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CabbyArrantIs anybody on here into Mountaineering or Alpine Climbing? I’m looking to get into it if anyone has a recommendation on good schools and courses for it. I’ve got a decent amount of climbing experience so I’m not too intimidated by it. It just seems more places just want to sell you a guided trip than teach you the skills. I’d like to become self sufficient enough to handle objectives like Rainier without having to hire a guide.
iFlipI have no experience with courses but I have a fair amount of mountaineering experience and a whole lot of alpine climbing experience. The West Coast has a number of quality introductory-level mountaineering-type mountains. Rainier, as you said, is one. Shasta is another. Rainier is really the only one you "need" to rope up on due to crevasse danger in a normal year.
Skill #1 is learning to self-arrest. You'll also of course want to be proficient in walking in crampons, which is more learned than taught. If you communicate clearly with a good guide what your expectations are, he should be willing to teach you what you want to learn. In a group setting you likely will not get what you want. If you do not have friends who are already proficient then I'd recommend hiring a guide for a full day. Not necessarily to summit a mountain, but instead to learn skills. A day will likely not be enough, but it will teach you a lot, and also let you know what you still need to learn.