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2023 Climbing School


Registration now open for 2023 Los Alamos Mountaineers Climbing School

Dear Mountaineers,

We are thrilled to announce that the Los Alamos Mountaineers, in conjunction with Mountain Skills Rock Climbing Adventures of Taos, will be offering a climbing school after some years hiatus. Mountain Skills, supported by Mountaineers volunteers, will teach rock climbing with a safety first attitude, including movement on rock, belaying, rappelling, cleaning protective gear, and removing anchors, with extensive on-rock practice. The course book will be “How To Rock Climb” by John Long and Bob Gaines. The course objective is that successful students should develop the skills needed to participate in top roping, follow a leader in a multi-pitch trad climb, and be able to climb or descend moderate technical obstacles in unplanned backcountry situations using improvised gear (e.g. rope and carabiners). No previous rock climbing experience is required.

Outdoor sessions will be held at Northern New Mexico climbing areas, principally Tres Piedras; the Mountaineers encourage and will help organize car pooling. The outdoor sessions will encompass a full day (6 hours) on the Saturdays of April 1, 8, 15, and 22, with a backup date to make up any weather cancellation on April 29. There will be an evening session in Los Alamos the week of March 27 to discuss movement on rock and a few simple knots, and one the week of April 10 to discuss anchors. Participants will sign a Los Alamos Mountaineers waiver at the first session, and additional waivers as requested by Mountain Skills.

Participants should bring their own lunches to the outdoor sessions. Mountain Skills will provide equipment (helmets, harnesses, climbing shoes) based on the information provided by participants in their registration form.

The cost for the school will be $650; a slot in the school will be secured when (1) participants sign up online here,  (2) payment is received by the Mountaineers, and (3) participants sign up for Mountaineer membership, if not members already. Payment may be made by check, made out to “Los Alamos Mountaineers”, mailed to LAM c/o Cecile Hemez at 1060-B 49th Street, Los Alamos, NM, 87544. The school will take place if we register at least 7 participants, and will fill at 25 participants.  Payment will be refunded only if the slot can be filled by a suitable replacement. Participants will be responsible for obtaining their own copy of the course book. Registration will close on March 1.

Participants should be at least 18 years old, except that 16 or 17 year olds can take part if a parent or guardian is present at all outdoor activities, either as a fellow student or an observer. All participants should be members of the Los Alamos Mountaineers; joining the Mountaineers is easy, and can be done at

We recognize that the cost may pose an impediment to some potential participants. The Mountaineers are offering two scholarship slots to club members for whom cost poses a barrier. One scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Jan Studebaker, and the other to the memory of Don Liska and in honor of Alice Liska. The scholarship recipients will commit to leading an outing for the Mountaineers sometime in 2023. Application for a scholarship should be via a one-page letter, emailed to, explaining the financial need, why the participant wants to learn climbing, and what trip the participant is prepared to offer (the trip may be anything in the out-of-doors ranging from a day hike to an overnight outing). Applications will be considered in confidence by a small subcommittee of the Mountaineers board.

The climbing school was a highlight of the Mountaineers year for decades, and we are excited to bring it back. Friendships made at the climbing school lasted for years, and participants went on to become Mountaineers participants and leaders. We trust that the renewed climbing school will open the door to adventures for decades to come.

We'd love to have you - please sign up here (Google Doc) and submit your check. Questions can be posted to

Sincerely, Bill Priedhorsky for the Mountaineers Board

Preliminary schedule:

  • Outdoor Day 1: Climbing movement, introduction to belaying 
  • Outdoor Day 2: Belaying and climbing fun, simple anchors
  • Outdoor Day 3: Introduction to trad equipment, removing gear, seconding, climbing fun
  • Outdoor Day 4: Cleaning of sport anchors, more climbing 


Here are some other climbing resources, not connected to the climbing school:

Guiding and Training Services

Visit for a maintained list.

Family Y Climbing Classes on the Wall and Outside

Stone Age Climbing Gym in Albuquerque, 505-341-2016

Santa Fe Climbing Center, 505-986-8944

Mountain Skills Rock Guides, LLC (in Taos/Arroyo Seco, 575-776-2222)

REI - (note: all guiding and events are cancelled at this time due to COVID-19)

American Alpine Club -

Suntoucher Mountain Guides, Edgewood, NM

Mountain Project: Mountain Skills Rock Climbing Adventures – Insured guides. Call 575-776-2222

Technical Climbing Section of the New Mexico Mountain Club:,

Taos Mountain Outfitters – 575-758-9292

Canyoning Colorado – Ouray, CO:

Phoenix Wilderness Adventures, AZ

Moab Cliffs & Canyons, Moab, UT – 435-259-3317

Moab Desert Adventures, Moab, UT – 804-814-3872

New Mexico River Adventures – 800-983-7756 in Embudo, NM

Los Rios River Runners (Rafting and Kayaking) – Ranchos De Taos -575-776-8854

Big River Raft Trips – Pilar, NM 575-758-9711


Special Practice and Learning Sessions

Avalanche and Emergency Rescue – Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol (limited availability)

Wilderness Rescue and First Aid- Wilderness Safety Institute

Wilderness First Aid – University of New Mexico First Aid/index.html

Backpacking – REI Coop:

All Terrain Skiing:

10 Must Read Mountain Climbing Books -

Ski Instruction Videos on-line:

Visit Rock Climbing Session schedule in the Los Alamos and White Rock area – Los Alamos Mountaineers

Outdoor Adventure and Wilderness Podcasts:

There are new podcasts developed every year, so search on key words to find a variety of podcasts

Long Underwear; Warren Miller Entertainment

Adventure Deficit

The Adventure Sports Podcast – Mason Gravly

Rock Climbing Doctor, Medical Health Coach

Backpacker Radio

Hike or Die Outdoor Adventure Podcast – Tom Griffin & Craig Brinin of

FieldCraft Survival

Mighty Blue on the Appalachian Trail – The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis – Steve Adams

She Explores – Ravel Media

Outside Podcast

Into the Wilderness – The Pace Brothers

Summit Podcast: Escape the Ordinary –

Wilderness & Environmental Medicine LIVE – Wilderness Medical

Wilderness Podcast

Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy – Will White

The Wilderness and Wellness Podcast – Rod Waline

Wilderness Attitude Podcast – Brandon Waddell

Exploring Deep Wilderness – Spaghetti on the Water – Jon Turk

The Wilderness Medic Podcast

Untrammeled! – Wilderness 50

Books and On-Line Reference Information

The Mountaineers Bookstore:

A Falcon Guide Books:

Aron Ralston: Between a Rock and A Hard Place:

Arno Ilgner Books: Mental Training for Climbers -

Richard A. Light: Backpacking the Light Way -

Craig Martin Books: Los Alamos Trails, 100 Hikes in New Mexico, and more -

Michael R. Kelsey: Kelsey Publishing – Canyon and Mountain Guidebooks -

Joan and Gary Salzman: Hiking Adventures in Northern New Mexico -


Road Trip Ryan:

Jennifer Jordan: Savage Summit -

National Ski Patrol: Mountain Travel and Rescue – A Manual for Basic and Advanced Mountaineering Courses -

Doug Scott Books: including New Mexico Slot Canyons and other Mountaineering and Climbing Books

Steve Allen: Canyoneering Books -


Snowshoeing – Best Snowshoeing Trails in New Mexico:

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