Flagship Private Program Cost:$1,000
Maine Alpine Guiding's flagship program is designed for the day hiker who seeks freedom in the mountains beyond the skill sets that a typical day hiker may possess. This series of 6 courses begins in the autumn and gradually increases difficulty, commitment, skills, and knowledge to operate safely in the mountains. In addition to the skills and knowledge developed by the client, a value of $200 of critical clothing of the client's choice are provided at no additional cost at the start of the program for the client to keep. This could be multiple pieces consisting of base layers, fleeces, soft shells, hard shells, or one critical piece of clothing that the client needs. No where in New England will a hiker find a better value to develop his or her skills in private courses. Variations of this program can be set up if experienced hikers have already learned some of the skills in the first 2-3 courses.
A client who signs up for this course is committed to the fitness required for a mountaineering lifestyle, and will be physically prepared and trained for the following courses:
Course 1 - Fall Day Hike
Chosen by the guide or client, a moderately strenuous day hike with a minimum of 3,000 ft of elevation gain over 9-12 miles round trip. Topics such as clothing systems, fitness, diet, and gear will be discussed to develop a solid strategic plan for the client to prepare for the rigors of mountaineering.
Course 2 - Winter Day Hike
Guide chosen winter day hike to test fitness, discuss cold temperature management, and winter specific gear. Weather patterns, cut off times, creating a plan for each day, and terrain assessment will occur.
Course 3 - Winter Overnight
Guide chosen winter overnight covering soft skills such as winter camping strategies, camp cooking skills, gear selection (sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents, etc), alpine starts and more. The guide and client will awaken for an alpine start the morning after the overnight to summit a chosen objective nearby. Once back at the trailhead, coffee, food, and conversation will round out the day to discuss what was learned.
Course 4 - Ice Climbing
From boots to crampons to ice tools to technique. This day will focus on top toping 50-80 foot cliffs, how to create top rope anchors, how to build trad anchors, how to belay top rope and lead, and more. After a half day of top roping, the day will be finished with mock leading and rappelling.
Course 5 - Mountaineering skills
The following skills will be covered during the mountaineering course: roping up, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, self arrest, snow anchors, crampon and ice axe technique.
Course 6 - Mountaineering skills part 2/Multipitch climb
This final course will culminate with a 700' multipitch ice and snow climb, that incorporates all of the learned skills, fitness, and soft skills from the first 5 courses. Clients will learn how to lead easy pitches of snow and ice while building a trad anchor and belaying the second climber up to their belay station. Clients will also learn how to clean gear as they climb up pitches as the second climber. The guide will evaluate efficiency, anchor placements, and provide feedback as needed.