Rock Climbing + Mountaineering


“I got lots more climbing experience and was able to make good friends, instructors were awesome and we all had alot of great laughs, and good times. It was awesome!”
—Michael, Rock Camp student

Expedition Overview

Dates: June 18 - July 2, 2022
Age: 16 – 18 years old
Group size: max 8-10 students/2 instructors
Length: 15 days
Tuition: $3,600
15-day adventure through developing climbing techniques, leadership and outdoor skills in navigation, camping, backcountry cooking and teamwork.
Packing List 
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Expedition Highlights

  • Hiking in remote Montana mountains
  • Developing outdoor climbing techniques
  • Developing traditional climbing gear placement and multi-pitch climbing
  • Navigation, orienteering, and wilderness travel skills
  • Wilderness decision-making and communication skills
  • Experiencing abundant wildlife and ecosystems

Expedition Description

The Rock Climbing + Mountaineering Expedition is an adventurous 15-day introduction to outdoor top-rope climbing and alpine backpacking in a beautiful and secluded part of Montana’s high country. In addition to acquiring foundational backpacking and outdoor skills, students will learn to identify mountain hazards, assess area conditions, plan travel routes, and learn technical climbing systems to navigate rocky and snowy alpine terrain. The expedition team will apply this new knowledge daily on a challenging progression of climbing objectives.  

Students on this expedition should expect to wake up early, carry a heavy backpack, step out of their comfort zone, and support each other through physical and mental challenges. Those who do so are rewarded with the incredible beauty, serenity, and satisfaction of accomplishment in the mountains. 

This expedition allows participants to explore and expand their personal relationship with the mountains. We strive to foster a conservation ethic in our students as they develop a connection to place and gain an understanding of the importance of wild places and the different components of an alpine ecosystem. Along the way, students will learn and applyLeave No Trace® land stewardship principles and practice leadership and group management techniques. Each participant will have several opportunities to act as the Expedition Leader of the Day, guiding group decision-making and travel in the mountains.  For more information about MWS core curriculum and expedition progression see Expedition Life.

Expedition Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Teamwork and communication skills

  • Learn positive communication skills with diverse group members to create a healthy community, build trust, and make sound decisions in the backcountry together
  • Develop an expedition philosophy, apply it to the course, and understand how it can transfer back to the student’s home environment

Safety and wilderness based decision making

  • Backcountry hazard evaluation and risk reduction guidelines and tools
  • First aid awareness for backcountry settings: identification and treatment of common backcountry illness and injuries
  • Learn to collaboratively make decisions in remote environments that prioritizes individual and group safety

Conservation Ethic

  • Use basic observational and interpretive skills to demonstrate an understanding and respect for the natural environment
  • Discuss the history, facts and potential solutions to pertinent environmental and social issues affecting the wilderness in the expedition area
  • Reflect upon and discuss the conveyance of wilderness conservation ethics into personal life and build a capacity for commitment and stewardship to wild places
  • Develop comprehensive understanding of Leave No Trace© ethics and apply them during the expedition

Backcountry camping and navigation skills

  • Use safe backcountry kitchen practices to cook nutritious meals on a camp stove or fire
  • Demonstrate an ability to select an appropriate campsite and set up a shelter while minimizing the impact on the ecosystem
  • Understand and demonstrate how to stay healthy, warm, and comfortable in the backcountry
  • Understand and demonstrate techniques for camping and traveling in bear habitat
  • Use various navigation and route-finding tools and methods for on and off trail travel
  • Travel efficiently in the alpine environment using map and compass skills

Technical Skills

  • Learn to properly pack and adjust a backpack
  • Become competent in backpacking in alpine environments
  • Travel off trail and discover unpopulated areas of the Montana wilderness
  • Outdoor climbing techniques
  • Learn traditional climbing gear placement
  • Become competent in multi-pitch climbing
  • Opportunity to apply these skills to technical ascents
apply Now
Montana Wilderness School
P.O. Box 1183
Bozeman, MT 59771
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