Mountaineering and Scrambling conditioning and training needs fills the gap between hiking, trekking, and backpacking on established trails and technical vertical climbing of rock or ice. We define Scrambling as nontechnical off-trail travel (i.e. without a harness, rope, or protection hardware), often on snow or rock, requiring the occasional use of hands. Scrambling can involve negotiating lower-angle rock; covering class 2 or 3 terrain; traveling over talus, scree, or boulder fields; crossing streams; maneuvering through dense brush; and walking on snowy slopes.

Mountaineering uses ropes, protection, and harness to reach a summit and requires skill beyond that of scrambling. Mountaineers may handle 5th class rock, hard snow, and low-angle ice or glacial terrain. If you are climbing low 5th class rock in mountaineering boots or you need only one ice axe to ascend icy slopes of less than 40 degrees, train for mountaineering. If the climbing is difficult enough to require rock shoes or your terrain requires two ice axes, see the climbing training and conditioning area for information related to technical climbing.

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