First Mount Washington. Next, the Alps!
Question: I'm looking for a mountaineering school/course in the Northeast to prepare for a hut trip in the Alps next April. Any suggestions?
Adventure Adviser: Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to head to the high fourteeners in the West to train for the Alps. North American Telemark Organization (a NATO, of sorts) runs two- and three-day mountaineering courses in the mighty Whites, Greens, and Adirondacks of the Northeast. Rub shoulders with Everest-bound climbers in
NATO's Mount Washington clinic, where you'll first learn how to live at altitude in severe winter weather, and then learn how to ski there. Instruction centers around basic mountaineering skills, tree skiing, and route finding. Courses run all winter and cost $150 to $400 per person. For scheduling information, call NATO in Waitsfield, Vermont, at 800-835-3404. Another option
is to sign on with one of the Appalachian Mountain Club's mutliday winter mountaineering workshops. Based in Pinkham Notch, in the heart of New Hampshire's White Mountains, the AMC offers everything in the way of cold-weather skills classes, including introductory ice climbing, snow-shelter building, and avalanche courses. Their two-day basic mountaineering course--with
instruction on using crampons and ice axes, plus fundamental rope skills and belay methods--runs January 12-14 and February 28-March 2 and costs $295 per person. Or opt for their two-part Winter Mountain Skills course, which covers equipment, navigation, and emergency bivouacking, for $80 per person. Call the AMC at 603-466-2727 to register.
Training for the Alps? Try
Mount Washington first.