Summer Mountain Skills Courses

Mountain Basics Course (MBC)
These are 3-day, base-camp outings designed to show you how to be wise, efficient, and informed when it comes to simple backpacking. Excellent for the beginner who wants to improve their confidence and security in the mountains. Perfect for the aspiring Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker! Pre-trip education prepares you for the outing. The outing weekend teaches you how to:

  1. Fit & Organize Your Pack                      7.  Plan Your Days                  13.  Sleep Comfortably & Warm
  2. Adjust Your Boots for Comfort               8.  Monitor Your Strength        14.  Consider Sanitation & Leave No Trace
  3. Hike and Use Your Poles for Safety      9.  Select a Campsite              15.  Cook Breakfast
  4. Stay Fed and Watered                         10.  Get Water                          16.  Plan for the Day
  5. Be Aware of Your Environment            11.  Doctor Thyself!                  17.  Pack up Camp
  6. Read a Map & Navigate                       12.  Cook Dinner                      18.  Listen!

The point of this course is to get you started, show you the ropes, and let you taste of mountain freedom. It is not about the miles, the speed, or the gear. It is about savoring, allowing, discovering, and laughing!

Course Dates:  2017 (coming soon)

Full MBC Course Description

MBC Gear List

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Mountain Intermediate Course (MIC)
Short trips usually can’t go deep into the hills like multi-day journeys! Want to leave civilization behind and absorb the peace and quiet of a backpacker’s simple trail life? Learn how to plan, prepare for, and successfully hike for a week at a time over typical mid-elevation Sierra terrain practicing the skills and wisdom you learned at the Basic, base-camp level. The intent of this course is to show you how to go from one trailhead to another with your house on your back, how to travel between two points over varied terrain, and to walk along daily, slowly, enjoying all the mountains have to share!

Course Dates:  2017 (coming soon)

Full MIC Course Description

MIC Gear List

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Mountain Advanced Course (MAC)
Now you’ve got the training, let’s take it to High Country and see what few can visit! These are up to 3-week outings designed to show you how to put it all together, enabling you to safely deal with snow, cross swift creeks, and navigate cross-country, while remaining warm, dry, safe, and strong.

Course Dates:  2017 (coming soon)

Full MAC Course Description

MAC Gear List

Apply Now!


Early Season JMT Mountain Advanced Course (ESMAC-JTO)

This is a specialty course for anyone interested in learning what it takes to backpack in the High Sierra on steep snow and dry trail during the “early season” months of April, May, and June! If you are intending on hiking the John Muir Trail when snow may be covering the high passes, this course will give you the skills and wisdom to enjoy your hikes in peace and confidence! Instruction will include how to follow a trail over snow, ascend, descend, and traverse steep snow safely, cross swollen creeks, and camp in snow. It is the same course as the Snow Advanced Course – 7 day (SAC-7).

2017 ESMAC-JTO Course Dates : 

April 25-May 1        May 3-9               May 11-17          May 19-25

June 3-9                    June 11-17          June 19-25          June 27-July 3

Full ESMAC-JTO Course Description

ESMAC Gear List

Apply Now!

“Mountain Man” Course (MMC)
Regular trail hiking has become boring. Want to feel “one” with the mountains? Join us for up to 4 weeks as we expand your mountain abilities and wisdom by taking you off-trail and over everything the High Sierra can dish out. Nothing catches you off-guard. This kind of real mountain savvy is real mountain freedom!

Course Dates:  2017 (coming soon)

Full MMC Course Description

MMC Gear List

Apply Now!

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