The Miyar Adventures Alpine Climbing Leadership Program is designed to prepare students to plan and carry out their own expeditions on alpine climbing objectives the world-over. These objectives may include technical rock and ice climbs in the Cascades, massive glacier climbs in Alaska, or high altitude expeditions in the Himalaya. This program is also an excellent choice for those seeking to work as professional mountain, rock, or ice guides. The program consists of four field courses, five seminars, and an exam that requires students to lead instructors on an alpine climbing objective of their choice, and perform rescues in the field. Individual field courses and seminars may be taken on their own without completing the entire program. The entire program may be completed in a single season or spread-out over several years. A certificate of completion and written assessment will be provided by instructors after completing the entire program including the Alpine Climbing Leadership Program Exam.
Field Courses (these take place in an outdoor setting)
- 1. Glacier Mountaineering Leadership (8 days)
- 2. Alpine Rock Climbing Leadership (11 days)
- 3. Alpine Ice Climbing Leadership (6 days)
- 4. High Altitude Expedition Leadership (course length varies)
Seminars (these can take place in the frontcountry or backcountry as desired)
- 1. Introduction to backpacking (not necessary if you have prior experience backpacking)
- 2. Mountain Navigation and Weather (2.5 hrs.)
- 3. Cold Weather Snow Camping (2 days)
- 5. Advanced Crevasse Rescue (this can be combined with a 1 day refresher course if needed) (3 days)
- 6. Rock Rescue (8 hrs.)
Field Course Descriptions
Glacier Mountaineering Leadership (8 days)
Prior multi-day backpacking experience or Introduction to Backpacking Seminar. Previous mountaineering experience very helpful, but not necessary. Students must be in excellent physical condition.
This course has two components. The first component is a five-day Mountaineering Skills Course on Mt. Baker or Mt. Shuksan. Learn basic glaciology, route finding, gear selection, food planning, expedition cooking and camping, rope handling, knots and hitches that apply to glacier travel, how to attach to a rope, how to move as a rope team over rock and glacier, how to self-arrest, and how to perform crevasse rescue in a real crevasse. You will also have the opportunity to summit a glaciated peak as part of the first five days of the course. After completing the five-day skills course you will assist on a three-day guided climb of a glaciated peak. This can take place the following weekend or later in the season, but cannot take place the following year because information can be forgotten between your course and the guided climb. For those with sufficient experience, a technical or remote route may be chosen. As a student in the Alpine Climbing Leadership Program you will be expected to take-on duties such as camp set-up and cooking, and teach classes to climbing members, such as rope team travel. One day of your climb will be designated to practicing kick-stepping techniques in snow, ice axe positions, self-arrest, and team arrest. Your guides will then lead a summit climb, giving you time to practice the skills you have learned while progressing to and descending from the summit.
Alpine Rock Climbing Leadership (11 days)
Prior multi-day backpacking experience, rock climbing or gym climbing experience, and experience belaying a top-rope climber is required. Helpful experience includes belaying a lead climber, building anchors, and lead climbing.
This is an eleven-day course that can be divided into four sessions done at different times, or all ten days can be done at once. Each session lays a foundation of learning for the next. It is possible to test out of a session by demonstrating skills or providing a resume that demonstrates competency. This course will allow students to participate in multi-pitch alpine rock climbs in the mountains. Students who demonstrate the appropriate technical and movement skills will be able to lead portions of multi-pitch climbs under the guidance of instructors. The course consists of the following sessions:
Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing (1 day)
Learn about Leave-No-Trace, rope management, finding climbing routes, risk management, safety checks, and rock climbing movement in an outdoor setting.
Outdoor Sport Leading (2 days)
Learn how to lead-belay and lead-climb sport routes in an outdoor setting. Practice anchor construction, lowering, and rappelling.
Outdoor Trad Leading (2 days)
Learn how to place and remove protection, build anchors, and climb cracks in a single-pitch setting. Previous experience leading sport climbs at the 5.8 level is required.
Multi-pitch Rock Climbing Course (2 days)
Learn how to route find, follow, belay, and rappel in a multi-pitch setting. Climb classic multi-pitch routes in Washington. If your lead skill is sufficient you will lead portions of the routes.
Alpine Rock Climbing Course (4 days)
Expand your multi-pitch technical climbing and guiding skill-set by learning how to plan and carry-out a climb of a classic alpine rock route in the mountains of Washington. You will be expected to lead portions of the 5th class climbing under the guidance of an instructor so come prepared and practiced.
Alpine Ice Climbing Leadership (6 days)
Prior experience in glacier mountaineering, a high level of physical fitness, and prior experience indoor or outdoor rock climbing are required. Desirable experience includes multi-pitch rock or ice climbing and comfort in an exposed setting with drops on either side.
This course will teach students how to be competent followers on multi-pitch alpine ice objectives. The first two-and-a-half days are spent doing ice climbing training in the seracs on the Coleman Glacier of Mt. Baker. Students learn about ice climbing anchors and protection, how to fit and use crampons and ice tools, hazard assessment in a steep glacial environment, how to move efficiently on ice, belay management, and how to safely remove protection. The next three days are spent climbing the North Ridge of Mt. Baker, a steep multi-pitch ice route that is one of the most stunning and challenging routes the Cascades have to offer.
High Elevation Expedition Leadership -or- Denali Prep Course (course length varies)
A high level of physical fitness, prior multi-day cold weather camping experience, and prior glacier mountaineering experience are required. Desirable experience includes experience above 14,000 ft. and multi-pitch ice or rock climbing.
We will have a logistics meeting and gear check at least three days before any course is scheduled to depart.
Duration2 to 30+ Days 2 to 30+ Nights Camping
PassportNot Required for Americans
Minimum Age16 years old
ActivityRock, Ice, and Alpine Climbing and Instruction
- Stoves/Cook Kits
- Group climbing equipment
- Guide Services
- Pre-trip Planning/Information session on packing and gear
- Backpacking, mountaineering, and general outdoor safety skills
- Transportation (We will help arrange carpools)
- Parking or entry fees
- Gratuities for Guides
If you are interested in doing any climbing or hiking but need a guide , I highly recommend Miyar Adventures...Sandeep is a wonderful person and you will actually learn (and practice ) climbing and crevasse rescue techniques in addition to the trip/climb ...it is definitely beyond a just a "get you to the summit" experience. He genuinely cares and brings in other excellent guides for bigger groups. My husband and I recently successfully made it to the summit of Mount Baker with Sandeep, two other guides and a group of friends and we had a fantastic experience. He and the guides he works with are very knowledgeable so I had confidence in their abilities to lead us but they are also very friendly and fun so that overall trip was enjoyable. I will definitely climb with Miyar Adventures again!
What an awesome experience to go on climbing Mt. Rainier with Miyar Adventures. Sandeep and his team of guides ( Kirk, Alexis, Joe, Ben, Chris, Jasmin ) did an awesome job to lead the multiple rope teams trough snow skill preparations and guiding through safely on glacier journey. The amount of efforts put into multi-month preparation, pre-trip meetings, accessibility to gears for rent and attention to details with food/weight/personal gears were all instrumental in almost all of us (in a group of 24) able to summit Mt. Rainier and have wonderful memories. We knew we were in best company and safe hands with prior experience with Miyar Adventures led climb to Mt. Baker and few other preparation trips. And guides calibrated their approach from novice climbers to experienced climbers to push enough to have an enjoyable experience. I highly recommend to go with Miyar Adventures on amazing trips they have lined up around the Puget Sound Area and internationally.
Sandeep is possibly the best person (Miyar and guides) in the business to take you on the mountains. Anyone who has trained with him to summit Rainier over the years can tell you how much he cares about his peeps. Talk to him and he can always find a way to make it happen. I have been trying to climb Rainier for few years with personal constraints (need to be always available, can return anytime, 24*7 sat phone access etc) and many times I had to return mid climb from big ones like Baker and Rainier. It was really easy to talk to the guides about this situation. I never once felt unsafe on the mountains. This is a big deal given how much we learnt when it comes to snow skills and glacier training. Be safe and go with Miyar!