Backpacking & Wilderness Navigation Course


Exactly what I wanted - Informed Instruction of L.N.T. - Backpacking - Camping. Even "old time" campers and backpackers have something to learn from the course, Excellent! - Rick F.

Course Overview
This course is specifically designed for newcomers to the world of wilderness backpacking and alpine climbing. Washington's majestic Cascades provide the setting for this skills-driven course in wilderness navigation, traveling on varied terrain, trip planning, food preparation, survival and minimum-impact camping skills. It provides a wealth of knowledge for those who want to seriously embrace the rigors of wilderness environs. Completion of this program provides an excellent introduction to our six-day mountaineering course.

Course Objectives

To properly train hikers in appropriate wilderness techniques including, but not limited to:

  • Gear and food preparation and packing
  • Navigation, compass and map skills
  • Objective and subjective hazard evaluation skills
  • "Leave No Trace" camping philosophy
  • Safety techniques
  • Proper waste and sanitation techniques
  • Bear and wildlife precautions
  • Develop foundational skills necessary to enjoy wilderness camping/trekking and prepare for extended backpacking
  • trips.

Physical Conditioning
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition is required. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack for multiple days serves as excellent preparation for this course; Climbers must be able to carry an average of 50-60lbs. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Comprehensive training information can be found here.

Environmental Responsibility
Alpine Ascents is deeply committed to maintaining ecosystems at home and around the world. With each expedition, trek and course, we not only attempt to leave the environment as we found it, but strive to assist the local population in protecting the land and people indigenous to that region. Alpine Ascents reaches for the highest ethical business practices at home and abroad. Each staff member is dedicated to environmentally sound alpine ascents.

Environmental stewardship remains one of our core values, and we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices seriously. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. On every one of our courses and climbs, we teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Our commitment to environmental stewardship can be seen on our programs around the world. Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Our Wag Bag® program made a pioneering step in human waste management for the National Park System and Forest Service in the North Cascades. On Aconcagua and Mount Vinson, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information, most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment.

Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.

Private Groups
We regularly organize private climbs for individuals, corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these climbs early, to help us be better able to fit these climbs to group-specific desires. Contact us to further discuss the benefits of private courses.

Alpine Ascents International is an Equal Opportunity recreation provider under the Special Use Permit from the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan National Forest, Wenatchee National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Goat Rocks Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park.

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