Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I apply for the Wilderness Trekking School?
- What gear/equipment will I need to have for the school?
- What happens if I drop out of WTS (Refund Policy)?
- What can I do if I miss a lecture or field trip?
- What are the prerequisites for taking WTS?
- What happens if I am afraid to participate in an exercise?
- What is the cost of WTS?
- Who are the WTS instructors?
- Can I waive WTS?
- What are the prerequisites to enter BMS?
- WTS and Backpacking School seem to be similar schools.¬† How do I decide which to take?
How do I apply for the Wilderness Trekking School?
Sign up online, or print and fill out the Wilderness Trekking School Application Form and return it to the CMC offices. If class capacity is exceeded, you will be placed on a wait list in order of application receipt.
What gear/equipment will I need to have for the school?
Normal hiking equipment will be needed, with particular emphasis on the Ten Essential Systems. We strongly urge you to wait to purchase any new items until after the first lecture night. The first lecture and group meeting will include details of what is needed. Your instructor team will have a variety of suggestions for you.
Some important required items:
- Compass: you will need one with a rectangular base, rotating dial marked in 2 degree increments, and sighting mirror. Compasses will be available from WTS at a discounted rate of approximately $25 during the first two sessions.
- If you plan to take Basic Mountaineering School in the future, you will need a compass that allows declination to be set; WTS does not allow use of that feature. This compass will be available for students planning to go to BMS for a discounted $40-$50.
- Boots: sturdy enough for off-trail use and preferably waterproof , $90 and up
- Daypack with hip belt, large enough to hold all the essentials (2000 cu in or 30 liter minimum, $60 and up)
- Rain gear: you will need a rain jacket and may want rain pants and a pack cover, $20 and up.
- Bivy gear for emergency overnight. This can be as simple as a foam pad and plastic bag or a tarp, up to a high tech bivy sack, $10 and up.
- The Ten Essential Systems
- Helmets and ice axes will be provided for use on the Snow Day.
What happens if I drop out of WTS (Refund Policy)?
The Denver Council is responsible for determining the school tuition refund policy. Refunds of 100% (less a $10 charge) will only be made if a written request is made 30 days before the first class. Refunds of 50% will be made if a written request is made within 30 days before the first class. No refunds will be made after the first class. All requests for a refund must be made to the WTS Director. NO other requests will be honored.
What can I do if I miss a lecture or field trip?
To graduate from the Wilderness Trekking School, students must attend all lectures, field group meetings, and participate in all required field trips.
If you miss one or two lectures/field group meetings, you may receive credit by checking out and reviewing a video of the lectures.
If you miss a field day, you may continue with your group for the other field days, and make up the missed field session. Make-up sessions for some of the field days may be held during the current session, but are not guaranteed. If necessary, one missed field day can always be taken during the next WTS session. If you miss more than one field day without making it up, you will need to retake the course at full tuition.
Please remember that each instructor is making a substantial volunteer commitment of time and effort to make this quality school available to CMC members. As a student, your commitment can be no less. You must be willing to adjust your schedule to fit the school
What are the prerequisites for taking WTS?
Admission to WTS is open to people who are at least eighteen years old and who meet the following requirements:
1. Current CMC membership.
2. Prepayment of the $100 tuition. ($110 for non-Denver Group members).
Potential WTS students do not need to possess any previous hiking experience. You will need to possess conditioning and stamina to complete A or B level hikes (hike classifications) on field days. The field trips cover a variety of terrain and varying degrees of difficulty in all types of weather conditions. Be prepared to spend a full day (and many times, into the evening) in the field on every trip. These trips will start at 7:30 am or earlier. Additionally you will need to obtain equipment necessary to support the field trip exercises (The Ten Essentials).
You will also need to sign a liability waiver for Jefferson County for those field days held in JeffCo Open Space Parks.
What happens if I am afraid to participate in an exercise?
There are some exercises during the field trips that may be frightening to some students the first few times they are practiced. This is to be expected. No student will be required to do anything against his or her will.
What is the cost of WTS?
The tuition for WTS is $100.00 for Denver Group members and $110 for CMC members not in the Denver Group. In addition to the cost of the school, each student is expected to have or obtain the necessary gear to safely and effectively participate in the class (See What Gear/Equipment will I need to have for the school?).
Students are expected to reimburse drivers for their share of the CMC mileage rate of $.30 per mile per vehicle for travel from carpooling locations to the various field day destinations and share in park entrance or parking fees. Depending on the destinations, this could be a total $10 to $30. There may also be some cost for the map needed for your Goup Hike.
Who are the WTS instructors?
The instructors are all volunteers who wish to share their knowledge. Assistant instructors have successfully completed WTS. Senior instructors have assisted in previous WTS sessions, have been highly rated by students and assistants, and are CMC trip leaders.
Can I waive WTS?
For the sake of safety and integrity, WTS waivers are not granted lightly. You may download and print the WTS Waiver Application Form from this site.
What are the prerequisites to enter BMS?
1) Successful completion of WTS or Backpacking School using the ice axe on the Snow Practice Day.
2) Recommendation from the WTS or BKPS senior instructor.
3) Possession of a Denver Group C hiking classification
Please visit the BMS website for more information.
WTS and Backpacking School seem to be similar schools. How do I decide which to take?
The primary difference is that WTS teaches you about day hiking, plus how to survive an unexpected night in the wilderness (without actually spending the night during the class), while Backpacking teaches you how to enjoy planned nights in the wilderness and spends several nights out during the class.