In this 2 day introduction to mountaineering, we will cover the basic fundamental skills needed to be able to climb a simple, yet technical mountain on your own or in the company of a guide.  Personal gear selection for mountaineering, use of crampons and ice axe, minimum impact travel techniques, efficient movement on moderate rock and snow covered terrain, knots, risk awareness and avoidance techniques will be demonstrated, discussed and practiced during our intro course.  Not only will this course improve your technical skills and movement skills, but also introduce or reinforce outdoor etiquette in the mountains and principles of environmental stewardship. Whether it’s your first time outside or you need a refresh after 20 years, all abilities and experience levels are welcome.  This course takes place in Rocky Mountain National Park and is offered  April-July.


Pay a 50% deposit per item

Have questions? Ask one of our guides!


(720) 282-9235 |


See below for more details


Minimum Eligibility Criteria: No experience needed. Must be able to hike up to 8 miles with possibly 3000ft of elevation gain while wearing a light pack and above 8400ft.   Length: 2 days 

  • Day 1: 8 hours 
  • Day 2: 6-9 hours

Maximum Ratio: 

  • Day 1:  6 participants 1 guide. 
  • Day 2:  3 participants, 1 guide

Minimum Age: Under 18 will need written consent from parent/guardian

Skills Covered

Day 1

  • Equipment overview and proper fit
  • Leave No Trace Principles and Outdoor Etiquette
  • Personal gear selection for mountaineering
  • Use of crampons and ice axe
  • Minimum-impact travel techniques
  • Efficient movement on moderate rock and snow covered terrain
  • Knots, belaying, simple anchors, and stance management
  • Risk awareness and avoidance techniques

Day 2

  • Leave No Trace Principles and environmental stewardship
  • Technical ascent 

Price Includes

Does Include:

  • AMGA Trained or Certified Guide
  • Group Climbing Equipment
    • Ropes
    • Ice Axe
    • Crampons
    • Technical Hardware – carabiners, protection, belay devices, ice screws, pickets, etc;
    • Technical Softgoods – slings, cordelette, anchor rope, etc;


  • Personal Climbing Equipment
    • Climbing Shoes
    • Helmet
    • Harness

Does Not Include:

  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Trip/cancellation Insurance
  • Non-technical Personal Items – clothing, pack, sunglasses, etc
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Overnight or camping equipment
  • Rescue Insurance
  • Park Entrance Fees (if applicable)
  • Guide Gratuity
  • Unforeseen costs incurred outside of the control of SAI

Equipment List

Clothing   Bottom

  • Lightweight synthetic bottom
  • Synthetic underwear
  • Lightweight softshell pants – a tighter, more athletic fit is ideal 


  • Lightweight longsleeve top
  • Midweight longsleeve top – with hood recommended
  • Sports Bra
  • Lightweight softshell Jacket with hood
  • Non-insulated lightweight waterproof shell jacket with hood – should fit over your softshell jacket and under your harness waistbelt
  • Down or synthetic midweight insulated puffy jacket – should fit over the outside of all your layers


  • Wool or synthetic beanie – needs to fit under your helmet  (no pom pom on top)
  • Face Mask (PPE) – n95 or similar
  • Sunglasses – full sun protection with 100% UV protection 


  • 2 pairs of mid-weight water resistant softshell type gloves – with a leather palm


  • 1 pair wool or synthetic mid-weight socks – hiking socks are great
  • Footwear: 3-season mountaineering boot with the ability to accept a pneumatic or “semi-automatic” crampon
    • EX: La Sportiva Trango Cube, La Sportiva Trango Tower
  • Sticky rubber approach shoes

Technical Equipment 

  • Harness – UIAA/CE rated climbing harness with belay loop and gear loops.  Should be able to fit on the outside of your layers and be lightweight.  Adjustable leg loops recommended
  • Helmet – UIAA/CE rated climbing helmet.  Should be able to fit on the outside of your beanie
  • 2 locking carabiners – large, round stock screw gate carabiners that are easily manipulated while wearing gloves
  • 1 Alpine axe 50-55cm
  • Steel Mountaineering Crampons – horizontal front points are great.  Must be compatible with your boots

*All technical equipment will be provided by SAI, but if you have our own, it’s encouraged that you bring it.   Food

  • 2L of water
  • 2L of water
  • 1500-2000 calories of food – energy bars, pre-made sandwiches, fruits, etc


  • Backpack – 25-35L
  • 2L of water carrying capacity total.  1 water bottle and 1 dromedary bag is great
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Smartphone



Risk management is SAI’s number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in the mountains such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. SAI 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.


Q:What am I responsible to bring?

A: Each one of course pages has information on what to bring under the tab “Price Includes”. We will also send you additional info on how to prepare for your guided day once via email once we have received your payment. 


Q:How fit should I be for my course?

A: Our courses vary from absolute beginner to more advanced techniques on the sharp end.  While a base level of fitness (moderate hiking) is generally necessary to get to the climb, all courses can be tweaked to match your level of fitness.


Q: What if the weather is bad and we need to cancel/reschedule?

A: Read our cancellation policy on our policies page.


Q: Do I need to have prior climbing experience?

A: Each course/objective has different experience requirements. This information can be found under the Prerequisites tab at the bottom of our course pages.  For example, you do not need any prior experience to enroll in our Intro to Mountaineering Course but would need some prior climbing experience to participate in our Learn to Lead Trad Course. 


Q: Is there an age minimum? Can I bring my kids?

A: No, there is not an age minimum and yes you can bring your kids! However, there are some courses where children would not be suitable. You can find more information under the “course details” tab on our course pages. Also, check out our custom guiding options where we can create custom itinerary for you and your family. 


Q: Will I need transportation to get to the climb?

A: Yes, we do not provide transportation. We encourage carpooling with other course participants whenever possible though to save the environment and parking space! Meeting times and locations will be sent out via email once you have booked a course with us. 


Q: Do you offer lodging options?

A: No. We offer recommended lodging options and sometimes discounted rates depending on the course or trip. Feel free to call us if you have any questions about lodging!


Please review our cancellation policy here.


Advanced registration is required to book this course. We have a limited amount of guides and book up regularly. Simply book online if you’re ready to secure a date or, give us a call during business hours if you have any questions.