Field Trips

Field Trip Sign-ups and Instructor Packets

The field trips are:

Organizers are in italics

Please email organizers or cochairs directly now if you need to change your availability.

  • Mt. Si - Organizers: Matt Kempf & Molly Quinn-Shea - Signup 2022

  • Spire 1 - Organizers: Natalie Romig & Kelly Pope - Signup 2022

  • Spire 2 - Rachel Davidson & Chris Gerber - Signup 2022

  • Mt Erie - Amanda Helfer & Regan Huff - Signup 2022

    • Knots #3 (formerly Rock #2 @ Mountaineers Wall) - Organizers: pending - Signup 2022

  • Vantage - Organizers: Kristen Vogel and Gary Yee - Signup 2022

  • Snow 1 - Organizers: pending Jef Faulkner & Jillian Wells - Signup 2022

  • Alpine 1 - Organizers: pending - Signup 2022

  • Alpine 2 - Organizers: pending - Signup 2022

  • Snow 2 - Organizers: Tessa McGee and Laura Holcomb - Signup 2022

  • Mt Baker - Organizers: pending Peter Horsman & Dana Loutey - Signup 2022

Organizing a Weekend

Additional information for organizing a weekend is located here.

Field Trip Organizer Pages

The field trips are:

  1. Mt Si

  2. Spire 1

  3. Spire 2

  4. Mt Erie

  5. Vantage

  6. Alpine Climbs

  7. Snow 1

  8. Snow 2

  9. Mt Baker

Student Packets and Feedback

    • Student packets will be emailed to instructor volunteers for each weekend.

    • Weekly feedback from the students will be emailed to instructors.

Feedback and Incident/Near Miss Reporting

Feedback is a gift!

Field Trip Guidelines for Instructors

Volunteer Sign-ups

  • From the start of class planning in February, volunteer sign-ups for all class trips will be open. Instructors can update their availability by following the same sign-up link.

  • Three weeks before the trip, the weekend organizers will send an email reminding instructors to submit their volunteer sign-ups for the trip (if they haven't already done so).

    • Specify your availability and role you would like to volunteer for within that week.

      • Volunteer sign-ups for that specific trip will close that week.

    • The weekend organizers and co-chairs will assign volunteers to roles based on your interest, skills, and prior experience (and interest in gaining experience!).

    • Passing the knots test and completing the instructor training are required for volunteering on any trip after Mt Si.

  • Two weeks before the trip, the weekend organizers will confirm via email if you're a volunteer or backup volunteer for the trip.

  • About one week before the trip, the weekend organizers will confirm your role via email.

  • Please notify the weekend organizers and co-chairs immediately if you cannot attend the trip, so your space can be filled.

  • Selection for trips will be based on:

    • Skills, relevant certifications (WFR, AIARE, etc.), and overall experience.

    • Volunteering in other capacities (outside of the weekends) for the Basic Class.

    • Willingness to volunteer for previous weekends.

    • We aim for a good balance of both experienced and new instructors on the trips so we may need to turn instructors away especially on trips with group size limits (Mt Erie, Alpine Climbs, Snow 1, Snow 2, and Mt Baker).

    • To see what you've signed up for, access the sign-up links to each field trip (above).

Instructor Gear

Instructors should bring a few extra items on each trip, most importantly on the backcountry trips (Snow 1, Alpine Climbs, Snow 2, and Mt Baker) or any of the trips when the weather is predicted to be cold, to supplement students' gear:

  • First aid items (in addition to first aid kit items on the gear list already)

    • Extra pair of gloves and beanie

    • Thermos for hot drinks (optional)

    • Watch to keep on schedule

    • Group leaders should bring a tarp (for those trips with trailhead gear checks: Mt Si, Snow 1, Snow 2, Alpine Climbs).

    • Emergency Response Team members need to carry additional gear/supplies specific to their role.

      • Medical: WAC first aid kit

      • Communications: Paper and writing implement, radio (WAC or own)

    • Know the weather for where we're going and bring additional clothing and gear as necessary.

Instructor Responsibilities

  • Familiarize yourself with the student packet for the trip.

    • There are skills checklists and some additional information in there that is not in the corresponding instructor packet.

    • Familiarize yourself with class incidents/accidents that happened in previous years for the trip.

  • Look out for each other, and speak up and notify a weekend organizer or co-chair immediately if you see something that you think may be unsafe.

      • We are responsible for each other's and our own safety. Never walk past an unsafe act.

  • In addition to the responsibilities specific to your trip role(s), all instructors should be familiar with that trip's Emergency Response Plan (ERP) which is in the instructor packet.

      • Those instructors who are part of the ERP team should be familiar with their additional roles and responsibilities.

      • Current ERP and instructor/student emergency and medical info is in each first aid kit if needed during the trip.

    • Participate in the trip's briefing and debriefing (at the start and end of the trip respectively), run by the organizers and co-chair(s).

Group Leader Responsibilities

  • On the Tuesday before the trip, contacting their students to ensure that they have all the gear necessary and to answer any questions they may have about the trip.

      • Emails for the 2018 students can be found here.

  • May need to lend gear or arrange for gear to be lent to the students.

    • Reading the prior trips' student assessments to adjust and anticipate the students' learning requirements.

  • On the day of the trip, arrive early to conduct pack checks (except for the Spires and Mt Erie which have no pack checks).

  • Ensure students complete all of the skills on their checklists.

    • Student packets with the checklists will be emailed out to instructor volunteers.

  • After the trip, submit a student assessment about each student in your group to be sent to future group leaders and instructors.

  • Follow up with students in your group to make sure the trip went well for them and to answer any additional questions/concerns they may have.

In-Town Contact Responsibilities

  • Remain accessible via phone and within 30 minutes of internet connection for the duration of the trip.

  • Have proper documentation regarding the weekend for which you are the in-town contact, including:

    • List of students on trip (get this from the student packet)

    • Student emergency contacts

    • List of instructors on trip (get this from the instructor packet's instructor roster)

    • Instructor emergency contacts

    • Weekend plan, including location and approximate schedule (get this from the schedule in the student packet)

    • ERP (get this from the instructor packet)

    • Access to to the WAC website for additional contact info for other members

    • In the event a call is received from the field, follow the steps documented by the RMC.

      • The crisis plan is documented here.

Using the Radios

  • The Basic Class uses the frequency of 5.10 to communicate.

  • Following proper, standard radio communication protocol enables us to communicate briefly and effectively.

  • Initiate communication by stating the recipient's name followed by your name, like this:

    • "<Recipient>, this is <Your Name>, Over"

  • The recipient says "Go ahead" when the recipient is ready to listen to the message.

  • Keep the message brief (in consideration of others on the frequency), concise, and understandable.

    • "Affirmative" to say yes.

    • "Negative" to say no.

    • "Say again" to ask a person to relay their message again.

  • "Copy" to relay that you heard what was just said.

  • "Stand by" to relay that the message was received, but you're unable to respond now.

  • "Over" to signify that the message is complete.

  • After entire exchange is complete on both ends, say "Over and out." This also lets others know that the frequency is open for use.

  • If another instructor needs to interrupt the message (such as for a medical emergency), the phrase "Break-break" should be used.

Example dialogue:

Jill: Mike, this is Jill. Over.

Mike: Jill, this is Mike, Stand By. Over.

Mike: Jill, this is Mike, Go Ahead. Over.

Jill: Mike, the z-pulley station is ready for your group. Over.

Mike: Jill, this is Mike, confirming that z-pulley station is ready. My group will be walking over now. Over.

Jill: Mike, this is Jill, Copy that. Over and Out.

WAC First Aid Kits

The two first aid kits should be carried by the ERT (emergency response team) medical lead and either a weekend organizer or co-chair.

Before each trip, the medical lead should ensure that he/she has the list of known student/instructor medical issues.

Each kit contains the following items:

In large internal pocket:

    • Incident / Near Miss Report Form - 2

    • SOAP notes (waterproof) - 2

    • WFR Wilderness Medicine Handbook - 1

    • 4.5” SAM Splint - 1

    • Flexible medical tape - 60 cm

In small internal pockets:

    • Hand warmer - 1

    • Maxi pads - 2

    • Emergency blanket - 1

    • Safety pins - 2

In vertical spine pockets:

    • Energy gel packets - 2

    • Irrigation syringe - 1

    • Q-tips

  • Pencils - 2

In velcro strips:

    • Elastic (ACE) bandage - 1

    • Self-adhering bandage - 1

    • Gauze rolls (1 roll each of 2" and 4") - 2

    • Chewable baby aspirin (81 mg, exp ?) - Angina, heart attack

  • Ibuprofen (200 mg, exp ?) - Pain, fever

  • Loperamide Hcl (2 mg, exp?) - Diarrhea

  • Benadryl (25 mg, exp ?) - Allergy

    • 10% povidone iodine solution

    • Gloves (non-latex) - 1 pair

In external clear pocket:

    • Trauma shears - 1

  • Ski straps - 2