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 who actively support them in recovery. 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, participations (students and instructors) in the 2024 GCC are highly encourage to be fully vaccinated 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 2024 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 fills up quickly and is capped at 66 students. If you're interested in becoming a GCC student for 2024, we recommend becoming an OSAT member now (register via website) and getting your calendars ready for when registration for the 2024 GCC opens on November 12, 2023 at 1 AM. You will need a Google email address to participate in the course this year (we'll be using Google Classroom for lessons).
Q: How much does the course cost?
A: $175 fee due at sign up. Only refundable if you cancel before midnight on December 31st, 2023
Q: When does the course start?
A: The first event is in-person in January 6th, 2024, but there will be some online work due before then. We will communicate what this course work is.