A beginner’s intro list to Mountain Sports

Thought I’d compile useful resources I’ve found over the years that have helped me along my mountain learning journey. I’m lucky enough to now live in the PNW and I am an active member of the mountaineers.

Mountaineering Courses

Winter Camping – The memory of Scott Schissel yelling “COLDWELL” will stick with me forever. Coldwells are an important part of keeping your sleeping systems working well during winter camping.

Wilderness Navigation – Learn to actually use a compass and read a topo map quickly and effectively. They also cover multiple gps devices and have a preference for Gaia topo maps for on device (cell) navigation. Caltopo is also used.

Wilderness First Aid – For when the boo-boos strike in the wild. I now carry a trauma kit (NAR IPOK w/ Combat Gauze) on almost every ⛰ adventure.

Scrambling – Basic introduction to off trail travel in the mountains. Learn to use your ice axe, learn basic rope work for descending.

Mountaineering Skills / Glacier Travel – A 5 day adventure to Mt. Baker to learn how to safely move on a glacier. Crevasse rescue, snow protection, all the things. This is lacking rock climbing in this course to match up to the Mountaineers Basic Climb course.

AIARE 1 – Let’s not die in an avalanche. This course teaches you basic skills around Beacon/Shovel/Probe, the AIARE decision making framework, and Avy Rescue skills.

Wilderness Skills – If you’ve never hiked before, or almost died on a hike due to poor decisions skills (lack of water, 10 essentials, etc) this might be the course for you. I’d hesitate to call this a 101 course, something even more simple than that.

Youtube Playlists / Channels

A random sampling of edutainment. If you love the mountains, sorry-not-sorry if some of these are news to you. You may want to grab some popcorn.

Mediocre Amateur (channel)

The MVP’s of mountain adventure. Scrambling, SkiMo, Trail Running, Skimming (really). Lots and lots of entertainment value and a couple lessons or two along the way.

The fitness levels are off the charts.


Couple excellent playlists on mountain skills: (ICE / ROCK / SNOW)

Jeff Peletier

Canadian Trail runner with some epic travel videos.

Nikolai Schrimer

Simply awesome SkiMo and backcountry, very high production value.

IFHT Films (pure entertainment)

The Col Collective (Mike Cotty)

Watch and be amazed at the roads in Europe by bike. Cycling power nerds unite.

Books (link)

Useful collection of books, anything 5 ⭐ is a must read.


https://beyondourpeak.com/how-to-get-into-ski-touring/ – A good intro to Ski Touring basics.