One Day Mountain Skills Course

Whether you are looking to give your summer hiking skills relevance in the winter, or hoping to take the first step toward climbing bigger mountains, this course is jam packed with excellent skills you will need to safely travel on snow and ice.

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Length: 9am-4pm
Guide-to-Client Ratio: 1:4
Difficulty: Beginner
When: December - April
Type: Mountain School


1 person: $200 per person
2 people: $175 per person
3 people: $135 per person
4 people: $125 per person
Group & private rates available


Most of the required equipment [listed below] is available for rent from our affiliate mtnGEAR. NEM climbers will receive an exclusive discount of 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing.

Visit mtnGEAR for Rental Prices


Learning Objectives

At the end of the 1 Day Mountain Skills course the participant should have a solid understanding of the following:
  • Packing for Mountaineering and Winter Hiking
  • Nutrition and Hydration preparation and consumption
  • Crampon Techniques for Ascending, Descending and snow travel
  • Self Arrest from multiple falling positions
  • Basic rappelling techniques using a rope

Instructional sessions (Half Day indoors and half day outdoors).

  1. Discussion: Understanding the Mountain Environment & How to Survive it.
    • Pack Dump: Introduction to packing for the mountains
    • Self Care: Addressing issues before they become problems
    • Importance of Water Consumption, how much to bring and storage options
    • Importance of food intake, how much to bring and storage options
    • Additional comments, questions and concerns
  2. Field Session: Skills Instruction and Practice
    • Crampon Techniques for Ascending
    • Crampon Techniques for Descending
    • Self arrest from multiple positions
    • Arm rappels and other basic techniques for assisted descents
    • Additional comments, questions and concerns


What To Wear


To be prepared you will need the following items. When selecting clothing for your adventure, think layers. Choose synthetic materials, wool, or fleece. The saying is "Cotton Kills." It will absorb sweat and then freeze - increasing the chances of hypothermia.


Please Bring the Following Items.

Guides Pick

[  ] Base Layer Top and Bottom: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top will be used as your base layer. Zip-neck styles will allow for better temperature regulation. Patagonia Capilene Men's

Patagonia Capilene Women's

[  ] Socks Wool or Synthetic Smartwool Mountaineer

Snow pants will suffice instead of soft shell climbing pants and if you have insulating layers and jackets we recommend that you bring them. There will be time to sort through what you should bring and what you leave behind.


Mandatory Gear List


Most of the required equipment [listed below] is available for rent from our affiliate mtnGEAR. NEM climbers will receive an exclusive discount of 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing.


Mandatory Items

Guides Pick

[  ] Pack with Waist Strap: A 30-40L pack is the recommended size for one day climbs. Your pack MUST have a waist strap. A backpack will not suffice. Patagonia Ascensionist Daypack 35L

[  ] Crampons: 10-12 point adjustable crampons designed for mountaineering Black Diamond Contact Clip

[  ] Ice Axe: An ice axe designed for general mountaineering. Black Diamond Raven

[  ] Helmet: A lightweight climbing helmet. Black Diamond Half Dome

[  ] Warm Hat: Wool or synthetic. It should be warm and thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet. Outdoor Research Gradient

[  ] Buff/Neck Gaiter: Buff makes the best option. Buff

[  ] Ball Hat/Sun Hat: Optional. A lightweight ball cap or sun hat.
[  ] Sun Glasses: A pair of dark-lensed sunglasses with side shields or full wrap-type sunglasses. Julbo Dolman

[  ] Lightweight glove: One pair of fleece gloves. OR PL Sensor

[  ] Medium Weight Glove: Wind/water resistant insulated mountain gloves. OR Alpine Alibi II

[  ] Heavy Insulated Mitten: Wind/water resistant, insulated mittens for protection against wind, snow and cold. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove. Marmot Expedition Mitts

[  ] Light Insulating Layer/Soft Shell Top: A fleece or other insulation layer. Patagonia R1 Pullover

[  ]Hard Shell Jacket with Hood: Wind/rain Proof. Gore-Tex recommended. OR Maximus

[  ] Insulated Parka: This item becomes of highest importance when we are faced with poor weather. This should be an expeditionary-type heavy parka that extends well below the waist and above the knees. Goose down is recommended versus synthetic fill. It does not have to be waterproof, but that is a nice feature. The parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day and as an emergency garment if needed. When sizing a parka, allow for several layers to be worn underneath; buy it large. The parka must have an insulated hood. OR Incandescent Hooded

[  ] Climbing Pants: Synthetic climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them alone on hot days, or in combination with the base layer on cold days. The thickness (insulation quality) should be based on how well you do in the cold. For most of our adventures snow pants will suffice. OR Ferrosi Men's

OR Ferrosi Women's

[  ] Hard Shell Pants: A pant made of breathable rain and wind-proof material will be needed. Full-length side zippers are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons in cold, inclement weather. Marmot Precip Full Zip

[  ] Mountaineering Boots: Insulated plastic boots are the preferred choice for winter mountaineering. They provide the best insulation as well as a more rigid sole for kicking steps and holding crampons. Leather mountaineering boots that have completely rigid soles are also adequate, but they will need to be insulated and may still result in cold feet above treeline. Lightweight hiking boots without insulation are not acceptable as they don’t work well with crampons, or in very cold or wet weather. Winter boots are not acceptable unless they adequately hold a crampon. Scarpa Inverno

[  ] Gaiters: A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampons on loose clothing. OR Expedition Crocs

Visit mtnGEAR for Rental Prices


Nutrition & Hydration


It is important to continuously take in calories throughout the day. Every break you should eat a snack during the short 10 to 15 minute rest. Food is the wood to your fire and to keep it stoked it needs constant replenishing. Do not plan on cooking or preparing your snacks in the field. All food should be prepared and packed ready for immediate consumption.
We suggest crackers, pizza, candy bars, jerky, chips, cookies, trail mix, fruits, Gu, energy bars, and hard candies. Add peanut butter, cream cheese, hard cheese, or pepperoni for additional calories and taste. If you enjoy bread items, bagels work well. Include some salty snacks to replenish lost salts.


To help prevent cramping and heat related injuries, you will need at least 2 liters of water per day. Water is preferred, but other liquids such as gatorade help replace electrolytes and work well, too! Hydration bladders do not work as they freeze during the winter months. Please leave these at home. Instead, bring 32oz. Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles and insulating parkas if you have them. If not, you can use a sock to insulate each water bottle.



Please read through the following frequently asked questions and answers. These will help you prepare for your trip and get a better understanding of what to expect.

Do I need any prior experience?

You do not need prior experience to join us! The 1 Day Mountaineering Skills Course is designed for all ages and experience levels. The goal is to build a solid foundation of skills that are necessary for recreating and/or hiking during the winter months.

What happens if the weather doesn't cooperate?

We usually will go out in the rain and snow. Lightning will reschedule or end our course. Please plan for all weather conditions. We may just alter the plan based on the weather forecast.

Am I supposed to tip my guide(s)?

Tips are never expected, however if you think your guide did a great job, tips are welcomed and appreciated. A normal tip is 20% of the guide fees or $20 per guide per day.

Can I rent the gear that I do not own?

Most of the required equipment is available for rent from our affiliate mtnGEAR. NEM climbers will receive an exclusive discount of 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing.

What are 'Mountaineering Boots'?

These are boots that are designed specifically for snow and very cold weather. They are often composed of an internal insulating boot and an exterior plastic or leather boot. Hiking boots and winter snow boots are not suitable for Mt. Washington or the high peaks of New England in the winter. You will not need these for peaks that do not go above tree line.

Where should I stay during the course?

We recommend The Bunkhouse at Northeast Mountaineering. For your convenience, we offer co-ed, hostel-style accommodations on site. The cost is $20 per person. To maximize your climbing experience, we recommend that you stay in the area the night before your climb.

How do I find out when and where to meet?

Upon completion of your registration you will get a confirmation email with a link to all the pertinent information. You will be asked to secure your rental equipment and read through the welcome information to be prepared and on time for your course.

Looking for more adventure and less education? Jump on a Mount Washington climb or try your hand at ice climbing. Still not sure? Contact Us for a recommendation.


Stay Safe In Avy Terrain

Students can expect to develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, to understand basic decision making while in the field, and to learn rescue techniques required to find and dig up a buried person (if an avalanche occurs and someone in the party is caught).


1 person: $350 per person
More Information



NEMs Adventure itineraries are subject to change or be adjusted based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, group dynamics and many other factors. NEM has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including the discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, an NEM credit for the full value is given; however, NEM cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

NEM reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip at any time if NEM determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program. This includes being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.


Northeast Mountaineering cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit or complete the objective you have signed up for. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities or the abilities of others may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party will have to turn around without reaching the summit. Your program fee entitles you to one mountain experience on your specified dates.


For our adventures to run as booked, we must have 50% enrollment of the maximum participant allotment. As an example, if the program has a maximum of 6 people then we must have 3 registered participants for the adventure. In the case of low registration, you may be asked to postpone or join another group on a different date. Exceptions may be made but it is at complete discretion of Northeast Mountaineering, its guides and agents.


Safety is NEM’s number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in the mountains but they cannot eliminate them. NEM guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that maximize your experience without compromising the necessary margin of safety. Please clearly understand that mountaineering and all other mountain adventures are inherently hazardous sports. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of these sports, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in these activities.


Payment in full is due at the time of booking. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check.


A non-refundable deposit of $200 per person secures your reservation but may vary - please check your specific adventure. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check. Final payment is due 1 month [30 days] before departure. For your convenience, we can work out a monthly payment plan.


A non-refundable deposit of $200 per person secures your reservation but may vary - please check your specific adventure. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or check. Final payment is due 1 month [30 days] before departure. For your convenience, we can work out a monthly payment plan.


Up to 30 days before your adventure: Full Refund will be issued 29 days - 72 hours before your adventure: Full Refund in the form of NEM credit Within 72 hours of your adventure: No refund will be issued* In the event that you have a positive COVID-19 test and need to cancel within 72 hours, you will be issued an NEM credit for your adventure. If NEM cancels your adventure due to weather or another unforeseen reason, you will receive an NEM credit.


Date changes are subject to availability. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 7 days prior to your adventure without incurring a date change fee. Date changes may be requested between 7 and 3 days prior to your departure date for a $25 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed within 72 hours before your adventure.


In the event your guide or a fellow NEM guide or staff has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 or they are otherwise feeling unwell they will attempt to get a COVID test in time for your adventure or course. In the event of a positive test or the absence of results,  your course or adventure will be rescheduled or you can opt for an NEM credit to use at your discretion. Refunds for travel, lodging or other costs associated with your adventure will not be refunded or reimbursed.