Mt Jefferson
Sharing A Common Interest
In Outdoor Activities

Registration begins December 15th!

Climb School 2016

Learn the fundamentals of rock and alpine climbing with the Chemeketans! Join us for two evening sessions on April 20th and 27th and one full weekend of training and skill-building on April 30th and May 1st.

About Climb School

The annual Climb School is a great introduction to basic mountaineering and rock climbing skills. Chemeketan Climb School, or an equivalent, is required to participate in the club sponsored climbs. Please read this description and, if interested, register at the end of the page under the Registration section. Climb School dates for 2016 are April 20, 27, 30 and May 1.

The Chemeketans have been offering their basic climb school for decades and, though we are not a guide service, our instructors and members have many years of climbing and outdoor experience. We pride ourselves on our dedication to promoting mountaineering safety and to sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm about climbing with everyone associated with the program. All instructors and participating assistants are volunteers who enjoy both climbing and the opportunity to teach others and introduce them to the activity.

Climb School 2015

The purpose of Climb School is to introduce students to the basic rock and snow skills necessary to participate safely on club climbs. It also serves to introduce students to the physical and mental requirements to become safe and proficient team members, and provides a foundation for further learning.

Though no previous climb experience is necessary, it should be noted that mountaineering is a strenuous activity and participants should be in good physical condition. Being in good physical and aerobic shape will both allow you to enjoy the activity and enhance your ability to participate successfully.

The number of Climb School participants is limited to 45. Climb School students must be at least 16 years old by April 30, 2016. Each Climb School student who is 16 or 17 years old must be accompanied by a responsible adult who is a paid Climb School participant and agrees to stay with the younger participant throughout the field session weekend. (The Climb School Coordinator retains the right to waive the fees of the participant guardian at the Coordinator's discretion.) Climb School students who are at least 18 years old do not require an accompanying guardian.

Course Outline

The basic Climb School is divided into both classroom (lecture and hands-on activities) and field sessions. Classroom activities focus on presentations regarding types of climbing, climb terminology, packing, equipment description and requirements, risk elements, fitness and nutrition, knot practice, and discussion of field session logistics. The field sessions introduce the student to basic skills such as belaying, rappelling, self-arrest with an ice axe, moving safely on rock, and travelling as a rope team, and allow the student to learn and practice these in a safe and controlled environment.

Check out the Climb School Handbook

Classroom Sessions will be held on two Wednesdays, April 20 and 27, 2016, from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, at Pringle Hall (606 Church St SE, Salem, 97301). Students must attend both classroom sessions to complete the course. Climb School 2015

Field Sessions will be held on the weekend of April 30-May 1, 2016. These two days are devoted to rock climbing practice at Horse Thief Butte on Saturday and snow skills near Timberline at Mt. Hood on Sunday. Horse Thief Butte is on the Washington side of the Columbia River opposite The Dalles, Oregon. Students are responsible for their own transportation. Carpooling is encouraged. We'll be camping Saturday night at Horse Thief Lake campground near Horse Thief Butte and eating as a group at Spooky's Pizza in The Dalles. Climb School fees include camping at Horsethief Lake Park and the Saturday night buffet dinner at Spooky's. Students are responsible for their own breakfast and lunch both field session days. Washington State Parks imposes a $10 parking charge for extra (any vehicle beyond the first at a site) vehicles at the campground so, again, carpooling is encouraged. Students are responsible for their parking costs for any extra vehicles. In addition, vehicles parked at Timberline Lodge for the Sunday snow session require a snow pass permit.

Climb School Participation Fees for 2016

After enrolling online, please mail your tuition fees to the address shown below. Upon receipt of payment you will be moved to the "paid" category of the online roster. Until the club has received your tuition, you are not officially in the School and will not be assigned to the field session pod rosters.

Climb School has a maximum enrollment of 45 students. Once 45 enrollees have paid, all other individuals who have signed up and have paid will be placed on the Waiting List. If a student drops, individuals on the Waiting List will be given preference in the order that payment was submitted. As individuals on the list of Enrollees Who Have Not Paid submit payment they will be placed on the Waiting List. If an opening occurs, waiting list students will be contacted by the Climb School Coordinator. Please be prompt in your payment to ensure your spot.

You may cancel your enrollment at any time after payment but there will be a non-refundable $25 cancellation fee.


$155 for current Chemeketan Members.

$175 for Non-Members (the higher fee includes a one-year membership with the Club, with membership granted upon completion of Climb School.)

Make your check payable to
"Chemeketans" and mail to:
Chemeketan Climb School
c/o Dmitry Zaichenko
4483 Oregon Trail Ct
Salem, OR 97305

These registration fees cover attendance at classroom and field sessions, a handbook, prusik cords to be used during Climb School, campground fees and parking for the weekend session, and buffet dinner during the weekend field session. In addition to course fees, students will be expected to acquire (purchase, rent, or borrow) the appropriate equipment and gear to safely participate.

Required Equipment and Gear

For Second Classroom SessionFor Weekend Field Sessions
  • An approved climbing harness
  • Belay device
  • 4 carabiners (2 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
  • 4 carabiners (2 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 (REI, Salem Summit) or borrowed. An approved climbing harness may purchased for $30-$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.


Registration for Climb School begins on December 15th. Register by clicking the Sign Up button, below. Club members, enter your email address (assuming it is on file) in Section A. Click the Find Membership button to bring up the prompt to click Enroll. Non-members, enter the information requested in Section B, then click Enroll. You will then be placed on the roster.

Your place in Climb School is not ensured until we have received your payment. You will be placed on the Waiting List until we receive your payment. Additionally, those signing up beyond our 45 student capacity will be placed on the Waiting List until a spot opens.

While the lecture portion of the classroom sessions are offered en masse, the remainder of the instruction and practice will occur in smaller groups of 6 to 8 students. If you wish to be in a group with another student, please let the climb coordinator know and we will make every effort to place you together. Current roster, status, and field session assignments are available by clicking the buttons below.

If you have any specific questions about Climb School, please contact
Theresa Conley at (phone 541-231-0453).

Revised 15 Feb 2015