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Basic Climbing Education Program (BCEP)
Course Descriptions and Goals
The Basic Climbing Education Program (BCEP) is designed to teach mountaineering to people who have little to no outdoor rock or snow experience. BCEP graduates will acquire the skills required for Mazama “A” or “B” level climbs, including peaks such as Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, South & Middle Sister, Curtis Gilbert, Mt. Thielsen, among others. Please review these links for more information on the Mazamas climbing program and some suggested peaks for BCEP grads.
In this course, you will learn the basics elements of alpine climbing. The course material will cover fundamental elements from gear, how to pack efficiently, nutrition, map & compass, weather and other critical elements to the mountain experience. BCEP provides technical skills for both rock and snow. Rock skills will include top roped style outdoor climbing which include learning basic climbing knots, belaying skills, team communication, climbing techniques and converting to rappel. Snow techniques include snow travel, glissading, ice axe arrest, roped travel and expectations for an alpine climb.
Field sessions are held in both alpine and rock terrain. Sessions might include overnight camping and alpine starts. The class will be conducted on exposed terrain and/or climbing routes as conditions and skills warrant.
Interested in more information? Fill out our contact form for more information.
BCEP is a demanding commitment in terms of time and gear, so please apply only if you can make the necessary commitment. Please have a look at the course calendar to get an idea of the time required. Review the ‘Course Details’ section carefully.
The registration period for BCEP 2014 has not yet opened.
Early Registration for Members
States with Glaciers: Washington, Oregon, California, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah
If you answered ‘Yes’, to question one, you may continue to step 2.
BCEP Information Night
If you want to learn to climb then make sure to attend this information night. The Mazamas offer a Basic Climbing Course with classes beginning in March. Learn more about the course and meet others interested in attending. This is a great opportunity to get your questions answered! We will have past BCEP graduates at Info Night who will share their experiences, a slide show with pictures showing what you can expect at field & skill sessions. The BCEP Coordinator will provide course details, cost, provide a Q&A session and hopefully inspire you.
Attendance is encouraged, but not required, for admission to BCEP. Attending Info Night might increase your chances of admission to the class. This will be the first opportunity for non-members to sign up for the class. A password will be given out at the conclusion of Info Night which will allow attendees to sign up online after the program. The online application will close upon reaching student application capacity and may not open to the general public his is why we strongly encourage the public to attend BCEP’s Info Night!!
The tuition fee covers the course fee and graduation certificate.
The above considerations are weighed heavily, but do NOT guarantee acceptance into the program.
The BCEP course is a 7-week course. This course is held during the spring-time providing 7+ field sessions and 6 evening lectures. BCEP contains a highly intense schedule. We recommend you don’t have any other commitments while taking this course, as you will be busy! Please apply only if you can make the necessary commitment.
Sample BCEP Schedule
Field sessions, hikes and other events WILL vary by individual team. Your schedule will be different! Your BCEP leader will provide you with a clearly defined BCEP course schedule prior to or at the first evening lecture. You may also frequently view the BCEP course calendar for up-to-date information, but your specific BCEP leader will always be your first point of contact relative to your teams schedule and activities.
Location and Schedule
Lectures/ Break-out Sessions
Navigation/ Orienteering Sessions
Local Vendor Collaboration - Gear Night
March 18 to April 29, 2014
[topics include, coming soon]
Standard Climbing Gear
Break-out sessions will include hands-on activities. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes to the weekly evening sessions, including clothing with which a harness may be worn.
The required curriculum is available for sale at the MMC at a discount to all Mazama students.
The BCEP Leaders are Mazamas members and Climb Leaders volunteering their personal time to teach simply for the love of the sport. The BCEP assistant instructors are also Mazama members. Many of the assistant instructors have just graduated from BCEP in prior years, are current ICS students, AR or ASI students. The BCEP course is widely supported by leaders and assistant instructors and sometimes the ratio is almost one student to one instructor per team. If you are interested in teaching or assisting with a Mazama BCEP course, please see the information for Mazama BCEP course Instructors.
Are you looking to help out? A leader looking for assistants?
Attendance is required for all lectures, field sessions and four condition hikes. Make-up sessions will not be available to students.
If a student cancels or withdraws from the course:
Exceptions are as follows:
Course and Activities/Site Policies
Graduation Certificate that will qualify you for either an ‘A’ level and/or ‘B’ level Mazama climbs. Mazamas climbs are graded to indicate approximate experience and/or ability levels required. To view the description of ‘A’ and ‘B’ level climbing grade, visit the Getting Started with Mazamas Climbing program website. Scroll down and review the section labeled ‘climb grades’.
USDA Special Use Permit Information and Non-Discrimination Statement
Mazamas Education Programs operate under a special use permit with the Mt. Hood National Forest.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Mazamas is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.