Course Descriptions and Goals
The Basic Climbing Education Program (BCEP) is designed to provide those with little to no outdoor rock or snow experience and prepare you for mountaineering. BCEP graduates will have acquired the skills required for a 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 may include overnight camping and alpine starts. The class will be conducted on exposed terrain and/or climbing routes as conditions and skills warrant.
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 2013 has closed.
- Applications are accepted annually in February.
- Class size is approximately 200 to 220.
- Mazama members will be provided first opportunity to submit their application.
- Non-members have two ways in which to apply:
- Attend BCEP’s Information Night. This event will be open to the public and located at the Mazamas Mountaineering Center (MMC). A unique password will be provided at this event and registration will only be available to those that attended. The password protected online registration will only be available for a 24-hr period and will close if we reach our student limit. Visit the BCEP calendar below for specific event details (date, time and location).
- Pubic online registration will be open after the 24-hr period closes after Info Night. The public online registration will NOT be open if we receive the required number of applications to fulfill the course. This is why we strongly encourage the public (non-members) to attend the BCEP’s Info Night!!
Early Registration for Members
Mazama Members receive the first opportunity to submit their applications. Typically the application window for members is three days prior to those that attend Info Night and four days prior to the general public. Want to become a member in order to register early? Follow the below steps:
1. Have you successfully climbed to the summit of a glaciated peak? Not sure, check out http://glaciers.us Here are some examples of glaciated peaks that one can qualify for membership:
- Oregon - Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Thielsen.
- Washington - Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, Goat Rocks, Olympic Mountains, Stuart Range, North Cascades
- California - Mt. Shasta, Trinity Alps, Mt. Lassen, Sierra Nevada
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.
2. Print out the Mazamas membership application and fill it out completely: membership application form.
3. Send the Mazamas three items: proof of your climb (one photo only, please!), a completed application form and a check for the application fee and the first year’s dues. Review the membership page for specific cost structure or contact the Mazamas directly at 503-227-2345.
BCEP Information Night
Time: February 7, 2013 7pm - 9pm
Location: Mazamas Mountaineering Center
527 SE 43rd Ave, Portland, OR 97215 [map]
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 may 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.
- $335 for Mazama Members
- $395 for Non-Mazama Members
- Must be 15 years of age or older by the date of the first lecture (15 & 16 year olds must enroll in the class with a parent or legal guardian).
- Ability and desire to commit to the entire course schedule.
- Mazama membership and involvement is not required, but will be weighed in the selection process.
- No prior climbing experience is required.
- BCEP contains a highly intense schedule. Availability during the 7-week course will be heavily weighed in the selection process.
- Fitness level appropriate for the basic climbing program. A suggested reference is the ability to carry a 25lb pack from the trailhead of Dog Mountain to the top, in 2.5 - 3 hours.
The above considerations are weighed heavily, but do NOT guarantee acceptance into the program.
- Recognition of Risk/ Liability Waiver is available online, upon submitting your online application and final acceptance package into the course.
- Agreements and waivers will be provided at the individual field sessions.
- If you are a minor, a parent or legal guardian must sign the waiver, available on the online application, at the time of registration.
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
Here is a sample BCEP schedule, from previous years, that is a strong example of the time commitment involved in the 7-week BCEP course: Example_Field_Session_Calendar.pdf
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
- Students are required to attend all six lectures and break-out sessions during the 7-week course.
- Lectures/ Break-out sessions will be held at the Jackson Middle School (JMS).
- Registration and sign-in is begins at 6:00pm in the JMS hallway.
- Lectures begin at 6:30pm to 7:00pm in the main JMS auditorium.
- Break-out sessions begin at 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Individual classrooms will be assigned per BCEP team.
- Field sessions, hikes and other events will vary by team. You will receive your specific BCEP team schedule prior or at the first evening lecture.
Navigation/ Orienteering Sessions
- Typically, this course is held at Mt. Tabor or Hamilton Island. This will vary by BCEP team.
Local Vendor Collaboration - Gear Night
- This will vary by BCEP team. In many cases, this will be held at the MMC. Be prepared to practice knot skills on all of your field/ skill sessions.
March 12 to April 23, 2013
NO Lecture on March 26, 2013
The content and dates are subject to change!
[topics include, coming soon]
Headlamp & batteries
Protection (Sunscreen, lipbalm, sunglasses)
First Aid Kit
map & compass
extra clothes (hat, gloves, long sleeve shirt, rain shell, insulating layer)
water (2.1 lbs per liter)
Average 50L Backpack
Standard Climbing Gear
3 locking biners
2 oval biners
Additional Gear for Snow
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.
- The $50 application fee will be refunded to all those that are not accepted into the BCEP course.
- Registration refunds will be provided by the end of April.
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:
- Cancellations received at least 14-days in advance of the class may request a refund or transfer.
- Cancellations received with less than 14-days notice in advance of class may request a refund + the $50 application fee will not be refunded, or receive full credit.
- Cancellations received less than 7-days in advance, but at least 24-hrs prior to the class will not be issued a refund, but will be offered a credit to transfer.
- Cancellations received less than 24-hrs prior to class will not be issued a refund nor transfer.
- No-shows forfeit the entire price of the course and will not be issued a refund nor transfer.
- Withdraws after the first week of the course and throughout the duration of the course, all tuition moneys and transfers are non-refundable.
- No refunds will be made for missed, postponed or canceled classes.
- If a credit to transfer to the e-BCEP class (within the same year only) is provided, it must be used within the same year you applied for BCEP.
- A rescheduling fee of $10 will be retained by the Mazamas.
Exceptions are as follows:
Course and Activities/Site Policies
- As is the case with all Mazamas classes, all lectures are free and open, whether or not you are enrolled in the class. However, our focus will be on paying participants including in-class exercises, hand outs, etc. They are only available to enrolled students.
- Break-out sessions, after lectures are NOT open. They are only available to enrolled students.
- Field sessions and other skill sessions are NOT open. They are only available to enrolled students.
- Pets are not allowed. This includes leashing them outside. No exceptions! Any student bringing pets to class or field session will be asked to leave until the pet is safely situated in a kennel or other facility.
- No one will be permitted on a climb or other activity who has taken or used substances (including medication) which impairs performance or judgment.
- Firearms, alcoholic beverages and radios (other than ham radio transmitters or weather radios) are not permitted on climbs, backpacks, hikes, ski trips or in base camps.
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 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.
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