Skip to main content
HomeBackcountry Scramble Course

Backcountry Scramble Course

Do you want to adventure beyond the trail? Are you interested in wilderness navigation, route finding, and scrambling to summits that are off the beaten path? Do you want to add snow travel and snow camping skills that  will open up new outdoors opportunities?

The Bushwhacker Climbing Club’s Backcountry Scramble Course offers in-depth training in wilderness navigation, unroped travel through moderately exposed areas, ice axe skills, and techniques for travel in adverse weather conditions. We will practice and climb classic Cascades scrambling routes. An overnight outing in snow country teaches snow camping techniques and provides the chance to reach deeper into the mountains.


The skills learned will help provide new opportunities for enjoyment and adventure in the mountains. While the course does not involve high angle or roped climbing, the outings and lessons will build a strong foundation of knowledge and conditioning that will be useful if you continue on with another climbing class.

Course Requirements

Applicants should have some basic hiking and backpacking experience. The outings will be strenuous with long days; applicants must be in good physical condition.
Applicants will need the following equipment to participate in this course. We will talk a great deal about specific gear in the lectures - we advise course members to hold off on new gear purchases until after the classroom discussions. Some gear can be rented, as well:
  • Mountaineering boots (may be rented; suitable for a 3 day snow outing)
  • Ice Axe
  • Trekking Poles
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Crampons
  • Snowshoes
  • Compass (simple base plate compass preferred)
  • Suitable outdoor clothing - no cotton
  • Overnight camping equipment & backpack (the club provide stoves & tents)

Unless otherwise excused by the instructors, attendance at all lectures and both one-day outings is required for participation in the three day outing.

Cost of the Course

The cost of this course is $175.00. The course fee includes the course textbook and outing maps. Students are responsible for all other outing and equipment expenses.

Note that you must be a member of the club to take this course.

Status of the Course

The 2017 course is now taking applications!  The application can be found here:  BWCC 2017 Scramble Course Application .  This is a Word document.  If you have trouble please let us know. Applications are due Mar. 10, 2017.

Dates of the 2017 Course

The 2017 Backcountry Scramble Course includes Wednesday night (7:30 - 9:30 pm) lectures from Mar. 29 - April 19. Applications for the course will be accepted from Feb. 13- Mar. 10, 2017.
March 29
Introduction, Personal Gear Overview
April 2  Field Outing I Team Building & Intro to Navigation
April 5 Navigation
April 9  Field Outing II Snow Travel Skills & Navigation 
April 11 Overnight Gear & Snow Camping
April 18 Pack Check & Outing Logistics
April 22-24    Field Outing III Snow Camping & Summit Climb

Header photo graciously donated by Stephen Matera Photography.