Learn to travel safely on snow using crampons, ice axes, and microspikes. Prepare for high passes and steep snow slopes on the JMT or PCT. Self-arrest, crampon techniques, and the ability to make informed decisions regarding conditions are crucial skills in the Sierra. The high passes of the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail can often hold snow until mid-summer. We will provide the skills to safely cross these snowy passes and mountain snowfields. This course is a starting point, we encourage you to get out and practice your skills before putting them to use on the trail.

You will have the chance to experiment with both crampons and microspikes. We encourage you to bring and try a variety of footwear during our course including lightweight mountain boots. The footwear you choose to take on your JMT or PCT hike will vary depending on conditions. We encourage you to try any footwear options you are considering during this course, so that you can be prepared for any conditions you may find on the trail. We have crampons and boots available to rent.

Course Location

We will hold the course between Bishop and Lee Vining, depending on snow and road conditions. About a week before each course we will determine the best course location. We are conveniently located near many JMT and PCT exit points, many hikers exit the trail before reaching the high Sierra to take this course.

River Crossing Skills

After a high snow year, river crossing skills are another crucial skills for traveling on the JMT or PCT. We offer River Crossing Skills and Snow Travel Skills on the same weekend so that you can get them both done with one trip to the East Side.