Mt Jefferson
Sharing A Common Interest
In Outdoor Activities

Climb School 2014

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, sign up and register at the end of the page under the Registration section. Climb school dates for 2014 are April 2, 9, 12, and 13.

climbing_lizard.gif (4277 bytes) 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.

The purpose of the 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 12, 2014. 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, rappeling, self arrest, moving safely on rock, and traveling as a rope team, and allow the student to learn and practice these in a safe and controlled environment.

Check out the Climb School 2014 Handbook

*Venue Change* Classroom Sessions will be held on two Wednesdays, April 2 and 9, 2014, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Please try to arrive by 5:30 pm for registration on the first day. The doors will open at 5:30 pm on both days. Both classroom sessions will be held at The Nest, 241 State Street, in downtown Salem - across from Salem Summit Company. Students must attend both classroom sessions to complete the course.

Field Sessions will be held on Saturday-Sunday, April 12-13, 2014. 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, a local restaurant 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 *
Make your check payable to
"Chemeketans" and mail to:
Chemeketan Climb School
c/o Mary Wandell
362 Monroe Ct NE
Salem OR 97301-4963
Fees Member Non-Member
1st Adult  $155 $175
2nd Adult in household $155 $163
Under age 18 $155 $158
  • After enrolling, please mail your tuition fees to the address shown.
  • Upon receipt of payment you will be moved to the "paid" category of the roster.
  • Should you subsequently have to cancel or find that, prior to the field sessions, you're unable or don't want to continue, your payment will be refunded in full.

These registration fees cover attendance at classroom and field sessions, a handbook, other study materials, club-furnished sling material, and the campground and buffet dinner costs. In addition to the above, there will be further costs for gear and equipment, so you should wait until the class begins before making any large gear purchases as the club will be offering a gear package for students.

* The non-member fee includes membership in the club upon successful completion of the climb school field sessions.  For more information about membership, contact the Membership Secretary.

Equipment and Gear that you will need to participate in the field sessions:

  • Parka/raincoat
  • Pack
  • Clothing (socks, raingear, jacket, polypro, gloves, hat, gaiters, etc)
  • Hiking boots
  • Helmet
  • Ice Axe
  • Climb harness
  • Belay device, carabiners, prusik slings

Many of you will already own some of the above and particular items may be borrowed or rented. As mentioned, the club will be offering a package of belay device (ATC) and carabiners for purchase (est $40), and will be providing prusik cord for slings as part of the school tuition. Alternatively, the student may procure these on his own. Helmet and ice axe may be rented (est $10/weekend each) or borrowed. A commercial climb harness (NO tied webbing) may either be borrowed or purchased (est $35 - $90). Overall costs will obviously depend on whether one can borrow or rent certain items and what packages may be available at the time. Please wait until after the first class before making any purchase decisions, especially for larger ticket items! Please note that the club itself does NOT rent items; these may be obtained through commercial vendors, e.g. REI, etc.


Registration for the Chemeketan Climb School commences on December 15th of the year preceding the particular spring classes. You should register for the school by signing up below. After clicking the Sign Up button, if you are currently a Club member, entering your email address in Section A and clicking the Find Membership button will bring up an acknowledgement and the prompt to click the Enroll button (assuming your email address is on file ). You are then placed on the roster. Otherwise, non-members please enter the information requested in Section B. Once you are enrolled for the class, please mail your registration fees to the registrar and you will then be moved to paid status. Should the school be oversubscribed, priority will be given to those students who have both registered in advance and paid.

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 individuals. If you wish to be in a group with another individual, 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 appropriate buttons.

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

revised 2013-12-15