Glacier Climbing Course FAQs
Q: Who can participate?
A: The GCC is for members of 12 step recovery programs as well as their family and friends. In order to enroll in the GCC course, you must first be an OSAT club member. To become an OSAT club member, please visit www.osat.org/join.
Q: What about COVID-19?
A: Given that OSAT prioritizes the safety of all members, participation (students and instructors) in the 2022 GCC will require proof of full-vaccination as recommended by state and local guidance.
Q: What skills will be taught?
A: During the six month course, students will learn about how to choose and use mountaineering equipment, maintain the safety of their team, navigation, ice axe self-arrest techniques, proper roped travel skills, snow camping, and crevasse rescue.
Q: What is required?
A: The course requires participants to undertake a serious conditioning and training regimen. Seminars, field trips, and conditioners require 100 percent attendance in order to be eligible for graduation. GCC participants must be able to attend all in-person events (both indoor and outdoor). Participation requires a willingness to adhere to all safety guidelines published by the 2022 GCC committee.
Q: What exactly are the GCC conditioners and how often do they take place over the course of a month?
A: Conditioners are scheduled events led by a GCC instructor. In past years they have generally capped out at 10-12 people per conditioner and once the course begins conditioners are scheduled throughout the year. We offer conditioners on both weekends and weekdays. They are an opportunity for students to practice skills, enhance learning about mountains/hiking/climbing/outdoors, and condition your mind and body as well as get to know your fellow students and instructors. At every conditioner there is a conditioner lead, support instructor, and a WFA (wilderness first aid trained instructor) in addition to 8ish students (these numbers may shift due to COVID safety regulations). Conditioning should not be limited to these hikes though and we recommend people condition on your own time as well. We often use the acronym: ABC = Always Be Conditioning
Q: What are time trials?
A: Time trials are a measure of safety and skill. We are looking for information that a student can safely carry weight up a mountain in a certain amount of time. We offer more than ample opportunity for students to both sign up for and complete time trials.
Q: What prior experience is needed to be able to participate in the course?
A: Not much prior experience is required although hiking, walking, carrying weight, and working out are all assets which will enhance your ability to complete this course and navigate the mountains safely and enjoyably. If you have very little previous experience hiking or climbing, you can start working out, walking, hiking, etc. now to start building some strength and experience. Again, ABC :)
Q: How many people participate in the GCC course each year? How can I prepare for registration?
A: The course is capped at 60 students. We have some members who are offered pre-registration as they were already signed up for 2020 GCC which was canceled due to COVID. The course fills up quickly so we recommend becoming an OSAT member now (via website) and getting your calendars ready for when registration opens at 10am on Nov 13th!