ECP Mountaineering School Application


Applications for the 2018-2019 season are now CLOSED!


The ECP Mountaineering School will introduce participants to the basic information and skills of mountaineering and alpinism.

Mountaineering is a time-consuming, expensive, physically and mentally demanding sport.  It is the combination of backpacking, camping, navigation, climbing, and surviving the elements among many others.  The amount of gear required to be even basically comfortable is significant.  You will spend a lot of money to pursue this sport (maybe $1000, maybe $3000) in just your first year.  You will train hard, study hard, plan, travel, and spend time not only in the school, but to actually go on mountaineering trips.  Be prepared to prioritize your life (money- and time-wise) to accommodate this sport.

Think this through and be honest with yourself that you intend to truly commit to the time, hard work, and expense that successful participation in this school requires.  This is not a diet or exercise program that only lasts a little while.  Mountaineering is a Lifestyle!


You must be or become an ECP Member.  Click HERE to apply

An assessment of your climbing skills and physical fitness is required prior to being accepted as a student. You must be competent in basic rock climbing and backpacking skills (ECP Rock Climbing and Backpacking Schools or equivalent experience). You must be able to tie basic climbing knots, belay and rappel safely and know how to set an anchor for top-rope climbing. You should have done a minimum of three unsupported weekend-long backpacking trips. The fitness training and outings in the school will prepare you for the hard work of mountaineering, but you must be reasonably fit to start. If you are unsure if you are qualified, come to the introduction party and speak with a director.

Be committed!  (See Expectations)  The number of students accepted into the school will be limited for everyone’s benefit.  Students must try to get out as much as the Instructors put in!

Some Details

All students and instructors must maintain current membership in the ECP and sign a liability waiver.

The Mountaineering School Fee is $250.00 (returning students $85), to be paid using the PayPal button on the Join/Renew Page.  If you are not accepted, your money will be returned.  An additional $50.00 gear deposit is required with your application, and will be refunded upon return of your equipment in good working condition.  Note that you will also responsible for all of your transportation and lodging costs for outings, including the post-graduation trip.

Students are required to purchase two books: Mountaineering – Freedom of the Hills (8th edition) by The Mountaineers and Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take Your Higher Travel by M. Houston & K. Cosley.  There will be reading assignments and quizzes based on the reading. Students will be expected to keep up with the required reading and homework, participate in class discussions, and to perform scheduled fitness tests to minimum standards to remain in the school.

Students will only be invited to go on the post-graduation trip if sufficient progress has been demonstrated during the school, and the student is deemed capable of completing the trip safely.  

Submit the following items no later than Friday October 12, 2018 at 11:59 AM. 

  • Submittal of Online Application (print or save a copy for yourself)

  • PayPal for $250 + $50 (Gear Deposit) for a total of $300 payable to Explorers Club of Pittsburgh ($85 for returning students).

Your application will not be complete without these items. Contact if you have additional questions.