Alumni Frequently-Asked-Questions


Questions

  1. How are alumni trips announced? Is there a mailing list for announcements that I can subscribe to?
  2. Can anyone post announcements to the snowcamping news email list? Do I need to worry about receiving spam from the list?
  3. I have a question about an alumni trip - how do I get in touch with the alumni leaders?
  4. I'd like to propose and lead an alumni trip! What is required to become the leader of an alumni trip?
  5. What information should I submit for my alumni trip proposal?
  6. 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?
  7. 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 that possible?
  8. I'm interested in becoming an assistant leader for the Snowcamping Training Series! What is the process for this?

Answers

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

    A: New alumni trips are announced on the snowcamping web page, and occasional updates and announcements are also sent via email to the snowcamping news email list. If you are interested in subscribing to the snowcamping news email list, you can request to be added to the list by filling out and submitting the request form on the "Contact Us" web page.


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

    A: The snowcamping news email list is set up so that only a small set of people (e.g., alumni trip coordinator Mark Johnson) are able to post and authorize messages to the list. Since the snowcamping news email list is moderated, you will not receive spam as a consequence of subscribing to the list.


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

    A: Please submit your question and contact information in the feedback form at the bottom of this page, and the alumni leaders will get in touch with you.


  4. 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 propose one or more trips that they can commit to leading during the upcoming season. Leading an alumni trip is a great opportunity for those who do not have sufficient time to lead a Training Series group; for those interested in moving into a leadership role, this is a chance to develop your wilderness trip leadership skills.

    All proposed trips require two trip leaders, and should have enough assistant leaders to provide roughly a 1:4 ratio of leaders to trip participants. All leaders should have a minimum of experience that includes:

    • Successful completion of the Sierra Club Snowcamping Training Series course
    • Active snowcamping within the last 5 years
    • Previous experience as an assistant leader
    • Comfort with map and compass navigation skills in winter conditions

    Furthermore, leaders must have current 20 hour Wilderness First Aid certificate. New leaders are welcome and encouraged, but must partner with an experienced trip leader. Alumni Trip Coordinators will help with recruiting of co-leaders or assistant leaders as needed.

    You might want to check out the next question to get an idea of the kind of information we're interested in for potential trips. Please submit your name and a brief description of the trip in the feedback form at the bottom of this page, and the alumni leaders will get in touch with you.


  5. 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 if you need a hand. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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, there is always a chance that one of the group leaders or assistant leaders would be interested in getting a group together to the cool destination you're thinking of.

    You can submit a proposed destination using the feedback form at the bottom of this page, and the alumni leaders will get in touch with you. Please give as much information and detail as you can!


  8. Q: I'm interested in becoming an assistant leader for the Snowcamping Training Series! What is the process for this?

    A: We are always looking for qualified assistant leaders to help with the Snowcamping Training Series! Assistant leaders are often training series alumni who became interested in sharing their knowledge and helping out. A first step in becoming an assistant leader is talking with your training series group leaders.

    Note that assistant leaders should have a minimum of experience that includes:

    • Successful completion of the Sierra Club Snowcamping Training Series course
    • Active snowcamping within the last 5 years
    • Comfort with map and compass navigation skills in winter conditions
    • Current (within the past two years) 20 hr. Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification. Note that the snowcamping group typically offers such training annually prior to the Snowcamping Training Series (e.g., in December)
    • Sierra Club Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT) certification (more information here - note the login information in the top left of the target page). Note that the snowcamping group typically offers such training annually.


Submit a Question, Trip Request, or Trip Proposal

Name: (required)
Email: (required)
Phone #: (optional)
Pass phrase: (required) (enter snowcamping here)
 
SELECT ONE: This concerns a: Question     Trip Request     Trip Proposal    
Brief description of the question or trip proposal/request:
 
 
If you are proposing to LEAD an alumni trip, please fill in as many of the following fields as possible.
Fields with an asterisk (*) are REQUIRED for all proposals.

 
Trip Name*:
Trip Location*:
Additional Leaders:
Assistant Leaders:
Start Date (MM/DD)*
End Date*
Alternate Start Date:
Alternate End Date:
Number of days/nights (D/N):
Rating: Easy    Intermediate    Advanced    Leadership
Prerequisites/special equipment:
Trailhead:
Destination:
TOTAL R/T distance & elevation gain/loss:
Max. Group Size:
(Group size including leaders may not exceed any park or wilderness area limits)