Northern Colorado 2022 Mountain Hiking School

The Northern Colorado Group is excited to announce their 2022 Mountain Hiking School this coming spring, March 15 through April 16.  

The course will be patterned after previous offerings of the MHS, as well as the Denver Group’s Wilderness Trekking Course. It will consist of five 3-hour lectures (Tuesdays 6:00-9:00 pm) and 5 all-day field trips (Saturdays). The primary subject areas include basic fundamentals such as: gear, nutrition & hydration, natural hazards and weather, trip planning, hiking styles, group dynamics, and back-country ethics. Navigation and route-finding on- and off-trail will be heavily emphasized, using maps, compass and other readily-available tools and iPhone applications (other than GPS). Students will also learn how to deal with emergencies such as illness, injury, getting help and overnight survival.

Evening lectures (held at the Fort Collins Senior Center): March 15, 22, 29; April 5, 12 
Field trips: March 19, 26; April 2, 9, 16 (alternate April 23)  

This course will help prepare students for hiking safely and competently in all seasons in the Colorado Mountains, at varied elevations and under challenging weather conditions. It will also provide invaluable information and experience for those who might want to eventually become official CMC leaders.

Completion of the course will also help prepare those who may be interested in enrolling in our springtime Alpine Scrambling Course, Basic Mountaineering Course, as well as other educational clinics & workshops. Four field trips will be conducted at lower elevations where snow may or may not be present, while the graduation hike will be at elevations from over 10,000’ to about 11,500’ and on snow. The “B Level” graduation hike will involve snowshoe travel, ice axe practice on moderate terrain, and a Class 2 ascent of an alpine ridge to a summit offering exceptional views.  

All course participants must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and comply with mask requirements inside buildings and during carpooling. Students are expected to attend all lectures and field trips in order to receive a certificate of completion.

Enrollees are expected to be CMC-Northern Colorado Group members, 18 years of age, have good fitness and motivation, and provide or purchase all necessary clothing and basic recommended gear (we will provide ice axes for the graduation climb). Necessary purchases can be made after the first classroom where gear will be discussed in detail. Outside of minimal map and compass purchases – as well as customary ride share for the field trips — there is no charge for the course. 

Applications for the spring 2022 course must be received by the Administrative Director, JoAnn Herkenhoff no later than March 1, 2022. The class will be limited to 18 students. Questions about the course may be directed by email to JoAnn or to Ward Whicker, Course Director.

Submit your application today!  

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