PRICE

Rock Climbing Instruction
Group Pricing Per Day / Price per person
1:1 $420
2:1 $250
3:1 $200

SCHEDULE

Inquire for private dates

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
1-3 Day Course

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425.749.7421

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OVERVIEW

Rock Climbing • 1-3 Day Course

  • Gym to Crag
  • Sport Lead Climbing
  • Trad Lead Climbing
  • Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing
  • Rock Rescue

Rock Climbing Curriculum

  • Movement on rock
  • Climbing equipment & clothing
  • Climbing knots & hitches
  • Traditional multipitch climbing
  • Belaying, lowering and rappelling
  • Introduction to anchors and protection
  • Using a guidebook and trip planning
  • Climbing communication
  • Leave No Trace

Course Highlights

  • Learn basic rock climbing skills.
  • Develop multipitch rock climbing techniques including belaying, rappelling and anchors.
  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure training high above the scenic Puget Sound.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Rock Climbing Instruction
Day 2 • Multi-Pitch Instruction
Day 3 • Skills Practice & Multipitch Climbing

Qualifications

Mount Erie offers a variety of objectives suitable for climbers of all skill levels. Whether you’ve never climbed before, chasing your dream route or pushing into new grades, our professional climbing guides will meet you at your level.  Read our Goals and Fitness page for recommendations on how to best physically prepare for this adventure.

ITINERARY

Rock Climbing

Plan to arrive the day before the course begins.

Day 1 • Knots and Movement Skills

Meet at our Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. The drive to the trailhead takes approximately 30 minutes.

After a short approach hike to the crag we will cover equipment selection, knots, belaying, rappelling, and practice some movement skills by climbing some shorter pitches. Throughout the course, your guides will host discussions on climbing topics.

Accommodations: Overnight in Burlington or Anacortes, or at Snoqualmie Pass, WA (not included)
Meals Included: (none)

Day 2 • Traditional Multipitch Climbing

We meet early in the morning and return to Mount Erie. We begin the day by climbing shorter routes and expanding upon the technical and movement skills we learned on Day 1. After lunch we embark on a traditional multipitch route, allowing us to practice route-finding, anchors, protection, rope and team management and movement skills on a longer climb. Depending on climber ability, we may choose any one of a number of different routes, from October Sky (5.6, 2 pitches) to Gotta Keep Dancing (5.9, 4 pitches).

Accommodations: Overnight in Burlington or Anacortes, or at Snoqualmie Pass, WA (not included)
Meals Included: (none)

Day 3 • Climbing • Skills Instruction

Today we focus on climbing, and solidifying the skills we have practiced during the previous two days of the course. Our goal is to ensure that each of our climbers can confidently and safely belay, rappel, and build and assess sport climbing anchors and protection. While we firm up these critical skills, we will climb a variety of fun, routes. Your guides will tailor the itinerary to the interests of the group, whether that means choosing multipitch or single-pitch climbs. If the group already has a solid grasp on sport climbing skills, we can broaden our instruction to other topics.

Meals Included: (none)

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Where to Meet

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA for equipment check and orientation before heading to the trailhead. We will email you detailed PreClimb information including a gear list and full departure details upon receiving your registration.

Deposit and Payments

  • $300.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 90 days prior to start date.
  • The balance can be paid by check, or credit card.

Price Includes

  • Guided instruction
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Wilderness Permits

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • Trailhead parking fees (Northwest Forest Pass)
  • Meals and snack food
  • Personal gear
  • Hotels or lodging
  • Camping fees
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities

Guides

Our instructors are highly skilled professional guides who have been selected based on their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgment, patience, and supportive teaching styles. They are dedicated to a climbing lifestyle, and collectively have climbed throughout the earth’s major mountain ranges. Our guides are friendly, very willing to share their own experiences, and can help you develop a plan to achieve your own climbing ambitions. All our guides carry current certification in wilderness first aid.

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated mountain professionals who work hard to ensure your success and wellbeing on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. An average tip is 10 – 20% percent of the cost of the program. Your guide team will pool all tips. If you prefer to transfer funds electronically, please send gratuities through paypal.me/mountaingurus

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 15 days prior to your departure date for a $100.00 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. No date changes allowed less than 15 days before departure.

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participants, Northwest Alpine Guides must adhere to a stringent refund policy. The policy is intended to protect participants who have otherwise committed time and resources to the departure. Please read our Online Reservation for Terms and Conditions.

MEALS

During the Rock Climbing Course, Northwest Alpine Guides does not provide group meals. You will need to provide your own lunch and snack food during days at the crags.

Climbing Lunches

We recommend that you bring a variety of snack food to eat while moving. On each day, we will encourage you to eat at regular, short maintenance breaks, roughly once every hour. These snacks can be critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy while moving up and down the mountain. We will not stop for a big lunch break.

Some examples of snack foods include dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars and trail mix.

We cannot overstate how critical it is for you to bring foods that you enjoy eating. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength in the mountains. We recommend a selection of sweet, sour and salty food.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

TRAVEL

Getting There

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA for equipment check and orientation before heading to the trailhead. Upon receiving your registration, Northwest Alpine Guides will email you complete PreClimb information, including a gear list specific to your itinerary and other departure details. The Guide Hut offers a selection of mountaineering equipment and clothing for purchase and rent.

The small town of Sedro-Woolley, “The Gateway to the North Cascades,” is approximately 70 miles and a 1.5-hour drive from Seattle or Bellevue. Limited services are available in Sedro-Woolley. More extensive food, shopping and lodging options may be found nearby in the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington.

The Guide Hut / Northwest Alpine Guides
305 F And S Grade Road
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Click here for directions
Additional parking can be found across the street in the Park & Ride lot.

The Guide Hut

The Guide Hut serves as a meeting location, rental shop and retail store for guests of Northwest Alpine Guides.

During open hours at the Guide Hut, you may pick up pre-reserved rental items, try on rental boots, and purchase last-minute items. The Guide Hut offers a selection of retail items including outdoor clothing, glacier sunglasses, gloves, water bottles, cups, bowls, spoons, sunscreen, waste kits, moleskin, batteries, sports food, freeze-dried meals, Northwest Alpine Guides logo wear, and a selection of climbing equipment, including carabiners, cord and other items. Please visit the online Gear Shop for a list of available merchandise and to pre-purchase items.

The Guide Hut exclusively serves Northwest Alpine Guides customers. It is not open to the public, and does not serve customers outside of scheduled operating hours.

Transportation

Transportation between the meeting location and the trailhead is not included in the price of the trip. Guides are not responsible for providing transportation to team members.

Driving Directions

From Seattle

Take I-5 North towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 N

Turn right onto Cook Road, Head East to Sedro-Woolley
Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)

At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit and onto Borseth Road
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

From Bellingham

Take I-5 South towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 S

Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

From Burlington

From State Highway 20 East, at the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Cook Road (after the Walgreens)

Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F&S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

GEAR LIST

These items are required for our 1-3 Day Rock Climbing course.

The Guide Hut offers a selection of mountaineering equipment and clothing for purchase and rent. Gear may be purchased from the Guide Hut in person on the morning of your climb, or in advance via our Online Gear Shop. Rental gear must be reserved in advance using our quick rental form. Please read our Guide Picks blog post for gear recommendations by specific brands.

Shop the Guide Hut »Quick Rental Reservation »Gear Recommendations »

Head and Face

  • Sun Glasses: Essential eye protection for a day outside. Full spectrum UV protection is recommended.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+

Upper Body

  • Lightweight Tops: Lightweight T-shirts for warm days.
  • Mid-layer Top: A synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This is a breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: A fully waterproof shell. GORE-TEX© or equivalent. Hoods are required.
  • Insulated Jacket: Medium weight down. 700+ fill or higher recommended, optional

Lower Body

  • Softshell Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated.

Footwear

  • Rock Climbing Shoes: Velcro, lace-up, or slipper-style rock climbing shoes with sticky-rubber soles. A snug but not painful fit is recommended.
  • Approach Shoes: Light hiking boots or sturdy trail running shoes.
  • Lightweight Socks: One pair. Synthetic or wool recommended.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 35- to 50-liter pack for personal and group gear. Should have an effective waist belt, fit properly and provide good support while carrying roughly 25 pounds.
  • Route Daypack: One 15- to 20-liter pack for multi-pitch days.

Climbing Gear

  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight
  • Rock Climbing Harness: Padded rock climbing harness.
  • Chalk bag (optional)
  • Locking Carabiners: (3) Large pear-shaped, screw gate locking carabiners.
  • Belay Device: Tube style belay device.
  • Nylon Slings: (1) 120 cm nylon sling

Hydration

  • Water Bottles: (2) 1-liter, wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Note: CamelBaks and other bladder-style hydration systems may be used.

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Camera
  • Pee Funnel (for Women), optional
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Personal Items

Note: Pack basic medical supplies in a compact package. We recommend basic painkillers, Moleskin, first-aid or athletic tape, Band-Aids, and anti-septic wipes or gel.
Note: All solid waste must be carried out of the backcountry. One waste kit per 1-3 days is typically sufficient.

FITNESS

Physical fitness is the foundation of every mountain adventure. A strong cardiovascular system, endurance, core strength, flexibility and balance let us safely enjoy the spectacular terrain and close camaraderie we find in the planet’s highest places.

Alpine rock climbing is a strenuous activity that imposes unique demands on our bodies. Carrying a heavy pack over steep, uneven terrain for hours at a time can be challenging even for very fit individuals. Do not underestimate the importance of climbing-specific training, such as hiking with a weighted pack.

For rock climbing, hand and arm strength are important, but our feet usually bear most of our weight. Good footwork is essential. To move lightly and gracefully on the rock, you should develop a base of general fitness, balance and agility. Aerobic sports such as running, cycling and swimming will keep you trim, while activities like yoga can improve your core strength and flexibility. For a climbing-specific workout, it’s hard to beat an indoor climbing gym. Lifting weights can be useful, too, but pure muscular bulk is heavy and not helpful. Instead, focus on your core, and exercises such as pull-ups that are directly applicable to rock climbing.

Your physical fitness contributes to your safety in the mountains, and the safety of your partners. By moving gracefully and efficiently, you minimize the risk of slips, bumps and bruises while maximizing your enjoyment. You must be able to maintain the pace set by our guides while maintaining reserves of strength. Moving more slowly can be dangerous. As the climbing day lengthens, we become fatigued and dehydrated. We lose precious daylight hours and we expose ourselves to quickly shifting mountain conditions and weather.

Training Resources:

Please read our Goals & Fitness guide for strategies to help you train for your climb.

Many climbers, particularly those who are new to the sport, will benefit from a workout plan designed to prepare you for the rigors of mountaineering. We recommend the following training resources:

Uphill Athlete
Mountain Tactical Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

What about safety?

No matter if you have never climbed before, our instructors are prepared to help you learn mountaineering from the ground up. In addition to professional instruction in climbing skills, most importantly, you will learn skills that will keep you safe in the mountains. With an adventure sport like mountaineering, safety is paramount.

All our instructors have advanced avalanche training, wilderness medical training, and will instruct you how to be self-reliant in the mountains. Mountain climbing can be unpredictable – weather conditions can change in a moment and one wrong step can lead to an injury. Northwest Alpine Guides will instruct you how to climb safely and successfully.

MOUNTAINEERING COURSES

3 Day Mount Baker Intro to Mountaineering Climb

5 Day Mount Baker Glacier Mountaineering Course

7 Day North Cascades Alpine Climbing Course

All Northwest Courses

The emphasis of this course will be learning fundamental alpine rock climbing skills. The instruction is designed for climbers seeking to gain experience in an alpine mountaineering environment.

Mount Erie ParkAnacortes, Washington