl William, Petzl Attache
Non-locking carabiners (2)
2 non-locking carabiners. wired straight-gates are recommended
Black Diamond HotWire
Belay device (plaquette)
Black Diamond ATC Guide, Petzl Reverso
30’ of perlon accessory cord (7mm)
30 feet of 6mm cord
Double length nylon runner (48" or 120cm)
be sure to get nylon not dyneema (18mm width)
Black Diamond Nylon Slings
Chalk bag (optional)
optional but nice for rock climbs when the temps are warm
Mountaineering ice axe (early season - contact for details)
under 5’7” use 60cm, 5’7”-6’2” use 60 or 65cm, over 6’2” use 70cm
Black Diamond Raven, Petzl Glacier
Crampons w/ anti-balling plate (early season - contact for details)
Steel 12-pont. Must be fit to climbing boots prior to trip, new-matic/hybrid type
Black Diamond Sabretooth, Petzl Vasak
Head and Face
Fleece or wool hat
It must cover the ears
Essential eye protection whether in the tropics or by the water. Look for 100% UVA/UVB protection. Consider bringing a spare pair
Shade hat or baseball cap
A visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the sun
Mountain Madness trucker hat
Light weight work gloves
lightweight gloves with leather palm for rope work
Black Diamond Transition Glove
Liner socks (optional)
1-pair lightweight and thin
polypropylene or wool
Syntheric or wool socks
check boot fir to make sure they work together
Light hiking boots or trail shoes
For acclimatization hikes
Salomon X-Ultra 3 Mid, Merrell Moab, La Sportiva Boulder Ex
Insulated mountaineering boots (NW)
waterproof, insulated, crampon compatible, full shank boots. Many of these boots have Women specific equivalents (May –late June and Ice Climbs)
Scarpa Mt Blanc, Scarpa Phantom Tech, La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX, Salewa Vulture Vertical GTX
Lightweight mountaineering boots (NW)
waterproof and crampon compatible (HIGHLY recommended from July -October)
Scarpa Charmoz, La Sportiva Trango Tower, Salewa Raven, Salewa Crow
comfortable enough for all-day use
La Sportiva Mythos, Scarpa Helix
Two synthetic or merino wool t-shirts. No cotton!
Two, synthetic, no cotton!
Long-sleeved Base Layer
Two lightweight to mediumweight, pull-over is best
Light weight synthetic jacket
light weight synthetic puffy or fleece
Patagonia Nano Puff jacket
basic rain jacket with a hood in case of any inclement weather
Marmot pricip, or Gore-Tex type jacket
Sun hoody (optional)
This piece with a high SPF rating and lightweight fabric offers protection from high altitude sun
Softshell pants are water resistant, yet highly breathable and durable. Great for colder conditions over a pair of long underwear or tights higher on the mountain or summit day
Outdoor Research Voodoo, Mountain Hardwear Touren, Patagonia Guide
Nylon shorts (optional)
Quick-drying type for July-Sept trips
Personal first aid kit (NW)
moleskin/blister kit, Band-aids, athletic tape, ibuprofen, personal medications, ect
Must have SPF rating of 20 or more. Bring two just in case!
Bring plenty of sun block with SPF of 40 or more. It's easy to underestimate the amount necessary for your trip!
Bring extra batteries!
two 1 liter wide-mouth water bottles
Hydration bladder (optional)
hydration bladder or water bag with drinking tube (must also have 1 Nalgene Bottle or equivalent)
Bring your favorite snacks and power/energy bars or if there is something else you particularly like to eat while hiking and climbing
Alpine Rock Course and Climb
Minimum 2 climbers
Client to guide ratio