1)   How do I apply for Basic Mountaineering School?


Register forThis CMC ‘Trip’ to receive Application information. The Application must be submitted and Tuition paid by 29 Feb 2012. The BMS Committee will review the applications and will select this year’s class. The class size will be limited by the number of qualified volunteer instructors, as a low student to instructor ratio is required (2:1) for safety.

2)   What equipment will I need to have for BMS?

There is an extensive list of required equipment for BMS.

Crampons can be rented from the School under the following terms:

Crampons – Available for the Hard Snow Practice with a $100 deposit. Crampons can be checked out only on the night of the Sixth Lecture and must be returned after the last field trip.

Additionally, reading assignments, quizzes, and the final exam are based on materials from the text Mountaineering: Freedom Of The Hills, 8th edition by the Mountaineers. This text is available for purchase at the Colorado Mountain Club offices and at most local mountaineering shops at a discount.

3)   What happens if I drop out of BMS?

Each year a large number of applicants apply for the school.  If you are not committed to attending all lectures and field trips then please allow those who are committed to take priority, and consider applying when you can make the commitment.

Denver Group refund policy is as follows:
“Student/participant requests for refunds of tuition/fees must be requested in writing to the appropirate school or event director. Requests made prior to 30 days before the beginning of the school/event will be processed less a $10 handling fee. Requests made within 30 days of the school/event will be refunded at 50% of the amount paid. No refunds will be made after the beginning of the school/event. However, a refund less $10 can be obtained if a person is found to take the original student’s place in a school.”

All requests for a BMS refund must be made to the BMS Director.

4)   What can I do if I miss a lecture or a field trip?

To graduate from the Basic Mountaineering School, students must attend all lectures, participate in all required field trips, and demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in all exercises and/or climbs.

Please remember that each instructor is making a substantial volunteer commitment of time and effort to make this quality school available to CMC members.  As a student, your commitment can be no less.  You must be willing to adjust your schedule to fit the school.  There will be no guaranteed provisions for “make-ups.”  Any lecture, and up to two missed field trips, may be taken next year at no charge if necessary for graduation.

5)   What are the prerequisites for BMS?

Admission to BMS is open to people who are at least eighteen years old and who meet the following requirements:

1.  Current CMC membership.

2.  Current possession of at least a Denver group “C” hiking classification. (Do not delay obtaining this classification!)

3.  Prepayment of the $275 tuition.  ($300 if paid after 29 Feb 2012; $325 for non-Denver Group members). Applications and Payment are due by 29 February 2012.

Potential BMS students do not need to possess any previous technical rock climbing experience. You will need to possess conditioning and stamina.  Additionally you will be required to obtain equipment necessary to support the field trip exercises.  The school requires one overnight field trip, so it is highly recommended that you have backpacking and camping experience.

6)   What happens if I am afraid to participate in an exercise?

There will be several exercises during the rock and snow field trips that may be frightening the first few times they are practiced. This is to be expected.  No student will be required to do anything against his or her will.  There are many safety precautions employed in the school to protect participants from danger, but this protection should not be accepted on blind faith.  The student should understand the purpose of each protection system and how it works.  The motivation for attempting something scary should not come from instructor persuasion or peer pressure, but rather from a justified faith in the system, a willingness to overcome instinctive fears, and a desire to expand your mountaineering capabilities.

7)   What is the cost of BMS?

The tuition for BMS is $275.00 for Denver Group members ($300 if paid after 29 Feb 2012) and $325 for CMC members not in the Denver Group.  In addition to the cost of the school, each student is expected to have or obtain the necessary equipment to safely participate in the class.

8)   How will I know if I have been accepted into BMS?

All applications received on or before the deadline will be responded to by mail in one of three ways:

1. Notice of acceptance.

2. Notice of stand-by status (pending availability).

3. Notice of rejection and refund of tuition.

Applications will be evaluated and a response will be sent out after March 12, 2010.

9) What are the requirements for BMS graduation?

In order to graduate from BMS you need to attend all the lectures, satisfactorily complete all quizzes and pass the final exam, and successfully complete all six of the field trips.  In addition, you must successfully participate in a qualifying, CMC scheduled Routefinding trip, a qualifying, CMC scheduled High Peak Climb, and in any trail building outing by any official or volunteer agency.  You must learn and demonstrate the skills taught in the field sessions, show preparedness, always consider safety, and have the necessary stamina and physical conditioning.

10)  Who are the instructors?

Meet The Instructors

11)  Is it possible to take WTS and BMS at the same time?

You will not be able to take both Wilderness Trekking School and Basic Mountaineering School at the same time.  WTS is a requirement for a C classification and a C classification is required to apply to BMS.If you haven’t taken WTS or the Backpacking School, your only option to get into BMS this year would be to get a WTS waiver.  BMS applications and payment are due by Friday, February 25, 2011 at which point you must to meet the requirements for admission to the school.

12)  Can I waive BMS?

For the sake of safety and integrity, BMS waivers are not granted lightly.  Contact the BMS Director to discuss equivalent requirements, waiver request, and more specific details.

You may download and print the BMS Waiver Application Form from the BMS Waiver Information packet.

13) Do I *really* need a Denver C hiker classification *before* I apply to BMS?

Yes. No exceptions. No excuses. No whining. In the past, a C classification was required to graduate BMS and most students found it very difficult to both take BMS and work on getting a C. Also, we have found over the years that C hikers generally are more familiar and comfortable with the effort required for BMS field trips.

14)  I have a conflict on one of the field trip days? Are there make-up sessions?

Generally speaking, make-up sessions are not available. If the field day is not one that is required for continued participation in BMS (Navigation, Hard Snow and Third Rock Day), you have the option to continue with your group and making up the missed field session and graduating the following year.

Back to the top

Back to the BMS Main Page