IntroductionAlumni trips bring the unique beauty, fun and solitude of the winter season to your camping repertoire. We offer a broad spectrum of winter outings to those who have successfully completed our Training Series or an accepted alternative (see Prerequisites). Our outings have covered destinations from Yosemite's Crocker Point and Glacier Point in the Sierra range all the way north to Cascades range destinations on the flanks of Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta. In addition to a broad range of destinations we offer outings with a wide range of required endurance and skill. Some trips also offer training in winter-specific subjects, including back-country skiing and orientation as well as winter photography and igloo construction. Our outings groups are smaller in size, usually maxing out with 10 to 12 participants (and often less).
PrerequisitesAlumni trips require participants to have successfully completed our Training Series (e.g., the classroom session and both outings). Alumni of other snow camping training programs will be considered on an individual basis, but you must contact an alumni trip coordinator for consideration prior to applying for an outing. Participants should be comfortable and generally self-reliant with the challenges of winter backcountry travel and camping. Those who are not yet comfortable with winter camping basics are encouraged to rejoin the Training Series as an alumni student. Other prerequisites may exist for any given trip, and will be disclosed in each trip description.
CostBasic fees for each alumni trip are $35 for Sierra Club members and $35 for non-Sierra Club members. Some trips may have additional costs, such as cabin or equipment rental fees, which will be noted in the trip description and application. The cost for returning alumni students to the Training Trips is $70 for Sierra Club members and $70 for non-Sierra-Club members, which covers both trips.
Refund PolicyThe basic alumni trip fee is non-refundable. Credit toward a future alumni trip of your choice will be provided to participants who cancel and request such credit in writing no less than 15 days prior to the scheduled trip departure date. Additional fees beyond the basic fee (e.g., hut rental fee) are refundable provided cancellation occurs no less than 30 days prior to the trip departure date, as long as a replacement participant can be found or other arrangements can be made which will prevent the change from negatively affecting the cost to other participants. Refunds in the form of trip credit are automatically provided to participants of any trip cancelled by the trip leader(s).
Important Notes... (please read!)
- Alumni trip participants are no longer required to attend Orientation Day unless specifically required by their trip leader.
- Trip leaders will often be available at Orientation should you wish to meet them and/or discuss specific trip information. This also offers a chance for you to meet leaders of other trips. You should verify that your trip leader will be in attendance.
- Unless an alumni trip is noted as a 'ski' trip in the trip description, snowshoes are considered to be the standard mode of transportation. Those wishing to use an alternate mode of transportation to the trip standard are required to obtain approval from the trip leader prior to the outing.
- Some alumni trips may have costs in addition to the basic fee. These costs and the details of paying such costs are noted in the associated trip descriptions.
- Registering for a trip does not guarantee your space on that trip. The trip leader must first approve your application. A follow-up email and/or telephone call by the trip leader will confirm your approval and ensure your spot on the trip.
- The number of participants for each trip is limited, so please register early for best selection. Once a trip fills, additional applicants will automatically be added to a waiting list that operates on a first-come first-served basis.
- Trips may be canceled or rescheduled due to weather conditions.
Detailed descriptions of our current offering of alumni trips are available on the alumni trip descriptions page. You can check trip availability, and sign up for trips with openings, on the application page.
We are always looking for qualified people to propose and lead alumni trips. If you are interested in leading a trip, getting on the alumni trips mailing list, or would like to submit an idea for a future alumni trip, you can do so on the alumni F.A.Q. page.