Mountaineering Basics

Build the skills you need to climb big mountains! You'll learn the rest step, ice axe arrest, crampon techniques, rope team travel, and efficiency techniques that will help you achieve your climbing goals!
Mountaineering Basics
Mountaineering Basics
Mountaineering Basics
Mountaineering Basics

Looking to explore bigger mountains?  Make the leap from hiker to climber with this introduction to mountaineering skills.  This program will provide you with an understanding of the skills and tools you need to travel efficiently in big, snowy mountains. 

Our expert guides will dial you in on the gear, techniques and safety tips to have you bagging peaks like Mount Shasta and Mount Hood and others in no time!  These are fundamental skills that you can use everywhere from Mount Tallac to Mount Everest!

In this course you'll learn the skills you need to climb and ski big, snowy mountains using ski crampons, boot crampons, and ice axes.  We'll cover:

  • Boot Crampons:  when and how to use them including various footwork techniques.
  • Ice Axes: Self and Rope Team Arrest
  • Ropes: basic techniques for travelling on a rope team or with a guide

Requisite Experience 

This program is an introductory course designed to provide an understanding of the techniques and tools used in classic mountaineering.  You don't need any prerequisite skills, just some moderate fitness and the ability to learn athletic movements that involve your whole body.  

Feel free to email us f you're unsure and we can help you figure it out!

Mountaineering Basics
Mountaineering Basics
Mountaineering Basics
Mountaineering Basics
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Contact Us Here to Schedule Custom Dates for a Mountaineering Fundamentals course today!

Available Dates

Apr 12, 2021
Apr 16, 2021


$199 per person!


Get up to speed in the backcountry with our Into to Backcountry program!  It's the easiest and most efficient way to get the basics down.  From gear management to setting a skin track, our guides will help you get comfortable earning your turns.  Don't thrash, just sign up and show up - we're excited to introduce you to human-powered riding!


Gear Guide / Packing List

Technical Gear

❏ Alpine Touring Skis or Splitboard - Light to Midweight Setup with “Tech Bindings”

❏ Alpine Touring Boots or Splitboard Compatible Boots; Scarpa F1

❏ Climbing Skins - Mohair Mix is Best; Black Diamond GlideLite Mohair Mix,

❏ Touring Backpack - A Pack with Avalanche Tools Pocket; BD Cirque 35

❏ Ski Poles - Lightweight, Adjustable Poles with Baskets; BD Expedition 3 Poles

❏ Ski Helmet - Lightweight S

Avalanche Gear

RENT a the full Avalanche Gear Kit from Blackbird

❏ Avalanche Beacon - Digital Avalanche Transceiver; Black Diamond Guide Recon BT

❏ Avalanche Shovel - Collapsible, Aluminum Shovel; Backcountry Access BT2 Shovel

❏ Avalanche Probe - Quickdraw Style Probe; Backcountry Access Stealth 300

Head and Neck Layers

❏ Sun Hat - A Baseball Hat; Blackbird Mountain Guides Logo Hat

❏ Sunglasses - Dark Lens Glasses with Side Coverage; Julbo Shield

❏ Goggles - Ski Goggles with a Storm Lens; Julbo Aerospace Reactive

❏ Warm Hat - Lightweight Warm Hat that Fits Under Your Helmet;

❏ Neck Gaiters - Light to Midweight Neck Gaiters; Buff or your favorite Face Masks

***These Are Required as Covid-19 Face Coverings

Upper Body and Hand Layers

❏ Long Sleeve Base Layer - Lightweight, Synthetic/Wool; Patagonia SunHoody

❏ 2 Insulating Top Layers - Light to Midweight Insulation Layers; Patagonia R1 & Nano Air

❏ Puffy - Midweight Down or Synthetic with Hood; Patagonia Fitzroy or similar

❏ Hardshell Jacket, Hooded - Waterproof, Gore-Tex, NOT insulated; Arc’Teryx Alpha FL

❏ Light Gloves - Light to Mid Weight for Warm Temps; Flylow John Henry Gloves, BD Tour

❏ Midweight Gloves - Mid to Heavy Weight for Cold Conditions; BD Legend

❏ Sports Bra - Wool/Synthetic;

Lower Body and Foot Layers

❏ Socks - Midweight Wool/Synthetic; Darn Tough Via Ferrata

❏ Underwear - Wool/Synthetic

❏ Long Underwear - Wool/Synthetic “Long Johns”; Patagonia Capilene Air

❏ Softshell Ski Pants - Breathable, Weather Resistant for Fair Weather; OR Trailbreaker II

❏ Vented Hardshell Ski Pants - Waterproof Pants for Extreme Weather; Flylow Compound

Food and Water

❏ Nalgene Water Bottle - Hard Sided Bottle; Nalgene 16oz-32oz Wide Mouth Bottle

❏ Soft Water Bottle 1.5L - Flexible Water Bladder; Hydrapak Flux 1.5L

***Please bring at least one hard sided water bottle.

❏ Snacks - Enough Snacks for the Day. There will be no lunch break so snacks must be

convenient and easy to eat.

Other Essentials

❏ Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)

❏ Lip Balm (with SPF)

❏ Hand Sanitizer

❏ Toilet Paper


❏ First Aid/blister Kit

❏ Chemical Hand Warmers

❏ Hydration System - Flexible Water Bladder with Hose; Hydrapak, Camelback, Platypus

Group Gear

Blackbird Mountain Guides will supply all of the group gear for the trip, including:

✓ Guide’s First Aid Kits

✓ Wag Bags (Solid Human Waste Disposal Bags)

✓ Snow Observation Equipment (Snowsaws, Loops, Crystal Cards, Etc)

Know Before You Go


North Lake Tahoe



Difficulty ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪

Trip Length 

Single Day


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