Wilderness Trekking School (WTS)

Registration for the Spring 2015 session is now open!

Lecture Dates: Tuesdays, Apr 7, 14, 28, May 12, 19 @ 6:30 pm, Foss Auditorium, AMC Golden

Field Dates: Your Choice of all Thursdays (WAITLIST ONLY): Apr 16, 23, 30; May 14, 28; or all Saturdays: Apr 18, 25, May 2, 16, 30; or all Sundays: Apr 19, 26, May 3, 17, 31.

Enrollment fee: $100 Denver Group Members, $110 other CMC Groups, until March 31, then $120/$130 until Apr 7.

Hiking in Colorado’s mountains is fabulous recreation! Wilderness Trekking School (WTS) is for all – whether you want to bag a few 14ers – OR – just want to enjoy the scenery. WTS is a great introduction to the Colorado Mountain Club and a place to meet new friends. WTS is Colorado Mountain Club’s largest school, a comprehensive course on mountain hiking. Students are all ages, from 18 to 80. If you’re new to hiking, WTS gives you the opportunity to learn how to travel safely – and with confidence – in the backcountry. If you’re an experienced hiker, WTS gives you a chance to review, to enhance your skills, and possibly to fill in some gaps. WTS also fulfills one of the requirements to obtain a Denver Group C hiker classification and to attend Basic Mountaineering School.

Topics covered include:

• Essential gear, helping you decide what you need to buy and carry

• Off-trail travel techniques, from boulders and talus to tundra

• Map & compass skills, figuring out where you are, navigation and route-finding

• Weather, how to anticipate and handle wind, rain, lightning, and snow

• Nutrition, helping you choose what food to carry

• Handling an unexpected night in the backcountry and a backcountry emergency

• Snow travel and avalanche awareness, handling unexpected snow on the trail

• Leave No Trace practices

The course consists of five Tuesday night lectures, four field days, a CMC trip, and some homework (yes, really!).  Students are divided into groups of 10-12 people, based on hiking pace, conditioning, and prior experience. Instructor teams consist of a senior instructor and two assistant instructors. Students have the opportunity to learn techniques of safe backcountry travel and to practice in a non-competitive, non-confrontational setting.  Students plan and complete a hike with their field group.  WTS is a great place to learn and practice new skills, make new friends, and become a safe backcountry traveler.

I thought I knew a lot about hiking. Was I wrong! WTS taught me so much more than I imagined.” –WTS Student

Overview and Curriculum

2015 Spring Schedule  2015 Fall Tentative Schedule

Online sign-up  (Note – You will be asked to log into CMC.org at the bottom of the linked page.)

WTS Student Application Download for mail/fax/in person


Student Manual

Photos of WTS in Action!

Instructor Photos

WTS Committee Contacts

Testimonial – Don’t Leave Home Without It

Denver Post article – 4/24/12

WTS Waiver

Wanted: WTS Instructors

Instructor Forms

Poetry Corner



Follow CMC Denver at @HikingDenver
Follow Colorado Mountain Club at @ColoradoMtnClub

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