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Chemeketan Climbing Classification System

The Chemeketan Climbing Classification System (CCCS) described below is intended to provide anyone interested in participating in a scheduled Chemeketan climb with basic information on the type (i.e., rock, snow, mixed) and difficulty (i.e., levels 1,2, and 3) of the climb. Following is a brief description of the CCCS:

  • Snow (S): Primarily a snow climb, usually involving moderate to steep snow, crevassed glaciers, and knowledge and use of an ice axe, crampons, and roped travel.

  • Rock (R): Primarily a rock climb, usually involving more technical climbing knowledge, training, rappelling, and use of leader-placed anchors and protection.

  • Mixed (M): A mixed rock and snow climb in which both rock and snow are likely to be encountered during the climb, and knowledge and techniques applicable to both types of climbing are required.

  • Unrated (U): usually a climb which isn't really difficult enough to get one of the ratings above.

In addition, Chemeketan climbs are rated according to the amount of experience necessary for a climber to participate in a particular climb. The three levels of climbing experience for Chemeketan climbs are as follows:

  • Level 1-Participants have successfully completed (i.e., attended all sessions) of the Chemeketan Basic Climb School or an equivalent climb school (Mazamas, Obsidians, Mountaineers, Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., etc.).

  • Level 2-Participants have successfully completed the Chemeketan Basic Climb School (or a suitable equivalent) and have successfully completed a Chemeketan climb of the same category (i.e., Snow, Rock or Mixed).

  • Level 3-Participants have successfully completed the Chemeketan Basic Climb School (or a suitable equivalent) and have successfully completed a Chemeketan climb of the same category (i.e., Snow, Rock or Mixed), while demonstrating climbing skill and judgement appropriate for the specific route under consideration. The individual climb leader will determine the level of climbing skill and judgement required for the route, and the eligibility of a climber to participate in the climb.

Climbs listed in the Chemeketan climbing schedule are rated according to the type and difficulty to enable climbers to more easily determine if they are qualified for a particular climb. For example, a climb rated S-1 would be a relatively easy snow climb (e.g. Mt. Hood, South Side); R-2 would be a fairly difficult rock climb (e.g. Mt. Washington, West Ridge); and M-3 would be a difficult mixed climb (e.g. Mt. Shuksan, North Face).