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Mt. Baker Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor Course and Climb

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $1680
    Deposit
    $400
    Duration
    6 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Mountaineering
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Mt. Baker Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor Course and Climb

Mt. Baker Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor Course and Climb

dollar sign Price / Deposit

$1,680 / $ 400

Meter Difficulty

Level 2

Clock Duration

6 days

Climber on cliff Type

Mountaineering

This unique program merges a Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor course with comprehensive mountaineering skill development and a challenging climb of the iconic North Cascade peak, Mt. Baker.

Jump To…

This unique program merges a Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor course with comprehensive mountaineering skill development and a challenging climb of the iconic North Cascade peak, Mt. Baker.

CLIMB HIGHLIGHTS

  • This program equips participants with the skills and knowledge needed to achieve an LNT Level 2 Instructor certification, and empowers them to effectively teach and certify individuals in Leave No Trace Level 1 Instructor courses and Awareness Workshops.
  • To prepare for the climb, engage in a full day of mountaineering training, including camp craft and self-care skills.
  • The terrain covered on Mt. Baker serves as an ideal classroom, offering diverse environments such as old-growth forests, heather meadows, and immense glaciers, allowing us to focus specifically on LNT techniques relevant to alpine environments.
  • The program culminates in a summit attempt on Mt. Baker, a classic Cascade volcano.

Upper Sandy Camp
Baker from the air
Descending Baker's Easton Glacier
Sunrise and Mt. Baker's shadow
Mt. Baker aerial

The Mt. Baker Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor Course and Climb is an unparalleled adventure, ideal for those new to climbing or experienced climbers seeking further skills development. This comprehensive program begins with a Leave No Trace Level 2 Instructor course, offering participants extensive training in Leave No Trace skills and ethics through practical application in a field-based setting. Specifically designed for individuals actively teaching or wishing to teach backcountry skills or to provide recreation information to the public, it's also perfect for climbing enthusiasts eager for an immersive LNT course.

Over five days, as we ascend Mt. Baker, the course concentrates on the intricacies of organizing a Leave No Trace Level 1 Instructor program. We delve into essential topics such as planning, logistics, equipment, managing groups in the field, risk management, and effective teaching techniques. With one classroom day and five field days, the program ensures a comprehensive coverage of the Seven Leave No Trace Principles and a deep exploration of outdoor ethics. Participants leave equipped with the knowledge and techniques needed to convey low-impact skills to fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

 

This is an LNT Level 2 Instructor certification course. Successful graduates of the course are able to teach and certify students on Leave No Trace Level 1 Instructor courses and Awareness Workshops.

 

This climb is an entry-level program, perfect for participants in excellent physical condition but lacking previous mountaineering experience. The itinerary incorporates a full day of introductory mountaineering skills training, covering fundamental techniques and knowledge essential for the climb. Furthermore, we delve into the specifics of clothing and equipment selection, along with imparting mountaineering self-care techniques to ensure participants are well-prepared for the adventure.

High Camp on Baker's Easton Glacier

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

The Mountain Guides at RMI have forged an unrivaled reputation as the leading guides in the United States. Integral to some of America’s earliest Himalayan explorations, our guides draw from years of expedition guiding and alpine climbing worldwide, ensuring each program is led by consummate professionals with a wealth of experience.

Renowned for their leadership and character, our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers. They possess a rare blend of compassion, enthusiasm, and the capacity to empower others to obtain new heights. These are qualities that can only be found in those at the pinnacle of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides remember their own humble beginnings in the mountains and take immense satisfaction in assisting other climbers to achieve new heights.

Our unwavering commitment to meticulous attention to detail, unparalleled focus on individual climbers, and genuine enthusiasm for these adventures make for an unforgettable experience.

SAFETY

RMI is dedicated to providing the safest mountain experience. Our expert guides prioritize leading enjoyable and successful climbs while maintaining the highest standards of safety. Every climb involves thorough pre-trip planning, daily weather and avalanche forecasts, and meticulous attention to detail. Our guides are extensively trained in remote medicine and rescue techniques, and they carry comprehensive medical and rescue kits as well as radio communication equipment at all times. Safety is always our top priority, no matter the destination or objective.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure, please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or [email protected].


Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National ForestAuthorized Special Use Permit

RMI Expeditions operates under a special use permit with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

“In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD).”


Leave No TraceLeave No Trace

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide.

In its simplest form, Leave No Trace is about making good decisions to protect the world around you - the world we all enjoy.

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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to [email protected].

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend travel insurance for this trip. Your travel insurance policy should include trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, and evacuation.

Navigating through the different options for travel insurance can be challenging. When purchasing Travel Insurance, here are a few items to consider:

  • Read the fine print. Travel Insurance will reimburse you when canceling for a covered reason for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that you insure. However, there are exclusions, so make sure you understand the “covered reasons.”
  • Confirm that your activity is a covered “activity.” Not all travel insurance policies will offer coverage for activities such as mountaineering, climbing, skiing, or trekking adventures. Policies can also exclude coverage for activities due to the gear used (crampons, ice axe), activities that go above specific elevations, or activities in a particular region of the world. If there are exclusions, you may need to add an “Adventure” or “Sports” package to cover your activity.
  • Verify that your state of residence is allowed with the policy that you are purchasing. Not all insurance companies offer policies in all 50 states.
  • Contact your travel protection company directly for any questions you have regarding benefits or coverage.

We have partnered with Travelex Insurance and Harbor Travel Insurance because they offer certain policies specifically designed for adventure travel and offer coverage for remote areas and activities like mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and trekking, without any altitude restrictions. 

 

For your convenience, we offer Travelex Insurance Services, Inc.(CA Agency License #0D10209) travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. 

For more information on the available plans visit Travelex Insurance Services or contact Travelex Insurance (800) 228-9792 and reference location number 47-0370. 

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.

 

Harbor Insurance 

 Harbor Travel Insurance covers the following critical benefits:

  • Evacuation to a nearest appropriate hospital once hospitalized.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, AD&D, and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses, and military veterans.

Harbor Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries, and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word.

Getting There

You are responsible for your own transportation to the program's trailhead. Most climbers will fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) the evening before the program and rent a car for the 1 3/4 hour drive. The town of Mt. Vernon is approximately 76 miles and an hour and twenty minutes from SeaTac, depending on traffic congestion. You will find a few more hotel and breakfast options here than in Sedro-Woolley. The small town of Sedro-Woolley, "The Gateway to the North Cascades," is approximately an hour and forty minutes from SeaTac. Our meeting place is the Sedro-Woolley Ranger Station, 810 SR 20 (corner of Highway 9 north and State Route 20) in Sedro-Woolley. We meet at 8:00 a.m. Click here for driving directions.

After a team meeting, we drive to the climb's trailhead. You will need a Northwest Forest Service parking pass to leave your car at the trailhead. Passes are $30 and valid for one year. There may be an opportunity to leave some vehicles at the Ranger Station and carpool with other team members. Northwest Forest Service parking passes are available for sale at the ranger station.

Ride Share: If you are participating in a climb and are interested in sharing a ride, please post your information in the "Ride Share" forum of your North Cascades Discussion Board by logging into your RMI Account.

Area Accommodations

Spend the night in either Sedro Woolley or the nearby town of Mt. Vernon.

Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

Facts

Mt. Baker holds the record for the most recorded snowfall in a single season at 1,140 inches.

Mt. Baker was volcanically active as recently as 1891.

For more facts click here, and for even more click here.

Resources

General Information on Mt. Baker.

Mt. Baker map.

Communities & Activities outside Mt. Baker, click here.

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What You’ll Need

A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought process behind each item is much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program takes into account factors such as: seasonality, route conditions, weather, elevation and more. As such, this list is framed within the broadest of contexts and is dynamic by its very nature. Therefore, certain variables (additions and/or subtractions) are inherent within such an all-encompassing list. We make every effort to recommend only top of the line clothing and technical gear and it is never our intention for you to buy or rent unnecessary gear.

The Guide Pick is an example of the listed item, giving you an idea of the material and specifications of the item. This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have similar characteristics and performance abilities to the Guide Pick.

RMI Guides concur on the potential necessity of every item, thus every item on the list is required at gear check. However, guides may also have suggestions derived from their experience, some of which will vary from a given list. The guides’ recommendation whether to bring along or leave behind certain item(s) comes during the gear check, when the team first meets. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item. If a guide presents the option of leaving behind certain item(s) on the list of required equipment, it is for a reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, perceived strength of the party, or desired pack weight.

Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for an ascent. It does not exist because of the multitude of variables faced by climbers throughout the climb. Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. Keep in mind the list is not black and white, fine tuning will occur once you meet with your guide. Have a great climb!

If you are planning on renting gear for your climb, there are two options. Please note rental items are not shipped. Pick-up/Drop-off is at the store location. 

Northwest Mountain Shop - 820 Metcalf Street, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 | Phone: (360) 854-8761. Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

Backcountry Essentials - 214 W Holly Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 543-5678. Many of the required equipment items are available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

The Equipment Shop - American Alpine Institute - 1513 12th Street, Belllingham, WA 98225 | (360) 671-1570. Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.


  • Whittaker Mountaineering Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering when they use code RMI2024 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

Shop Your Equipment List // Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment List

Pack & Travel

Image of 65+ LITER BACKPACK
65+ LITER BACKPACK

Your pack must be large enough for your layers, climbing gear, and food, as well as a portion of your tent and your share of group equipment. You will not need a separate summit pack.

Guide Pick™

Sleeping Bag & Pad

Image of SLEEPING BAG
SLEEPING BAG

We recommend a bag rated between 20° and 0° F. Allow ample room for movement. We recommend down over synthetic for its light weight, warmth, and packability. If climbing in April, May, June, or September, or if you know you sleep cold, consider a 0° F bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
Guide Pick™

Image of SLEEPING PAD
SLEEPING PAD

Full-length inflatable or closed cell pad.

Guide Pick™

Technical Gear

Image of ICE AXE
ICE AXE

The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm axe; and taller, use a 75 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.

Guide Pick™

Image of CLIMBING HARNESS
CLIMBING HARNESS

We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat, or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.

Guide Pick™

Image of TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER
1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER

Used for clipping into the climbing rope.

Guide Pick™

Image of LOCKING CARABINER(S)
1 LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for clipping into anchors, etc.

Guide Pick™

Image of CRAMPONS
CRAMPONS

10-point or 12-point adjustable steel crampons with anti-balling plates designed for general mountaineering use.

Guide Pick™

Image of AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES

Bring extra batteries appropriate to the duration of the climb.

Guide Pick™

Image of TREKKING POLES
TREKKING POLES

We recommend lightweight and collapsible poles with snow baskets.

Guide Pick™

Head

Image of HELMET
HELMET

A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™

Image of WARM HAT
WARM HAT

Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™


Image of BUFF
BUFF

A Buff provides versitile head and neck protection. A neck gaiter is also acceptable.

Guide Pick™

2 PROTECTIVE FACE MASK(S)

Cloth or surgical face mask for use in situations where 6 feet of distance from others cannot be maintained.


Image of HEADLAMP
HEADLAMP

Start with fresh batteries and bring extra set(s) of batteries appropriate to the duration of the trip.

Guide Pick™

Image of GLACIER GLASSES
GLACIER GLASSES

Glacier glasses are protective sunglasses that provide close to 100% frame coverage (wrap-around frames and side shields ensure no light can enter from the top, bottom, and sides of the glasses) and transmit less than 10% of visual light.

Guide Pick™

Image of GOGGLES
GOGGLES

Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.

Guide Pick™

Hands

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES
LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES

Light weight liner or softshell gloves. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES
2 PAIR MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated mountain gloves.

Guide Pick™

Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light, and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, softshell, down, and synthetic options.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY
LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY

Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Light weight, light-colored, hooded baselayers (sun hoodys) are highly recommended for sun protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

One step up in warmth and bulk from a baselayer. A technical fleece makes an ideal light weight insulating layer.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

A down, synthetic, or softshell hoody makes a great midlayer.

Guide Pick™


Image of DOWN OR SYNTHETIC INSULATED JACKET
DOWN OR SYNTHETIC INSULATED JACKET

Your down or synthetic jacket should must have an insulated hood and be able to fit over the rest of your upper body layers. It will be worn primarily in camp and at rest breaks on summit day

Guide Pick™

Image of SPORTS BRA
SPORTS BRA

We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.

Guide Pick™

Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.



Image of SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS
SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS

Softshell climbing pants can be worn in combination with a base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.

Guide Pick™

Image of RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)
RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)

Non-insulated, waterproof shell pants must be able to fit comfortable over your baselayer bottoms and softshell climbing pants. Full side zippers or 7/8 side zippers are required so that shell pants can be put on while wearing boots and crampons.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS  (OPTIONAL)
LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS (OPTIONAL)

A light weight, synthetic pair of pants is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.

Guide Pick™

Feet

Image of SINGLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS
SINGLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

Insulated, full-shank, and crampon-compatible leather or synthetic single mountaineering boots are ideal for the North Cascades.

Guide Pick™

Image of HIKING BOOTS/APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)
HIKING BOOTS/APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)

A pair of approach shoes or lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain after the snow melts (typically by mid-July). Can also be used as a camp shoe.

Guide Pick™

Image of GAITERS
GAITERS

A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing. Not needed if using a boot with an integrated gaiter.

Guide Pick™

Image of PAIRS OF SOCKS
2 PAIRS OF SOCKS

Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc.), should work just fine for this climb.

Guide Pick™

First Aid & Medications

Image of SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT

Our guides carry comprehensive medical kits, so keep yours small and light. We recommend a selection of adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, Moleskin and blister care, medical tape and/or duct tape, basic pain reliever, and personal medications.

Guide Pick™

Personal Items

Image of MEALS & SNACKS
MEALS & SNACKS

See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.


Image of BOWL
BOWL

Packable plastic bowl. Collapsable models can work but must be handled carefully to avoid unintended collapsing. A lid is a great feature.

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED MUG
INSULATED MUG

Insulated outdoor-style mug. We recommed a model with a removable lid, which helps retain heat and prevent spills. You may also choose to use 0.5L insulated bottle or a 0.5L nalgene.

Guide Pick™

Image of SPOON OR SPORK
SPOON OR SPORK

A spoon or spork made of durable plastic or anodized metal. A long-handled spoon can be nice, especially if eating from a freeze-dried meal pouch.

Guide Pick™

Image of WATER BOTTLES
2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

One-liter water bottles with wide mouths made of co-polyester (BPA-free plastic).

Guide Pick™

Image of AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT DROPS
AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT DROPS

Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops. Make sure to select the 30-minute version.

Guide Pick™

Image of GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG
GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG

This will be your personal trash bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of LARGE GARBAGE BAGS
2 LARGE GARBAGE BAGS

Heavy-duty trash compacter bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. You can also use a a waterproof pack liner.


Image of PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG
PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG

Include toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, and wet wipes. Bring a quantity appropriate to the duration of your trip.


Image of TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
Guide Pick™

Image of SUNSCREEN
SUNSCREEN

We recommend small tubes of SPF 30 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIP BALM
LIP BALM

We recommend SPF 15 or higher.

Guide Pick™

Image of INSECT REPELLENT
INSECT REPELLENT
Guide Pick™

Image of EAR PLUGS
EAR PLUGS

SPARE CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES (OPTIONAL)

Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


Image of PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)
PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)

Practice using this before coming on the climb!

Guide Pick™

PEE BOTTLE (OPTIONAL)

One clearly-marked wide-mouth or collapsible bottle for overnight use.

Guide Pick™

Image of CAMERA (OPTIONAL)
CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

Many smartphones have excellent cameras. Action cameras, small point-and-shoots, and compact dSLRs are lightweight and work well at altitude.


Image of POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)
POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)

A small power bank, enough to charge a phone or e-reader several times.

Guide Pick™

SMALL NOTEBOOK

A small Rite in the Rain or similar journal for LNT Master course work and notes.


WRITING IMPLEMENT

For taking notes


Travel Clothes

Image of TRAVEL CLOTHES
TRAVEL CLOTHES

We recommend bringing a selection of clothing to wear while traveling, site seeing and dining.  


SUNGLASSES

Pre-Trip Checklist

Purchase travel insurance.


Purchase airplane tickets.


Arrange transportation and lodging.


Reserve rental equipment.


Be in the best shape of your life!



Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes and anchors, and blue bags (for solid waste disposal).

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a cell phone for emergency contact.

Contents
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Contents
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Contents
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Are there any scholarships or course discounts available?

Yes, RMI Offers a 15% Discount to all currently enrolled college students.

There is also a Scholarship available directly through LNT that can be applied to your overall course cost. You can apply for this scholarship from January 1 - February 18 each year. Applicants will be informed by the end of February if they have been accepted.   

 

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