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UK: +44 (0)7810 375400 & USA: +1 360-570-0715

Seattle Glacier School - Learn Glacier Travel, Rescue & Ice Climbing Skills

  • glacier school photos Team on 1st day of school. left to right - Ridlon Kiphart, Ari Karchin, Jaimie, Stewart Wolfe, Sylvi Montag Kawina, Tak Ogasawara, Martha Johnson, Dan Mazur
  • glacier school photos After a flipping glissade, Jaime Herriot comes to a rest with her ice axe in the correct self arrest position.
  • glacier school photos Checking the angle of the slope with an inclinometre. this one measures 32 degrees
  • glacier school photos Walking roped up to Moraine-camp
  • glacier school photos Eric McPherson sets up a belay.
  • glacier school photos Demonstrating safe snow ascension technique, with ice axe, crampons, jumar, etc
  • glacier school photos Golden sun sets like an orange ball behind snowy pine trees.
  • glacier school photos Heather Jennings uses her ascender to pull herself back to the surface during self rescue practice (Heather Jennings).
  • glacier school photos kitty swings the axe glacier school
  • glacier school photos Ready to go. Photo Dan
  • glacier school photos Squash belays Mike browder while Hailey, Laura, Kitty and Becky look on
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  • Experience and learn mountaineering with men and women of all ages and abilities on the large glaciated mountains near Seattle, free of cost. Send in your application early to be put on the waiting list.
  • Climb with the expedition leaders of Summitclimb, get your mountaineering questions answered, and share your knowledge with the group.
  • Get advice from experienced climbers on what equipment and clothing to buy and rent/hire at many reasonably priced Seattle climbing stores.
  • Test your equipment in the mountain environment while we live and travel on snow.
  • Learn, practice or master glacier travel and ice climbing skills.
  • Take part in a summit attempt on one of the most glaciated mountains in North America, a 4000 metre/13,00 foot high snowy volcano near Seattle.
  • Walk away from the school with more mountaineering confidence
  • Meet new people that are into the sport and make friends
  • Become inspired to take on a more ambitious mountain
  • Dates and Cost
    • Summer Glacier School: Saturday 24 June to Saturday 1 July, 2017. Ice and snow camping, climbing, summit attempt, with Dan Mazur
    • Winter Glacier School: 1 - 7 January, 2017. snow camping and skills, glacier travel, ice climbing, with Daniel Mazur
    • Special one and two day Glacier Ice refresher courses. With Dan Mazur and Staff.
    • All courses, Winter and Summer. Free of cost, no charge
Recent News: We just returned from the mountain where our school participants learned about self rescue, roped glacier travel, and ice-axe technique while camping in the snow for an entire week. We finished with a successful ascent of a 14,000 foot, 4400 metre high glaciated volcano on a clear windy day with panoramic views extending all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Please click HERE to see the full news report.

Our www.WinterGlacierSchool.org was a grand success. Please Click Here to see how the course went and to join our Winter School in January. Welcome to Everyone!
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Seattle Glacier School - Learn Glacier Travel, Rescue & Ice Climbing Skills

Please click one of the links below to view the introductory information or just scroll down (photo right: Ulyana and Ania wave flags on a breezy summit day - Charlie Roberts).

Everest View Glacier School Programme Description:

  • Introduction: Learn the art of mountaineering on the high glaciers around Seattle, and gain confidence to walk comfortably amongst them. The Glacier School is open to men and women of all experience levels who apply, free of cost. This is a weeklong school with expedition leader, Dan Mazur, and experienced climbers who donate their knowledge to get people inspired about mountains. Summitclimb has led 9 successful schools where participants meet new climbers, practice skills, and learn different techniques. We hope that by providing a school at no cost, we can get people passionate about the sport we are excited about sharing.
    • Our schedule balances learning mountaineering skills with experience in the high glacier environment;
    • From renting/hiring and buying equipment in Seattle to the high summit attempt, we help climbers understand all aspects of the sport. This school covers crevasse self-rescue, roped travel, building snow anchors, and self arresting;
    • The Mountains around Seattle provide the perfect environment for high altitude climbing near a big city where we can rent and buy supplies from stores like Second Ascent and REI;
    • This School uses the knowledge of leaders with 25 Himalayan expeditions as well as teaching mountaineering on all seven continents;
    • This school could qualify you for our other expeditions on Baruntse, Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, as well as other glacier schools like the Everest Glacier School and the Everest training climb.

Alpenglow covers participants as they ascend above the clouds during a terrific sunrise (Allen Smith). The massive glaciers stretch out below the summit as the members of the Seattle Glacier School descend the ridge back to high camp (Scott Patch). Leaders Bill and Scott go through the hip-belay technique on a slope outside camp as Tracy looks on (Rick Eng).

  • Leaders and Staff: With expedition leadership that stretches to the summit of Everest and back and teaching experience on all seven continents, leaders of the Seattle Glacier School have extensive knowledge they are happy to share. Dan Mazur, who has completed over 25 Himalayan expeditions, will lead the glacier school and be there to answer any questions that arise. Helping expedition leaders from the Summitclimb team, along with experienced climbers, will also be able to explain different parts of the sport. During the school, the leaders will share their knowledge through organized classes and open discussions with group participation.
  • The Mountains Around Seattle: Rising above the temperate rainforests lay the massive glaciers of the Cascade Range.  The snowy volcanoes climb 4,000 metres / 14,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean, through the blanket of maritime clouds that cling to the surrounding dense forest.  Large amounts of winter precipitation create massive snowdrifts compressed over thousands of years making the glaciers that flow down the slopes.  On a summer day from the beach in Seattle one can look out to see the snow covered volcano on the horizon while drinking a fresh cup of coffee. Having such a technical environment with quick access makes the mountains around Seattle an excellent location to stage our school.
  • Accommodation and Arrival: Nestled on the South end of the large bay near Seattle lies the diverse town of Olympia, where we start and finish our school. Situated only an hour from Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) it is easily accessible from out of state. The town offers an extensive amount of local cafes serving the coffee that Seattle is famous for, as well as local produce from the farmers market. The gear stores of Seattle are also within close driving distance, so after going through gear, participants can easily acquire anything they need. Participants may choose to camp on the ocean shores in the backyard garden of the expedition leaders at the beginning and finish of the school. We can also recommend hotel accommodation provided at your own expense

 

Ulyana and Anna test their knowledge by putting their weight on the snow anchor that they built (Anna Moll). Randy works on his hip-belay technique as he helps a fellow participant climb up the slope (Anna Moll).  Stewart leads his rope team along the moraine out of camp one as the trees begin to fade away (Anna Moll).

  • Snow  School: For the first two days, we camp lower on the mountain among the moss-hewn trees along the glacial moraine.  The lower snow slopes of the mountain serve as an excellent classroom to learn the basics of mountain climbing. Driving to the upper parking lot brings us near tree line, and then an enjoyable hike into the snow finds us in a great place to build a camp before the technical glacier. We use slopes around camp to learn how to walk on a rope team, build anchors, and self arrest with an ice axe. Members will stay in tents provided by Summitclimb, with another member of the school, to save weight. Personal meals will be cooked by individual participants on Summitclimb’s stoves, but we will be close enough to advise about high altitude cooking techniques and socialize while we dine. The glimmering summit above camp will stand as a friendly reminder of the exciting events yet to come. back to top
  • High Camp: Building off skills we learned at snow school we make our way as a group climbing through the clouds to our high camp.  The ascent to camp has a variety of snow slopes, but it will only be necessary to use an ice axe and crampons, and much of the path we will only use ski poles.  As we ascend to the glacier, the forests below drop away and the view extends above the surrounding mountains. Our high camp will be close enough to the technical terrain of the icefall that we can practice more advanced mountain systems like ascending ropes and lowering into small crevasses. We will sleep around 3,000 metres / 10,000 feet, where participants stay comfortable in the colder weather gear we acquired on Day 2. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy the sunset alpenglow on the glacier over dinner and a cup of cocoa before bed.

The glacier school lines up on the moraine ascending to high camp. From the left, Rick, Heather, Jen, Bill, Maryana, Stephanie, Heather, Scott, Dale, Jeff, Allen, Abhi, Randy, Ulyana, Ania Kyler, Wes, Sonya, Tracy, Charlie, Stewart, Vance (Dan Mazur).

  • Summit Day: Our group will wake up very early to take advantage of optimal snow conditions, walking through the night, as we ascend towards the summit. The early start also gives us plenty of time during the day to get back down.  As we ascend, we can practice skills learned over the course of the week on glacial terrain while we follow the path to the summit in our rope teams. Participants will also be ready for a wide range of weather with the personal equipment we acquired in Seattle. Climbing over crevassed terrain up snow and volcanic rock slopes, we will enjoy the colors of the sunrise as it lights up the ice around us. The sustained snow slope allows participants to master their crampon technique and use of ice axes, as it leads up to the icy crater rim. The layers of forested mountains stretch out through the mist to the Pacific Ocean far below as we congratulate one another atop the summit pinnacle.  We will arrive at the summit around lunch and after a rest in the crater we descend back to camp for a leisurely walk down the mountain and drive back to Olympia.
  • Who is this trip for?: We encourage anyone curious about mountaineering, eager to try new things, and meet new people, to download an application from the website and get on our waiting list.  We like to have a diverse group of men and women of all ages and experience on the mountain with us. Although most people join as individuals, we also encourage people to invite their friends to come along for the climb. The goal is to create a good team of climbers, working together to learn and experience the mountains.
    • No previous technical mountaineering experience is required for the school, but previous camping experience is necessary. Members should be comfortable living outside for the week.
    • Since we are not allowed Sherpas, participants will carry their personal items and pitch in with group equipment as well. Stronger participants will carry more of the group gear than smaller members, but you should expect to carry around forty to fifty pounds in your rucksack. If you enjoy walking outside with a rucksack for three to six hours with twenty minute breaks thrown in, then you should have no problem on this trip. back to top

Heather Jennings uses her ascender to pull herself back to the surface during self rescue practice (Heather Jennings). Abhi looks out at just how far he has come on the slope leading to the summit (Heather Jennings). Participants traverse along the long snow slopes to the lower mountain after spending time on one of the most glaciated peaks in the United States (Scott Patch).

Please "click" one of the links on the column on the upper right of your screen under "Seattle Glacier School" to learn more about our expedition.

Cascade Glacier School Cost

There is no cost for this school.  We provide a school free of charge in order to encourage people to join the climbing community and be inspired by the mountains. We also want to get people who might already be familiar with the sport of mountaineering to come out and share their knowledge with the group.  This school serves as a steppingstone for perspective climbers to see how they feel at altitude and test out their equipment. Feel free to come out, ask lots of questions, meet and climb with the expedition leaders of Summitclimb.

To take advantage of this great opportunity, download the application for the glacier school.  Fill out the application as soon as possible and send it back to us to be put on the waiting list.  We will let you know 60 days before the school begins if there is room.

WHAT COSTS ARE INCLUDED IN THE FREE NO CHARGE GLACIER SCHOOL

  • Six days climbing with expedition leaders, including senior leader, Dan Mazur;
  • Learn self rescue, rope travel, snow anchors, and crampon technique;
  • Use of group climbing equipment, like ropes, anchors, and tents;
  • The use of Summitclimb’s stoves and cooking pots;
  • An attempt on a 4000 metre/13,000 foot glaciated peak;
  • The ability to ask as questions to experienced professionals and share your knowledge.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING ON YOUR OWN

  • Transportation to and from Olympia Washington;
  • Permits, National Forest entry fee, or camping fees (less than fifty dollars);
  • Food and meals while on the mountain and in town;
  • Travel insurance, mountain rescue, accident coverage;
  • Personal equipment and glacier travel equipment (please see the EQUIPMENT LIST for details). We plan on going through the equipment list on our Seattle shopping day.

Please ask any questions regarding cost at info@summitclimb.com.

 

Seattle Glacier School Itinerary

Proposed Itinerary:

Day 1 Saturday, Arrival Day: Arrive at Sea-Tac International Airport and make your way to Olympia Washington.  You can hire a car, drive yourself, or car-pool with another member. Members may choose to camp in an expedition leader’s backyard/ garden, or we can advise you on a local hotel at your own expense. The goal today is get in and get comfortable. 

Day 2 Sunday, Equipment Day: Kick off the day with some of the coffee or tea that made Seattle famous. Then meet the group in an expedition leader’s kitchen for a mandatory meeting at 8:30. After grabbing a group breakfast at a local café, the expedition leaders, along with experienced climbers, will go through the equipment needed. We then split up and check individual equipment, answering questions that arise. Next, the group carpools up to Seattle where participants can buy, try out, or rent equipment at many of the reasonably priced shops like Second Ascent or REI.  We will finish the day off with dinner at a local restaurant before making our way back to Olympia for the evening.

Day 3 Monday, The approach: Today, we pack our rucksacks and cars in Olympia and caravan to the mountain.  On our way, we will stop at a grocery store for the food that you will eat throughout the week. Arriving at the parking lot, we start by getting group gear sorted and permits organized before we hike up to the snow. After practicing and learning snow travel techniques along the way we will arrive at the glacial moraine where we set up camp, cook dinner, and get a good nights rest for school the next day.

Day 4 Tuesday, Classes Begin: After an early breakfast, we go over roping up and walking as a team.  We climb some of the hills surrounding camp and practice building snow anchors while belaying one another from them. We finish the day by practicing self arrest and glissading with our ice axes as we descend back to camp. At camp, you will be able to make some dinner, socialize, and have an excellent view of the mountain from your sleeping-bag.

Day 5 Move Day: After a morning breakfast, we pack up our camp and spend the day moving through the clouds to the upper mountain where we will build a high camp in preparation for our summit attempt. The path is up a variety of non-technical snow terrain with excellent views of the surrounding glaciers. Members spend today socializing with new friends while hiking the trail enjoying the high mountain environment.

Day 6 Rest and High Camp Class: Participants use today getting ready for the long ascent that will happen tonight, however using the technical icefall that is close to camp we teach crevasse self-rescue techniques in the morning.  We end early so that we can melt snow and fill water bottles for our evening climb. The leaders spend the rest of the day answering any questions that have come up over the week.

Day 7 Summit Attempt: Taking advantage of optimal snow conditions as well as using all hours in the day, we will walk through the night, hopefully arriving at the summit before lunch. The route is steep snow occasionally to 40 degrees, with portions of volcanic rock we need to scramble over in order to get to the summit ridge. After arriving at the summit, giving congratulations to one another, and exchanging high-fives while taking in summit views, we can rest in the crater for bite to eat. We walk back to camp while enjoying the alpine vistas, pack up our high camp, and head back to the parking lot for the drive to Olympia. Some members choose to head back to Seattle, but please do not schedule a flight on Day 7 as we may get in very late.

Day 8 Departure: We have our final group breakfast back in Olympia where we say goodbye to new friends, trade emails for future climbing plans, and make our way to the airport for our journey home. Sorry, but we cannot accommodate for a longer trip, so if you are planning on coming a day early or staying a day late, please be prepared to be independent.

Itinerary notes:

  • All members must participate in the full 8-day itinerary. It is not possible to arrive later, nor is it possible to depart earlier.
  • We are not able to accommodate people who wish to arrive in Seattle earlier, nor are we able to help those who wish to stay later. If you choose to make a longer trip, you will be "on your own". We ask that you arrive at Daniel Mazur's house in Seattle during reasonable hours, that is, before Midnight on Saturday.

Seattle Glacier School Route

Our Glacier school is focused around two camps on or near glaciated terrain. The hike from the parking lot to the first camp will ascend a moderate snowfield through trees where we will be mainly using ski poles. We provide instruction on how to use an ice axe or crampons when they are needed on steeper slopes. We spend most of our time on the mountain close to camp, where snow slopes make for a great place to have class. 

The path to high camp is up slopes no steeper than 30 degrees on a variety of non-technical terrain. Classes near this camp take advantage of the glacier icefall nearby, where we practice our rescue techniques in a small crevasse. 

The summit ascent will be on glaciated terrain with the occasional volcanic rock band. The moderate slopes will mean that placing protection won’t be necessary, however we will remain roped up the entire time. The path to the summit takes no more than 12 hours, with views over the surrounding peaks on one of the most glaciated mountains in North America.

Seattle Glacier School Leadership & Staff

Leadership: The expedition leaders of the Seattle Glacier School have teaching experience on all seven continents, have organized multiple Himalayan expeditions, and are happy to share knowledge with people of all abilities. During the glacier school, leaders will be close at hand to help you with alpine cooking, building a comfortable home in the snow, explaining the technical mountaineering skills, and answering any questions that you are curious about. Throughout the school, you will be climbing with the leaders of Summitclimb, but you will also be close to some experienced climbers that have come out to join us as well. With so much knowledge around even the most experienced of climbers are bound to get new useful tricks out of the school.

Dan Mazur, senior expedition leader, will be leading the glacier school. Dan is a relaxed, friendly and organized person, and a highly-skilled professional with years of experience in getting people to the summit and back down with the highest attention to safety. He has been leading and organizing successful and safe overland, trekking, and mountaineering expeditions for 20 years, to Tibet, Nepal, Tadjikistan, Pakistan, India, China, Africa, and North America.

Cascade Glacier School Personal & Team Equipment

Below is a detailed list of equipment you need for the Cascade Glacier School and at the bottom is a description of team equipment that we bring for you. Any or all of the equipment below may be purchased, hired /rented, or borrowed on our Seattle shopping day. (Click a link below to go directly to that section of the personal equipment list or just scroll down):

Climbing-

  • Climbing harness. A lightweight alpine harness, no need for extra padding;
  • One 3 metre/ 10 foot sling and three 2 metre/ 6 foot slings. This is made from 6-7 milimetre accessory cord or 11/16 inch tubular nylon webbing;
  • Figure 8/ Abseil belay device;
  • One large ascender. Ascender should have a handle large enough to grab while wearing heavy mittens;
  • 2 locking carabiners. 1 large and 1 small;
  • 4 regular carabiners;
  • Ice axe with leash. Mountaineering axe, no need for technical ice climbing axes. Axes can be rented / hired for ten dollars for the first day and four dollars each additional day at Second Ascent, during our Seattle shopping day;
  • Crampons. Any normal mountaineering crampon will work, but please make sure that your crampons fit on the boots you will be wearing before the school begins. Crampons can be rented / hired for 12 dollars for the first day and 5 dollars each additional day at Second Ascent, during our Seattle shopping day;
  • Helmet. A sturdy helmet for climbing, not a bike helmet. Helmets can be rented / hired for 6 dollars for the first day and 3 dollars for each additional day at Second Ascent during our Seattle shopping day;
  • Trekking poles (Optional). Adjustable poles make it easier to carry a pack through the snow. These can be rented / hired for 6 dollars the first day and 3 dollars each additional day at Second Ascent on our Seattle shopping day;
  • Cooking stove (optional). We will have stoves available if you do not have one. Please provide your own fuel for cooking;
  • Tent (optional). You may choose to use our expedition tents if you do not have one. If you are using your own tent please make sure that it is a four season tent suitable for the high altitude environment. back to top

Upper Body-

  • Two cotton t-shirts. For when we are shopping in Seattle and checking equipment in Olympia;
  • 1 polypropylene t-shirt. For warm days on the mountain;
  • 1 long sleeve polypropylene shirt. Lightweight shirt used as a base layer as we ascend;
  • 1 polar fleece or warm pullover. Medium weight layer to wear as things get colder;
  • 1 polar fleece jacket/ soft shell/ micro-puff jacket. A heavier insulating layer worn over the first two layers, but not a full parka;
  • Waterproof/ breathable jacket with hood. Seattle is in a wet climate, so please make sure your jacket is strong enough to handle heavy rain and sturdy enough to not rip when sliding on ice;
  • Down insulated puff jacket / parka with a hood. A heavy jacket worn on chilly days in camp, or during rests on summit day. We recommend a hooded jacket that can pack easily. back to top

Hands-

  • One pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves. These gloves will be worn when tying knots, cooking, or dealing with equipment;
  • One pair leather/ waterproof sturdy working gloves. These will be worn when we are digging in the snow, sliding down the snow, or setting up wet tents;
  • One pair summit mittens. These will be for cold climbing conditions. They will be one waterproof over mitten covering a warm fleece inner mitten liner. They should be able to handle freezing temperatures for multiple hours.

Head-

  • A warm hat/ beanie. Either wool or synthetic. Make sure that it covers your ears;
  • Sun hat. A normal ballcap will work. Something worn on a sunny day to keep the sun out of your eyes;
  • Glacier sunglasses. Make sure that they have side shields that protect your entire eye while on bright snow;
  • Headlamp. Needs to be bright enough to safely follow a path throughout the night and attach comfortably to your head over a hat. Please bring extra batteries;
  • Face shield/ balaclava. Something to cover your face and keep it warm during windy conditions on the summit ascent;
  • Bandana, buff, or headscarf (optional). Useful for dusty or sunny conditions;
  • Ski goggles (optional). Worn during cold windy conditions high on the mountain. back to top

Lower Body-

  • Cotton or synthetic underwear briefs. Bring enough to be comfortable for seven days;
  • 1 pair lightweight polypropylene or wool thermal bottoms. Worn as a base layer on cold days;
  • 1 pair medium weight or expedition weight thermal bottoms;
  • 1 pair fleece or micro-puff trousers;
  • 1 pair waterproof/ breathable trousers or bibs. Should be strong enough to stay waterproof throughout a day of rain, and strong enough to withstand sliding down hard snow. Trousers should also have full side zippers;
  • Gaiters (optional) for snowy conditions and crampon protection;
  • 1 pair walking shorts (optional). For warm days on the mountain, or approaching the mountain.

Your clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks, bin-liners, or large plastic bags. back to top

Feet-

  • One pair double plastic boots. Some newer models of double leather/ synthetic boots may work, but most soak through in a few days in snow. Since boots are one of the most important pieces of equipment that we use, we strongly encourage plastic boots. These can be rented for fourteen dollars for the first day and eight dollars each additional day at Second Ascent on our shopping day.
  • 1 pair trainers, running shoes, or sandals. For walking around Seattle, or taking a break in camp.
  • 2 pair medium-heavy polypropylene or wool socks. Used for the upper mountain and summit day.
  • 2 pair lightweight trekking socks. Polypropylene or wool. Used on the lower mountain.
  • 2 pair liner socks (optional). Good for avoiding blisters and keeping feet dry.
  • 1 pair down booties (optional). Good for wearing around camp.
Sleeping-
  • 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 10 degrees F);
  • At least 1 closed cell foam kari-mats. If you want to bring an inflatable make sure that you also bring a puncture proof foam pad as well.
Your sleeping bags should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks, bin-liners, or large plastic bags. back to top

Rucksack and Travel Bags-

  • 1 internal frame rucksack (70 litres + / 4500 cubic inches +); back to top

Personal Hygiene-

  • 2 tubes of lip sun cream, or spf chap stick;
  • 1 tube sun cream. Minimum of factor 15;
  • 1 toothpaste and toothbrush;
  • 1 small bottle of hand sanitizer gel;
  • 1 bar of soap and small towel. For showering in town;
  • Other female/ male hygiene supplies;
  • 1 set of earplugs (optional) for sleeping in camp in case of snoring;
  • Hand wipes (optional) good for a travel shower or washing in camp;
  • Anti-mosquito cream (optional) in case of bugs on the lower mountain. back to top

Medical-

  • Small personal first aid kit. Small and simple is fine. Aspirin, first aid tape, plasters (band-aids), personal medications, etc. The leaders will have extensive first-aid kits, so leave behind anything extra, but do let the leaders know about any medical issues ahead of time;
  • 1 blister repair kit. Moleskin, tape, and plasters are fine;
  • 1 small bottle of water purification tablets, or filter;
  • Extra prescription glasses or contact lens supplies. Contact lens wearers, please bring glasses in case of emergency. back to top

Practical-

  • A small roll of repair tape and sewing kit.  In case of small rips in personal clothing;
  • 1 compass or GPS;
  • 1 cigarette lighter or small box of matches (waterproof) for lighting stoves;
  • 1 battery powered alarm clock or watch with alarm;
  • Nylon stuff sacks for food and hygiene items. Ziploc bags are also useful;
  • 4 water bottles (1 litre).  We recommend the wide mouth Nalgene. One of these bottles is a pee bottle;
  • 1 plastic cup, mug for hot drinks, and spoon;
  • 1 small folding knife. A leatherman or swiss army knife is fine;
  • 4 large waterproof rubbish sacks;
  • Travel clothes for in town;
  • Binoculars (optional);
  • In camp entertainment (optional). Previous members have enjoyed paperback books, ipods, mp3 players, playing cards, or musical instruments for rainy days and camp relaxation time;
This is not an exhaustive list. Please submit other equipment concerns and suggestions. Thank you. back to top

Group Equipment:

Summitclimb will provide group gear to use throughout the school. You may borrow one of our expedition tents to carry up the mountain. Participants may borrow stoves from Summitclimb, however fuel may need to be purchased. Leaders will organize climbing equipment like pickets, flukes, and ice screws to experiment with during classes. back to top

Please submit any equipment questions or concerns to: info@SummitClimb.com

Cascade Glacier School - Your Experience & Training

Your Experience and Training: No previous technical mountaineering experience is required for the school, but previous camping experience is necessary. Members should be comfortable living outside for the week, staying in a tent, and cooking their own food.

Since we are not allowed Sherpas, participants will carry their personal gear and pitch in with group gear as well. Stronger participants will carry more of the group gear than smaller members, but you should expect to carry around forty to fifty pounds in your rucksack. Basically, if you enjoy walking outside with a rucksack for three to six hours with twenty minute breaks thrown in, then you should have no problem on this trip.

It is important to exercise regularly 60 days before the trip begins, at least 4 days per week, in order to get in the best physical condition possible and truly enjoy the trip. Please contact us if you are at all skeptical about your fitness for this trip as we are happy to advise and explain.

Seattle Glacier School Questions

Cascade Glacier School Video Clips

Watch full movies of our previous Seattle Glacier Schools click on the links below.

 

Cascade Glacier School - International Members Application

What questions do you have? Please ask as many questions as possible. This helps us to have a proper conversation so we can better understand one-another's expectations, so you will have a very safe, enjoyable, and successful trek. Thank you. Before completing the application forms, please be sure to carefully study the Glacier School "Questions" website for information regarding flights, team members, application forms, insurance, etcetera: Glacier School Frequently Asked Questions .

Below you should find a pdf or MS document containing the application pro forma. Are you able to read it? When all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction, please print out the application and return it to us to hold your place in our team. Would you please just post it to us at the mailing address you will find on the form? Thank you very much. Your registration must be completed two months prior to the expedition starting date. Thank you very much.

Click here to download PDF Form for International Applicant

Click here to download the MS Word Form for International Applicants

 

If you do not have an Adobe PDF reader, please obtain it here

Here is a checklist of what we need to have in your file at least two months before the trip begins. We encourage you to send an electronic scan of all of the below documents, please be sure they are signed. Thank you:

[ ] Trip Registration Form (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Signed Participant Release and Acknowledgement of Risk (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Signed Terms and Conditions of Booking (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Signed Medical Form (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Exact photocopy of passport identification pages,
[ ] Exact photocopy of complete flight itinerary,
[ ] Proof of mountain rescue and repatriation insurance,
[ ] Proof of travel, accident, and repatriation insurance (cancellation and trip interruption insurance is advised).

Please do let us know what further questions you may have about the registration process, or anything else for that matter. Thank you.
Welcome to our team.

Cascade Glacier School - US Members Application

What questions do you have? Please ask as many questions as possible. This helps us to have a proper conversation so we can better understand one-another's expectations, so you will have a very safe, enjoyable, and successful trek. Thank you. Before completing the application forms, please be sure to carefully study the Glacier School "Questions" website for information regarding flights, team members, application forms, insurance, etcetera: Glacier School Frequently Asked Questions .

Below you should find a pdf or MS document containing the application pro forma. Are you able to read it? When all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction, please print out the application and return it to us to hold your place in our team. Would you please just post it to us at the mailing address you will find on the form? Thank you very much. Your registration must be completed two months prior to the expedition starting date. Thank you very much.

Click here to download PDF Form for US Applicants

Click here to download the MS Word form for US Applicants

 

If you do not have an Adobe PDF reader, please obtain it here

Here is a checklist of what we need to have in your file at least two months before the trip begins. We encourage you to send an electronic scan of all of the below documents, please be sure they are signed. Thank you:

[ ] Trip Registration Form (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Signed Participant Release and Acknowledgement of Risk (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Signed Terms and Conditions of Booking (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Signed Medical Form (part of 4 page form),
[ ] Exact photocopy of passport identification pages,
[ ] Exact photocopy of complete flight itinerary,
[ ] Proof of mountain rescue and repatriation insurance,
[ ] Proof of travel, accident, and repatriation insurance (cancellation and trip interruption insurance is advised).

Please do let us know what further questions you may have about the registration process, or anything else for that matter. Thank you.
Welcome to our team.

SummitTrek and SummitClimb Glacier School Reviews, Testimonials, Complaints, and Comments

Please Scroll down for more Testimonials:

Here is what Scott says:

What an adventure! Thank you for your tremendous hospitality and hope to see you soon. -Scott

Here is what Sarah has to say: 

Hello Dan!

I just wanted to say thank you so much for teaching me for a WEEK long... for free. It was an incredible trip, and I am so happy that I got to learn about glacier travel from you. I will sign up for one of your other trips sometime in the future:)
Here are some of the pictures that I took.

Sarah

Here is what Harry has to say:

Dear SummitClimb, Thank you very much for leading our Glacier School. I appreciate all the experience you shared with us, and your leadership on the climb. Best Regards, Harry 

 
Photos from Harry 
Here is what Stephen says:

Thank you SummitClimb for the incredible experience and friendship. I can't wait to do it again. –Stephen
 
 
Photos from Stephen Michell 

Here is what Brent has to say:

Everyone,

It was great climbing with everyone and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. If anyone wants to climb out here in the Great Northwest in the future, contact me and I will be happy to climb with you or just get you the latest route beta. That goes for rock, snow, ice and alpine routes.
As to www.SummitClimb.com , I plan on joining some of their trips to Nepal and China in the future. If anyone else has these aspirations, please let me know.

Stay clipped, Brent

Alpenglow covers participants as they ascend above the clouds during a terrific sunrise (Allen Smith). The massive glaciers stretch out below the summit as the members of the Seattle Glacier School descend the ridge back to high camp (Scott Patch). Leaders Bill and Scott go through the hip-belay technique on a slope outside camp as Tracy looks on (Rick Eng).

If you would like to contact our previous members, please send an email to info@summitclimb.com
 
We take our member's feedback and testimonials seriously. These help us to refine and make our trekking a successful, safe, and enjoyable experience for our future teams.

Pre Trip Newsletter Seattle Glacier School

Ulyana and Ania wave flags on a breezy summit day (Charlie Roberts). Leaders Bill and Scott go through the hip-belay technique on a slope outside camp as Tracy looks on (Rick Eng).

Hi Glacier Friends. I hope you are looking forward to the school as much as I am!!! I have added everyone into the cc line who is joining us so you can work on car sharing. Welcome to our team! Have you all arranged your transport? Have you all purchased your mountain rescue, accident and travel insurance? Thanks, and here is the letter below as a gentle reminder of what to expect.

Dear Cascade Glacier School 2016 applicants,

You have been accepted! Welcome to our 2016 Glacier School. Saturday 25 June – Saturday 2 July 2016
Here is the link: www.SeattleGlacierSchool.com

Everyone on the "cc line" of this email has either been accepted or expressed interest in the course.

If you will be joining us, would you please send a small confirming email, if not done so already, as quite a waiting-list has formed. Thank you very much. We plan to conduct the glacier school on Mt. Rainier, the highest peak in Washington.

PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL ALL OF THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM, TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTAND, AND AGREE WITH EVERYTHING.

Roping up as a team to learn safe glacier travel.
Practicing safe vertical ice climbing. Martha skinning up her skis to head up the mountain.

You will need to provide your own, or share, transportation throughout the Glacier School. This includes travel to and from Olympia and the airport.

You can rent/hire a car, take a shuttle van, share a ride with other school participants, etcetera.

The course begins and ends at my house in Olympia, Washington. Olympia is located 110 kilometres/66 miles south of Seattle and 80 Kilometres/48 miles south of Seattle airport (known as Sea-Tac, SEA). My house is 58 miles/93 kilometres from Mt. Rainier.

We encourage you to save gas/petrol and car pool/share. That is why we have listed all of your emails above, so you can contact one another and organize your own transport. Traditionally, as many of you are flying in, one person would rent/hire a "van" and everyone would meet at the airport and pile in with all of their luggage. Everyone would share in the costs. Or, some people with extra space in their rental/hire cars would email others to see if they would like to share. The people who go on these glacier courses are fun and friendly, so it generally works out very well. I don't have a car, so I would also hope to ride in one of your cars and share in the cost, if that is ok :) ???

Most members prefer to hire cars and share the expenses. However, sometimes, people occasionally prefer to try the airport shuttle services: If you choose the airport shuttle, when you call, find out all of the details, and the latest time to reserve your shuttle bus ride. Olympia is a very small rural place, it may not have regular service at odd times.

To get ready, we would like and hope you obtain your mountain climbing rescue insurance and you gather your equipment and wits about you, have been physically training your body, and have familiarized yourselves with the techniques and knots involved. If you are not familiar with rope techniques from hands-on experience, please go and take a course tomorrow at your local rock gym.

Please be sure they review belaying and abseiling (rapelling) with you. You would not want to embarrass yourself by not knowing the basics of going up and down on ropes, how to tie a figure-8, bowline, double-fisherman's, nor girth-hitch (lark's foot). If you have not read it yet, please rush out and study cover-to-cover the book entitled: "Freedom of the Hills".

Be sure to bring your proof of travel and mountain rescue insurance with you, if you have not already mailed it to us. If you have not purchased it yet, please do so as soon as possible.  You need to show us your proof of Travel, Mountain Climbing, Rescue and Accident Insurance. This is not "normal" insurance that comes with your employer's health policy, and it is not covered by your credit card. It cannot be obtained from "any" travel agent, and it is not given "for free" by your climbing club. It is a special policy you have to buy. PLEASE READ THE POLICY VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU PAY FOR IT.

UK, Europe, South America, Asia, the Antipodes Insurance

Many of our members are now using a company called Global Rescue, www.globalrescue.com , which can be combined with a standard travel policy, such as www.InsureMyTrip.com, www.CSAtravelprotection.com  or www.TravelInsuranceDirect.com.au

Here are some other options our members have used successfully:

www.ingleinternational.com  (with "sports rider" coverage)

www.travelexinsurance.com (Get the "Adventurer Plus Pak". This Pak is required to receive medical and evacuation coverage for mountaineering and a rental allowance in the event your gear is lost. To receive this benefit, your policy and Pak must be purchased within 21 days of initial trip deposit.

www.snowcard.co.uk   for UK members only (this only covers mountaineering up to 7500 metres if you get "expedition" coverage).

Practicing abseiling and ascending on fixed ropes and ice.  
Practicing abseiling and ascending on fixed ropes and ice. 

US and Canada Insurance

Your total full-coverage insurance package may vary, depending on trip duration and amount of coverage. We have seen several companies that offer comprehensive plans for travel and mountain rescue. A company called STA Travel is worth checking out: www.statravel.com/travel-insurance.htm Many of our members are now using STA insurance. Please make sure to get their 'medical', and 'non-medical' options to be fully covered. Prices on insurance at STA for a trip of this length were recently quoted to be $50 for 35 years old and under, $75 for 35-60 years of age, and $200 for 61 years old and up.

Another company is Global Rescue, www.GlobalRescue.com , which can be combined with a standard travel policy.

Those who wish to shop further, or have higher incomes and/or assets to protect may also be interested in: Access America, Travelex, Travel Guard, etc. Be sure to check what the policy covers before you buy.

You should be planning on getting into good physical condition for the school. If you are not, then you will need to delay your participation in the Glacier School until another time so you can gain fitness.

You will need to carry the equipment & clothing that you bring on the mountain.  There are no Sherpas to help out on this trip, so it will need to go into your rucksack.  Rucksacks during the school normally weight around 20-25 kg/40-50 pounds on the mountain. We will be carrying a pack up to our two camps, but will not be wearing it for summit day, or during the training and practice. We also request members feeling up to it to share in carrying group gear and equipment.

Please be advised that the date for your arrival should be Saturday 25 June, and your departure Saturday 2 July. I am very sorry that we won't be able to accommodate you outside of these dates. Also, please note that Saturday 25 June and Saturday 2 July are designated as arrival and departure days.There will not be any class activities on those days.
 
However, Sunday 26 June through Friday 1 July will be fully packed with activities beginning early in the morning and ending late in the evening, which is why we ask you to complete your air travel before and after, outside of, those dates.

It has been requested that you arrive on Saturday 25 June. You are welcome to camp in the yard of my house in Olympia. There is plenty of garden space where we set up our own tents for you to use, in which you can roll out your camping mattress and sleeping bag. We don't have any extra sleeping bags to share, unfortunately. Please be extremely respectful of the privilege of staying here, and please be very quiet inside and outside of the buildings, as I live here, my neighbors are very close, everyone has an early morning work schedule, etcetera. Thank you.

By the way, some members prefer to stay in one of our local hotel-motels.

Our house is one mile from the downtown, so a downtown hotel-motel will be best. Here is a site where you could learn more:

www.hotel-guides.us/washington/olympia-wa-hotels.html We don't have any transport for you between the hotel and our house, so you would need to arrange that.

Team on 1st day of school. left to right - Ridlon Kiphart, Ari Karchin, Jaimie, Stewart Wolfe, Sylvi Montag Kawina, Tak Ogasawara, Martha Johnson, Dan Mazur. Sylvi Montag Kawina practices safe descent on steep snow.

Team on 1st day of school. left to right - Ridlon Kiphart, Ari Karchin, Jaimie, Stewart Wolfe, Sylvi Montag Kawina, Tak Ogasawara, Martha Johnson, Dan Mazur. Sylvi Montag Kawina enjoying her snow cave.

My address is:

2017 East Bay Drive NE
Olympia, WA, 98506

Olympia is located 110 kilometres south of Seattle and 80 Kilometres south of Seattle airport (known as Sea-Tac, SEA). You will need to provide your own transportation throughout the Glacier School. This includes getting to and from Olympia and the airport. You can rent a car, take a shuttle van, share a ride with other school participants, etcetera.

It's very easy to find my house, a few miles straight off of the major I-5 highway that runs north-south between Seattle and Portland. Once you reach Olympia, just exit at "Port of Olympia" then slowly and carefully follow signs for "Port of Olympia", then continue on Plum Street, driving straight north on Plum, which becomes East Bay Drive. There are big black numbers on a white signboard nailed to the fence in front of my house, on your left.

You can park on the street. If you need directions, please refer to a map website such as yahoo maps or mapquest. Here is a link to our house from mapquest: Click Here

I will carry my phone with me at all times, and it is: 360-570-0715. If you reach the answering machine, it might be because Washington is still a very rural place and I am outside of the coverage area. Please always leave a message on the answering machine, with your call-back number (be sure to carry your mobile/cell phone if you have one).

I will be out of town climbing all day on Saturday, but should arrive back in Olympia before midnight on Saturday night, 25 June. Come on inside and make yourselves at home anyway. Lay out your mattress and sleeping bag in one of the tents in the back garden. We will leave tea making facilities out for you, so go ahead make yourself a cup if you like.

Team looks on while Sylvi and Tag build snow anchors. Sylvi Montag Kawina practices safe descent on steep snow.

Team looks on while Sylvi and Tag build snow anchors. Sylvi Montag Kawina practices safe descent on steep snow

Please use the toilet located up by the garage on the street. Thank you.

You won't be cooking or eating any food here, as there are too many of us, you will be buying all of your meals at local restaurants. There are restaurants in the center of town within 30 minutes walk of the house.

The course will officially start at 8:30am on Sunday morning 26 June, when everyone wakes up, has a wash, and we walk or drive to a neighborhood cafe, sitting down to breakfast by 9am. During breakfast, Dan will present an orientation, we will have a discussion, and you will complete the required paperwork.

By 10:30 am, we will be back at the house, and everyone will spread their gear across the lawn and garden and we will look at everything and compile a list of what is needed, then we will drive to Seattle and visit a few mountaineering equipment shops, where you can purchase/hire what you need.

We will be back in Olympia late that evening, and set off for the mountain on Monday morning. The grocery stores here are open 24 hours, so it is no problem to buy grocery-store food at anytime. Normally we purchase our food on Monday morning at a large grocery store at the same time as we put final fuel in the cars.

We will be away the entire week, and plan to return around midnight on Friday night,1 July. You can bathe upon your return, and then we will celebrate our fun week with new friends and wish everyone a pleasant journey home on Saturday morning. If you choose to stay beyond Saturday, you will be on your own, as I have to work on Saturday and Sunday, and I regret my house won't be available.

Most members prefer to hire cars and share the expenses. However, sometimes, people occasionally prefer to try the airport shuttle services: If you choose the airport shuttle, when you call, find out all of the details, and the latest time to reserve your shuttle bus ride. Olympia is a very small rural place, it may not have regular service at odd times.

 Group huddle during a sudden snow storm, left to right - ridlon kiphart, victor masny, tak ogasawara, ari karchin, jaime herriot, and eric mcpherson.
Group huddle during a sudden snow storm, left to right - ridlon kiphart, victor masny, tak ogasawara, ari karchin, jaime herriot, and eric mcpherson. Members trying for to use fix rope and climbing equipments. Photo by Victor Mesny

Here are some services:

Capital Aeroporter: 360-754-7113

What equipment should you bring? The weather has been warm during the day and cool during the night recently. Expect summer type conditions with cold and windy nights. Sometimes it is extremely cold and windy up high on the mountain. It's possible it could rain or snow, but hope for sunshine. Bring what you have, and we will go over your gear when you get here. Anything you don't have can be purchased and perhaps rented when we do our equipment check and shopping on Sunday. To get an idea of the kind equipment you need, and the equipment we bring for the group, please see the equipment link Click Here

By the way, around here it's very easy to rent plastic boots, crampons, ice axes, helmets, and backpacks.

If you have a tent, stove and gas and wish to bring it, please do. We do supply tents and stoves for all as well, but really like it if members wish to bring and test out their own equipment. In addition please bring your own cup and spoon.

Generally the airlines allow you to bring two 25 kg/50 pound bags (be sure to check this first), so feel free to fill up your baggage allowance.
Anything you don't need can be easily stored in the cars in a safe car-park which is guarded.

What further questions do you have? Please ask as many questions as possible, as this ensures that we understand each other's expectations, thus ensuring you have a more perfect trip.

I will await your reply, and look forward to discussing this further with you, to meeting everyone, and practicing glacier travel and to climbing to the summit together. Thank You Very Much. Yours Sincerely, from Dan and all of us at SummitClimb Incorporated , 360-570-0715

High Altitude Regards-Dan Mazur
danielmazur@SummitClimb.com
www.SummitClimb.com   find me on facebook,linkedin, twitter
skype: dan.mazur8848
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Mazur

UK: +44 (0)7810375400 (evenings are best)
30 Downfield Lodge, Downfield Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2TQ, England

USA: 360.570.0715
POB 123, Lakebay, Wa, 98349
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