Wilderness Leadership Course
Who do you consider to be a successful leader? What are the qualities
that you look for in a leader? As you progress in your climbing, you may
be looking to organize and lead trips yourself. Perhaps you have taken a
basic climbing course and are wondering about the next step?
The Course Mission Statement is “To educate participants in
wilderness leadership, while underscoring the core values of our
community; that of informed active participation, the power of the team,
and the camaraderie of mountain travel.”
More than technical skills, managerial ability and logistical planning,
wilderness leadership requires an understanding of group dynamics, the
importance of careful preparation and effective team communication, and
knowing the value and power of group decision making.
In this course, we teach the fundamental concepts and skills
needed to plan, organize, and lead an outing in the mountains. Beginning
with a review of the literature on outdoor leadership, the course
covers trip planning, wilderness navigation, team dynamics, decision
making, communication, team building, risk assessment and crisis
response. The goal is for students to learn how to build and lead
climbing teams comprised of informed, active participants.
Students will develop travel agendas as well as spend time leading
the class during the field sessions. While the skills taught in this
course are specifically designed to encourage and teach mountaineering leadership, they also work to develop your skills as an active and
invaluable climb team member.
Applicants must have completed the Bushwhacker Basic Glacier Climbing
Course or the Backcountry Scramble Course or equivalent. Participants
must be comfortable in the skills of snow travel, map and compass, ice
axe arrest, and snow camping. The field sessions are strenuous, involving off trail snow travel in the
The course consists of five classroom sessions and four field sessions.
Class room sessions are from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. The location is typically north Seattle. Also note that there is a graduation night that, while not mandatory, is strongly advised. Note: Attendance at all class and field sessions is
mandatory in order to complete the course. Field sessions may be
rescheduled due to conditions.
Cost of the Course
The cost for the course is $250.
Status of the Course
COVID-19 update 12/20: Due to the continuing pandemic, the Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person 2021 events and courses through the winter and spring. This includes our 2021 Basic Glacier Climbing course and our 2021 Wilderness Leadership course.
Example Course Schedule (from 2018)
||Tuesdays, May 29 -June 26th
Field Session I
Saturday, June 2
Field Session II
|Field Session III
||June 30 - July 1