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Training


The Chemeketans offer a number of training opportunities throughout the year.  The sessions tend to be focused on outdoor skills and safety.   Most classes are open to both members and non-members, though members typically receive a discount on any associated fees.

One of the major training efforts each year is Climb School for beginning climbers.  Held in the spring, Climb School offers both classroom and field sessions.  Through lectures as well as hands-on breakout sessions, the classroom activities focus on presentations of climbing gear, risk elements, fitness and nutrition, knot practice, communication and ratings, field session logistics, as well as who we are and how to climb more with us.  The field sessions introduce students to basic skills such as belaying, rappelling, self-arrest with an ice ax, moving safely on exposed rock, and roped team travel in a safe, skilled and supportive environment.  See the Climb School page for more detailed information.

The Chemeketans also sponsor a route finding school taught by Steve Dougherty, an experienced climber and outdoor educator.  In a combination of both classroom and outdoor sessions, participants learn to read topographical maps, use map and compass to plot a route, and utilize modern GPS tools to find and travel to particular locations.

Below is a list of training opportunities typically offered each year.

CLIMB SCHOOL
Prerequisites: No experience required
Time: Typically April
Description: Climb School is a great introduction to basic mountaineering and rock climbing skills. The course includes two weeknight lectures and a weekend field session at Horsethief Butte (WA) and Mt Hood where you will learn skills such as belaying, rappelling, moving safely on rock, self-arrest with an ice axe, and roped team travel. For more info visit the Climb School page.
ROUTE FINDING SCHOOL
Prerequisites: No experience required 
Time: Typically February
Description:
 Designed as an introductory or refresher course, Route Finding School teaches the basic skills of navigation. You will learn how to read a topographic map, navigate with a map and compass, and use a GPS. The class consists of an evening lecture followed by field sessions that will challenge your newly developed skills. For more information, click here
WILDERNESS FIRST AID
Prerequisites: No experience required
Time: Spring or Fall
Description:
 
This is an 18-hour Wilderness First Aid course at Silver Falls State Park. The course coversfirst aid skills and decision-making using realistic emergency medical scenarios as might be encountered on a climbing, hiking, or backpacking trip in the Cascades. This is a fun, intense, hands-on course that includes simulated outdoor scenarios in dark, cold, wet, chaotic conditions. For more information, click here.
BEGINNING BACKPACKING
Prerequisites: No experience required
Time: Typically April, June
Description: If you are new to backpacking, or if it has been awhile since you have been out, consider attending this class which is offered every spring. The class has two parts: (1) in April, a classroom show and tell of gear and backpacking food; and (2) in June, a weekend backpack trip to practice your new skills. 
INTRO TO SMITH ROCK
Prerequisites: Chemeketans Climb School or equivalent training/experience
Time: Typically May
Description:
 This 2-day course at Smith Rock State Park focuses on the techniques of sport climbing. Participants learn the fundamentals of leading a sport climb, building a proper anchor for top roping, and belaying a lead climber.
INTRO TO SPORT CLIMBING
Prerequisites: Chemeketans Climb School or equivalent training/experience
Time: Typically May
Description:
 
This 2-day course at Smith Rock State Park focuses on the techniques of sport climbing. Participants learn the fundamentals of leading a sport climb, building a proper anchor for top roping, and belaying a lead climber.

INTERMEDIATE ROCK PRO/ANCHOR SKILLS
Prerequisites: Chemeketans Climb School or equivalent training/experience
Time: Typically April (day before Climb School field sessions)
Description: This class is geared towards the intermediate climber who is looking to gain some exposure to placing “trad” gear and building anchors with that gear. This course is typically offered the Friday before the annual Chemeketan Climb School field session at Horsethief Butte (WA). Students are expected to have their own harnesses and a small assortment of standard gear but the trad gear will be provided.
INTERMEDIATE SNOW SKILLS
Prerequisites: Chemeketans Climb School or equivalent training/experience
Time: Typically May
Description:
 This one-day class takes place on the south slopes of Mt Hood and may include: use of an ice ax on steep snow, crampon technique, “hanging” belays, building and belaying off of snow anchors, basic avalanche assessment (e.g. snow pits), or z-pulley (rescue).  For more information, click here.
ICE SCHOOL
Prerequisites:  Chemeketans Climb School or equivalent training/experience
Time: Typically Sept/Oct
Description:
 
This 2day course is taught at Mt Hood and is geared towards climbers who have completed Climb School and are looking to gain experience on technical snow/ice. Participants will gain practice proper crampon and ice axe technique, ascending/descending steep snow/ice, roped team travel on technical terrain, and climbing vertical ice.