Applications are now closed for the 2013 ASI Class. The information for the 2014 class will be available in November 2013.
Does the thought of hanging from vertical ice get you stoked? Do you want to challenge yourself on steeper, more technical alpine routes? Mazamas’ ASI class can show you the way.
This course is intended for climbers looking to hone their skills and gain the confidence to climb and lead at the Mazama “D” and “E” level. Join us and learn the why and how of climbing techniques and rope work on steep alpine terrain, small party crevasse and high angle rescue, and technical ice climbing on alpine terrain and vertical ice walls. This class is taught by experienced volunteer Mazama climb leaders and assistants.
Field sessions are held on alpine terrain at elevation. Sessions may include overnight camping on snow and/or alpine starts. Students must have appropriate skills and equipment. Ropes, pickets, and a limited number of ice screws and ice tools will be provided for the class. The class will be conducted on exposed terrain and/or climbing routes as conditions and skills warrant.
This class is taught at a high-level in a small group. Attendance is required at all lectures and field sessions.
A sampler of concepts and skills that may be presented in ASI:
Climbing on Alpine Snow and Ice
- Equipment & clothing
- Anchors & anchor placement
- Steep snow climbing and rope-work
- Vertical ice climbing technique
- Introduction to alpine ice leading and multi-pitch climbing
Small-team Rescue Techniques
- High Angle rescue skills:
- Mechanical advantage systems
- Small team improvised rescue
- High angle rescue
Building Alpine Experience
- Planning and executing climbs
- Route selection
- Team selection
- Gear and clothing usage
- Time management
- Weather, snow and avalanche assessment
The course begins in late summer and continues in an improvised manner through winter.
Autumn 2013: Lectures & Field Sessions (Dates and Locations subject to change)
- Introductory Potluck: Aug 14
- Lecture: Aug 20
- Lecture: Aug 22
- Field Session: Aug. 24-25, Mt. Hood, White River Glacier
- Lecture: Aug. 27
- Lecture: Aug. 29
- Lecture: Sept. 4
- Field Session: Sept. 7-8, Mt. Hood: Eliot Glacier
- Lecture: Sept. 11
- Field Session: Sept. 14-15, Mt. Hood, Coe & Eliot Glaciers
- Lecture: Sept. 18
- Field Session: Sept 20-22, Mt. Adams or Mt. Baker: 3-day session
- Field Session: Sept 28-29, TBD
- Additional climbing opportunity: January, 2014, Ouray, CO
Winter-Spring 2014: Experiential Climbing Session
Climbs will be planned on Mt. Hood and/or other Cascade peaks with technical snow and ice routes as weather permits. Session is planned for February-May. Exact dates to be determined following summer-autumn session.
Only those who complete the summer-autumn session in its entirety may continue into the spring session.
- Members: $350
- Non-members: $475
ASI is designed for climbers coming in with these characteristics:
- Mazama Intermediate Climbing School (ICS) or equivalent education/experience; Students MUST have experience with building snow anchors and basic Z-systems for crevasse rescue.
- Climbing resume which demonstrates a breadth of climbing on both snow and rock, with extensive experience on Mazama B or C level climbs involving moderate-angle snow climbing (30-45°); 8 or more technical alpine climbs is recommended. Include on your resume any scheduled summer 2013 climbs.
- Fitness level appropriate to steep terrain and technical climbing; one benchmark is the ability to carry a 35 lb pack from Timberline Lodge to the top of the Palmer lift in approximately 2 hours with sufficient reserve left to complete a technical summit climb and descent. Another is the ability to carry a 35 lb pack from the Mt. Defiance trailhead to the Mt. Defiance summit in approximately 4 hours with sufficient reserve left to complete a technical summit climb and descent
- Ability and desire to commit to the entire course schedule
- Demonstrate a commitment to the Mazamas
- 21 years or older at time of first class session
These are minimum requirements for consideration, but do not guarantee acceptance into the program.
There will be a maximum of 16 students in this class.
The application period for this class will open April 20, 2013 and close May 20, 2013. The application process includes an online form and submission of a complete resume that describes climbing education and climbing history (peaks, routes, dates, position as team leader/assistant leader/rope-leader/climber, etc.).
ASI Skills Test: May 22, 2013, 7 PM at the Mazama Mountaineering Center.
All applicants must pass a climbing competency test demonstrating skills appropriate to a competent intermediate level climber who is ready to advance to the next level. Please bring the following to the skills test: harness, belay device, foot and waist prussiks, personal protection leash, 2 locking and 4 non-locking carabiners, an ice ax, two slings/runners, and a cordelette.
Skills tested may include:
- Demonstrating the ability to tie appropriate climbing knots and explain their use in an alpine situation. Knots may include any of the following: clove hitch, munter hitch, mule knot, figure 8 on a bight, rewoven figure 8, butterfly, double fisherman’s, bowline, double-overhand, or prussik.
- Setting up and executing a belay for a lead or following climber, with anchor and commands.
- Setting up a rappel station and rappelling with appropriate back up.
- Setting up a basic 3:1 mechanical advantage system.
- Demonstrating various crampon and ice ax techniques and explaining their appropriate uses.
Notification of Acceptance
On or before June 7, 2013
More questions . . .
Info For Current Students And Assistants
Please note that information posted on this page is subject to change!
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.
Return To Top