Intro to Mountaineering

Join us as we explore the basic 101 of mountaineering. From tying in to a rope team to knots and anchor building, we'll teach you the important foundational skills of mountaineering.

Trip Photos

  • Cresting the ridge to the summit! Cresting the ridge to the summit!
  • Learning to build anchors in rock, snow and ice Learning to build anchors in rock, snow and ice
  • Learning to travel on a rope team on the glacier Learning to travel on a rope team on the glacier
  • Setting up camp on a 5-day mountaineering course Setting up camp on a 5-day mountaineering course

Trip Notes

Location: Alaska/Yukon
Meeting Point: Skagway, AK
Destination: White Pass
Duration: 3, 5 days
Price: $780, $1150 (+ tax, in USD)
Activity Type: Mountaineering
Season: April, May, June, July, August, September
Guide to Guest Ratio: 1 to 4
Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5
Paperwork Required: Registration,  Health Form, Land Based Activity Waiver

Related Trips:

Trip Description

Intro to Mountaineering programs are a great first step towards the joy of exploring the mountains. With no previous mountaineering experience required, this course is perfect for beginners! The focus of this course is developing the foundational skills for mountaineering in a fun and friendly environment! The course is conducted in the mountains surrounding Skagway. The close proximity means less time spent entering and exiting and more opportunities to learn core skills.

SKAGWAY: Skagway is a small community located at the top of the inside passage. Regular flights are available from Juneau daily, ferry service is also available to get you here.

CURRICULUM: We will cover ice axe and crampon use, tying in to a rope, useful knots for mountaineering, belaying fellow climbers, crevasse rescue, navigation, hazard/risk assessment, anchor building and more. Available in short 3 and 5 day formats this program is perfect for the aspiring mountaineer who wants to learn the basics before stepping out into a more time committing trip.

OUR GUIDES: Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School Inc. instructors and guides are professionals. They are special individuals who have a passion for being in the mountain environment. They bring a wealth of experience from guiding throughout Alaska, and the world, to every trip. Their skill and positive attitudes help our guests to have the best possible experience during their trip. All of our guides are also professional climbing instructors who genuinely enjoy sharing their knowledge. This is an important consideration for individuals who have not spent a lot of time at altitude and are interested in learning the safest, and most efficient ways to climb.

Trip Itinerary (in a printable PDF format)

The following itinerary is based off our 3 day primer program, the 5 day will look similar with additional skills and climbing opportunities:

Day 0: Arrive in Skagway and get settled in time for a pre-trip meeting at 6:00pm. We’ll go over your personal equipment and answer any questions that you might have.

Day 1: We’ll depart Skagway in the morning, head to the mountains and establish base camp. Guides will cover tactics for establishing camp in a winter environment and assist guests in setting up their tents. In the afternoon we’ll start covering some introductory skills such as knots and roping up.

Day 2: We’ll spend the second day setting a foundation of skills tailored to expedition climbing, this includes belaying skills, moving efficiently on a rope team, self-arrest in a fall, and other essential skills.

Day 3: We’ll put our newly learned skills to the test in ascending a nearby objective before we return to the trailhead. You’ll leave this course feeling new found confidence in your ability to contribute to a mountaineering trip!

Trip Documents:
  • Trip Itinerary – A sample itinerary based off our 5 day course format.
  • Equipment List – Overview of personal clothing and equipment that you’ll need for this trip.
  • Rental Gear List – Price and list of personal mountaineering clothing/equipment available for rent
  • Registration Form  – Outlines policies, and essential information.  One required per participant.
  • Health Form – This form enables our guides to have accurate health information in the event of an emergency & provides dietary restrictions for trip planning.
  • Land Based Activity Waiver  – One required per participant. Guests under the age of 18 may go on one form.
  • Travel Info – Helpful information on how to get to/from Haines, Alaska.

Price: $780, $1150 (+ tax, in USD)
2020 Dates: Apr - Sept
2021 Dates: Apr - Sept

What is included in the trip price:
  • Climbing Equipment & group expedition gear – group camping equipment, tents, ropes, snow anchors, etc…
  • Expedition food – all food while out in the field
  • Transportation during trip – Van transportation in town and to the mountains
  • Professional guides – Our guides have extensive knowledge of the area and a passion for climbing in wild places.
Guests are responsible for the following:
  • Personal clothing & equipment – review the equipment list included under “Documents”
  • Food & Lodging in town – Skagway has a variety of great options
  • Trip insurance – we highly recommend trip insurance for all of our programs
  • Airfare – review the “Travel Information” under “Documents” for more details
  • Reviewing trip policies – please reference our policies page for policies regarding payment, cancellations, refunds and guest responsibilities.
  • Gratuities
To Book your adventure, follow the steps below:
  1. Please call to confirm availability at 1-800-766-3396 or fill out an online form to request more information via this link:
  2. Place a $250 deposit to reserve your spot: this can be place over the phone by credit card, check in the mail, or through our payment gateway.
  3. Once you’ve reserved your spot, you’ll receive a welcome packet with all the necessary registration forms and trip information.
  4. We kindly ask that you submit all of the necessary trip registration information at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Feel free to call or email anytime if you have questions about your upcoming trip. Our team is excited to help you prepare for your adventure!

Guest Comments:

This course was everything I hoped it would be! With no background coming in, your team did a great job answering my questions and after completing the course I feel so much more comfortable participating in these types of trips. I can't wait to get out in the mountains again! 
- Beth J.