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Santiam Alpine Club

 Activities  Mountain Climbing Instruction 

Oregon mountaineering, rock and ice climbing courses

The basic Mountain Climbing School is usually a prerequisite for joining SAC climbs for persons without other mountaineering training and experience. The basic school covers both rock and snow and serves as an introduction to the three intermediate opportunities below.

The basic school and the intermediate opportunities all use a common manual, an illustrated introduction to mountaineering technique:


Rock, ice and mountain climbing terms.

Mountain climbing school

Each spring prior to the main climbing season SAC hosts a school for beginners. Participants gain knowledge and confidence in two class sessions, a field rock session at Horsethief Butte at Columbia Hills State Park (formerly Horsethief Lake State Park) in Washington and a field snow session at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon. Cost is $95. Enrollment is limited to twenty-five students. Positions are filled on a first come, first served basis. Contact Bryon Kellar to get a position on the list for the 2015 school. Minors must have the signature of a parent or guardian. Children younger than sixteen must be accompanied by an adult also enrolled in the school. Basics introduced include:

School materials:

Rock climbing at Smith Rock

The introduction to Smith Rock is usually held during two days in June. Check the Activties Schedule before then. Participation is free. Enrollment is limited to twelve participants. The first day is an introduction for the entire group with technique and gear instruction. Top ropes are typically set at North Point. The group camps nearby Saturday evening. The second day smaller groups climb different grade routes throughout Smith Rock.

Prior year reports from the introduction to Smith Rock:

Glacier travel and crevasse rescue

The two-day practice is usually held in August. We hike to the Eliot Glacier on Mount Hood from the Cloud Cap Saddle Campground, where we camp Saturday evening. Participation is free. Enrollment is limited to twelve participants. Topics covered include:

Prior year reports from the glacier travel and crevasse rescue practice:

Ice climbing

The two-day seminar is usually held in September. We hike to the Eliot Glacier from the Cloud Cap Saddle Campground, where we camp Saturday evening. Participation is free. Enrollment is limited to twelve participants. Topics covered include:

Prior year reports from the ice climbing seminar:

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