Alumni Frequently-Asked-Questions

  1. Q: How do I sign up for an Alumni trip?

A: Click on any alumni trip listed on to go the SFBay Chapter Activities Calendar , where you will be able to register your interest in the trip. The leader will then contact you to confirm suitability and request payment. You can also look for trips directly on the Activities Calendar on the Chapter website.

  1. Q: How are alumni trips announced? Is there a mailing list for announcements that I can subscribe to?

A: New alumni trips are posted and the SF Bay Chapter Activities Calendar. Periodic announcements are also sent via email to the Snowcamping-Alumni-News email list. If you are interested in subscribing to that list, submit the request form on the "Contact Us" page.

  1. Q: Can anyone post announcements to the snowcamping news email list? Do I need to worry about receiving spam from the list?

A:  Snowcamping-Alumni-News is a moderated list, so you will not receive spam as a result of subscribing. Only the Alumni Trip Coordinators are able to authorize messages to the list.

  1. Q: I have a question about an alumni trip - how do I get in touch with the alumni leaders?

A: Contact the leader listed on the Trip Posting by email.

  1. Q: I'd like to propose and lead an alumni trip! What is required to become the leader of an alumni trip?

A: We are always looking for qualified leaders to lead Alumni trips during the upcoming season.

Leading an alumni trip is a great opportunity to take a group out snowcamping to a place you want to go, with the activity level you prefer. For those interested in moving into a leadership role, this is a chance to develop your wilderness leadership skills.

All Alumni trips require at least one qualified trip leader. Qualified to lead means:

    • Alumni of the Sierra Club Snowcamping Training Series
    • Graduate of the Club’s Outdoor Leader training program (OLT201), whether with taken with the Snowcamping Section or another group
    • Previous experience as an assistant leader on an alumni trip
    • Comfort with map and compass navigation skills in winter conditions

Leaders must have current 16-hour Wilderness First Aid certificate. New leaders are welcome and encouraged, but must partner with an experienced trip leader.

  1. Q: What information should I submit for my alumni trip proposal?

A: The more information you can provide, the better, but the alumni trip coordinators are happy to help you put together your trip. An initial proposal might include only a trip name, brief description, and leader contact information. A final trip proposal will typically include:

    • A trip name (required)
    • A brief trip description (required)
    • The name and contact number of the leader(s) (required)
    • A trip location, trailhead, and destination
    • An estimate of round-trip distance and elevation gain/loss
    • A proposed start and end date, and the number of days/nights on the trail
    • A rating, e.g.:
      • Easy: Anyone of moderate fitness can participate. Hike is fairly short with moderate gradient change, or longer with little gradient and a slower pace. Requires only the basic skills from the Training Series.
      • Intermediate:Most of moderate and better fitness could participate, though one should expect a higher magnitude of intensity with potentially steeper gradient change and/or longer duration hikes with fewer breaks. Participants should be fully proficient in basic snow camping skills. Special gear maybe required.
      • Advanced:Indicates that a high level of fitness is required. Participants will be reviewed in a discretionary approval process that may include a prerequisite. Strong snow camping skills expected and required. Special skills and/or gear may be required. Hikes may be longer, steeper and at a faster pace.
      • Leadership:Limited to leaders and assistant leaders from all groups (guest professionals excepted.)
    • A list of prerequisites and special equipment required, if any
    • A maximum group size
    • Names of potential assistant leaders


  1. Q: I'm qualified and would really like to propose a trip, but I don't have any good trip ideas. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Trips possibilities can include fun themes and specialized training components, as well as trips that offer greater physical challenges and require a higher level of fitness and possibly prerequisites to make the roster. Basic trips where the art of relaxation is key are also encouraged.

We have put together a list of ideas that might whet your appetite - feel free to use these ideas outright or use them to help kick-start your own creativity:

    • New Years Eve trip - A party trip to kick off the season. A chance to discuss the coming snowcamping season, and ring in the New Year in snowcamping style.
    • Lassen Summit trip - The goal of this trip would be an attempt to summit Mount Lassen. Participants might be required to participate in a prerequisite trip, as this trip would require a faster pace over a greater distance and steeper terrain.
    • Gourmet trip - Although some food groups might brag about their gourmet skills, this trip would be geared toward really showing off those culinary talents and allowing everyone to reap the rewards. Teams could provide different parts of each meal to create a multi-course gourmet dinner. This trip would of course also require a superior snow kitchen. Freeze-dried food would be strictly forbidden!
    • Trek - Longer trips of 3, 4, 5, or more days offer expanded opportunities by moving camp for each day. Trips could range in difficulty from short daily hikes to longer, more-strenuous affairs with geographic goals in mind such as circumnavigating Mount Shasta, or even traversing the Sierra.
    • Igloo 101 - This trip would focus on skills related to snow construction, using blocks of snow to build a number of different shelter types more elaborate than the basic trench or snow cave. A snow saw might be required.
    • Shelter Madness - Now that you have some skill in snow construction, use that skill to compete for the title of most elaborate, wackiest, or most beautiful shelter. Lights, candles, and all other means of enhancement encouraged.
    • Pioneers - Trips specifically designed to venture into a new area, to explore new hard-to-get to destinations, or to scout out new places for use as Training group destinations. Such trips might involve the use (or even construction) of a snow sled to facilitate gear transport.
    • Avalanche Training - A special guest professional could provide training in avalanche awareness and rescue while the group is out in the actual environment in which such skills might need to be used.
    • Winter Photography - Winter provides a wonderful set of opportunities (and challenges!) to photographers. Such a trip could be an opportunity for photo-enthusiasts to discuss and compare techniques, as well as gather pictures for future slideshows.
    • Late Season Trips - The normal training series snowcamping season ends long before the snowcamping possibilities have ended. Why not offer a spring trip to extend the snowcamping season for another month or two? There's nothing like snow camping in shorts!


  1. Q: I'm not qualified to lead an alumni trip, but I'd really like to go on a trip to XXX (insert cool destination) - is there any hope?

A: Even if you aren't yet qualified to lead an alumni trip, you can team up with a qualified leader to assist in leading an Alumni trip. If you are interested, look out for messages from Snowcamping-Alumni-News about pre-season trip planning or contact one of the Alumni Trip Coordinators.