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Learn the fundamentals of rock and alpine climbing with Chemeketans! Join us each spring for the new and improved THREE evening sessions and one full weekend of training and skill-building. The 2024 Climb School classroom sessions will be held on the evenings of 3/20, 3/27, and 4/3/2024; the full weekend field sessions will be 4/6 and 4/7/2024.

About Climb School

Climb School is a great introduction to basic mountaineering and rock climbing skills. A successful completion of Climb School offers the opportunity to join club climbs year after year, as well as more advanced training. To register, see the Event Registration link at the end of the page.

Chemeketans have offered climb school for decades and, though we are not a guide service, our leadership and members have many years of climbing and outdoor experience. We pride ourselves on promoting mountaineering safety and sharing our knowledge about climbing with all involved with the program. All leaders and assistants are volunteers who are passionate about climbing, leave no trace principles and stewardship of our public lands.

Climb School introduces students to the basic rock and snow skills necessary to participate safely on club climbs, as well as the physical and mental requirements for being a safe and proficient climber.  Though no previous climbing experience is necessary, be aware that climbing is STRENUOUS and participants should be in good physical condition.

Climb School classes are currently limited to 40 students to allow for high rates of individual focus from helpers and leaders. Climb School students must be at least 16 years old by April 6th 2024. Each Climb School student under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a responsible adult--parent or guardian--who is a paid Climb School participant and must stay with the younger participant throughout the field and classroom sessions.

Course Outline
Climb School offers both classroom and field sessions. Through lecture as well as hands on breakout sessions, the classroom activities focus on presentations of climbing gear, risk elements, fitness and nutrition, knot practice, leave no trace and resource protection, 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 axe, moving safely on exposed rock, and roped team travel in a safe, skilled and supportive environment.

2023 Climb School Handbook

Classroom Sessions
 are scheduled for 3/20, 3/27, 4/3/2024 at Pringle Community Hall in Salem. Doors open at 5pm with class beginning shortly after and concluding by 9pm. Students must attend ALL classroom sessions to complete the course.

Field Sessions are scheduled for the weekend of 4/6, 4/7/2024. These two days are devoted to rock climbing practice at Horsethief Butte on Saturday and snow skills on Mt. Hood on Sunday. Horsethief Butte is on the Washington side of the Columbia River across from The Dalles, Oregon. We camp at Horsethief Lake campground. Climb School fees include camping at Horsethief Lake Park and pizza at Spooky's in the Dalles. Students are responsible for their own quick to access meals both field session days, as well as transportation and parking. Carpooling is strongly encouraged as well as Leaving No Trace.

Required Equipment and Gear

For Second Classroom Session For Weekend Field Sessions
  • An approved climbing harness
  • Belay device
  • 5 carabiners (3 locking, 2 non-locking)
  • Prusik cords (provided at first classroom session)
  • Practice rope (provided during 1st classroom session; must be returned at end of 2nd classroom session)
  • Warm, waterproof jacket
  • Pack
  • Warm, non-cotton layers (socks, rain gear, jacket, wicking under-layers, gloves, hat, gaiters, etc)
  • Waterproof hiking boots (warm enough for a day in the snow)
  • Helmet
  • Ice Axe
  • An approved climbing harness
  • Belay device
  • 5 carabiners (3 locking, 2 non-locking)
  • Prusik cords (3 provided in class)

 A helmet and ice axe may be rented from local outdoor stores for about $20-40 for the weekend or borrowed. An approved climbing harness may purchased for $40-$100, or borrowed from a trustworthy source. The club itself does NOT rent gear.  We will be providing some guidance on appropriate gear and recommend waiting until after the first class before making any purchases.


Climb School is Full!
Email to Join the Waitlist!

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Become a Member


$20 for annual Membership
$225 for Climb School

Student Registration

These registration fees cover venue costs, a printed handbook, prusik cords to be used during Climb School, pizza, and camping during the weekend.

In addition to course fees, students will be expected to pay for a snopark parking pass, and acquire (purchase, rent, or borrow) the required equipment and gear to safely participate.

To register as a skilled Volunteer:

Volunteer Registration
Questions? Join the waiting list?

Contact Billy Bob :