Overview

Skill Conditioners are alpine trips in the mountains that in addition to reaching some destination (the conditioner part) also teach one or more skills (the skill part).  They are typically designed to have minimal prerequisites such that attendees have more opportunities for improving the skills they need help with.  These trips are not graded and can be taken any number of times (subject to availability).

Learn Skills by Using Skills

The design of Skill Conditioners allows for skill instruction in a setting that is as close as possible to the conditions students would encounter on mountain trips where no time is budgeted for instruction (examples include Basic Climbs, Alpine Scrambles, or Hikes).  This goal offers unique challenges for safety because:

Typical Skill Conditioners

Destination Name

Potential Attendees

More Hazards

Pics

Routes

Skill Conditioner: 10 Essential Gear at Mount Si

H*,S*,C

Skill Conditioner: Cramponing & Winter Gear at Mount Si

H*,S*,C

Pics

Route

Skill Conditioner: Snowshoeing & Winter Gear at Icicle Ridge

H*,S*,C

Pics

Route

Skill Conditioner: Rock Scrambling at Mount Erie

S*,C

Pics

Route

Skill Conditioner: Scrambling at Mount Constitution

S*, C

Pics

Route

Skill Conditioner: Snow Skills at Rampart Ridge (Longmire)

S*,C

Yes

Pics

Route

Skill Conditioner: Fixed Line Travel w/Crampons at Haystack

C

Pics

Route

Skill Conditioner: Crevasse Rescue at Discovery Park

C

Pics

Route

Skill Conditioner: Team Arrest at Alta Vista

C

Yes

Pic

Skill Conditioner: Crevasse Rescue at Alta Vista

C

Yes

Skill Conditioner: Rappeling at Mount Si

C

Yes

Pic

Skill Conditioner: Prusiking at Mount Si

C

Pic

*leader permission required

Who Can Participate in Skill Conditioners?

Each Destination will include the specific skills and terrain in the description.  Participation will depend on the type of Skill Conditioner.  Many Skill Conditioners will require Ice Axe Arrest training, although that may not be the focused skill.  Skill Conditioners that require Ice Axe Arrest skills for safe participation, for example, will be listed with Basic Climbing Graduate or Scramble Graduate as a prerequisite, because we know that those participants have Ice Axe Arrest skills.  However, leaders my override the prerequisite and sign up students who the leader feels have the appropriate skills.  This way leaders can feel confident that participants have the minimum skills required for safe participation, and can have the flexibility to include others as well.

Skill Conditioner Leaders

Skill Conditioners offer a unique opportunity for new leaders and instructors to practice and observe leadership techniques in a relatively controlled setting.  It is important to have qualified leaders because students and instructors will come with a wide variety of skill and comfort levels and delivering instruction in conditions that can be less than optimal (yet could reasonably be expected to be encountered on normal trips) pose unique safety hazards.  One possibility for identifying leaders qualified to lead Skill Conditions would be for:

This could provide a great learning opportunity for future leaders by allowing them to practice leadership skills in situations with a gradually increasing amount of responsibility:

Skill Conditioner Destinations

Destinations are the construct used in the Mountaineers online database to capture the recurring details associated with each trip offered by the Mountaineers.  In addition to the details normally associated with any mountain trip, a Skill Conditioner Destination would also include:

Destinations also have a ‘type’ which is used to locate trips of a particular type when searching for trips via the ‘Explore’ dropdown on the Mountaineers home web page (www.mountaineers.org).  Ideally a Skill Conditioner allowing hikers, scramblers, and climbers would be found when selecting Climbs, Scrambles, or Hikes, but unfortunately this is not possible at this time.  For the time being Skill Conditioners will have a type of Climb in order to address the needs of past, current, and future climbing students.