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Mountaineering Continuum

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Mountaineering Essentials

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Mountaineering Continuum

"Alpinas Maneras" from Precipiste Pictures on Vimeo. ©Precipiste Pictures 2010

Here it is: the unabridged mountaineering program. Spanning nearly seven months and two continents, this program offers it all: from first setting crampons to snow and ice to lofty 6000 meter summits, the Mountaineering Continuum will teach you how to move freely and safely through high mountain country and over technical terrain with confidence and sound judgment.

Beginning with an overview of essential skill sets and their application in the rugged Rocky Mountains surrounding Bozeman, this course continually progresses through every facet of mountaineering: including trip planning, equipment selection, winter backcountry travel, hazard evaluation, avalanche education (provided by the Friends of the Center), technical rock and ice climbing as well as myriad protective systems for high-angle terrain.

This program concludes with a mountaineering master’s curriculum as we move our classroom south for an expedition to Bolivia’s Cordillera Real. With a low student to instructor ratio and six months of training to prepare for the expedition, the goal is to complete more technically demanding routes than the normal “walk-ups.”

After flying into La Paz, the journey begins with an acclimatization visit Copacabana located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. At over 12,000 feet it is the highest navigable body of water in the world. From there we will take a boat to Isla del Sol and trek through the ancient Incan ruins. We will then regroup in La Paz and set off on mountaineering spree. Our first stop is the Condoriri Group – a climber’s paradise with 13 peaks over 5,000 meters accessible from one base camp. After getting our fill of the area, we will embark on a two day trek to the magnificent Huayna Potosi (6,088 meters) where we will attempt a route on the west face. With a 1,000 meter relief, this is the biggest face in Bolivia. This climb will mark the end of the expedition; but for graduates of the program it will signify the beginning to a long pilgrimage of alpine endeavors.

Previous climbing experience is not required. However, participants should be in good physical condition; and have some backpacking or hiking experience.


Participant to instructor ratio: 2:1
Cost per person: $6,400

For more information email:

Kyle Climbing in the Condoriri

Photo © Christpher J Carter 2009

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Above Photos: Codoriri,Cordillera Real, Bolivia © ShredKt Photography