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Meet the SMC Staff
All Summer Programs
Alpine Rock Climbing
Alpine Ice Climbing
Rock Climbing School
Backpacking & Hiking
Pack Supported Trips
Peaks & 14ers
The California Fourteeners
Sierra Club Peak List
County High Points
California & Nevada High Points
After many years of traveling the world, we have come to realize that the best backcountry skiing to be found anywhere is right here in the Sierra Nevada. The snowpack is reliable, avalanche danger is relatively predictable, and the terrain is superb. And then there’s the snow: deep winter powder and silky spring “corn snow” that’s the finest anywhere, snow that’s often referred to as “ego snow”. Not to mention the long winter programs season – long after the Utah snow junkies have put away their boards in favor of bikes we’re still searching for fresh tracks and long runs, climbing the peaks and skiing off them. Backcountry Skills These we divide into Acquiring the Skills, which are our introductory programs that get you out there, show you that winter is actually pretty pleasant in the backcountry. We work to build up your skills set and expand your horizons into the snowy months. Once you are comfortable in the backcountry it is time to start exploring more and venturing onto steeper slopes discovering what you can do through our Applying the Skills courses. Hut Based Trips SMC operates its own backcountry hut at North Lake out of Bishop. It is…
All Winter Programs
Ice Climbing School
Backcountry Downhill Skiing
Backcountry Hut Trips
At 14,495′ Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states and as such is the goal of many a hiker and mountaineer. A well-maintained trail on the south side takes the vast majority of these people to the top and back. For the more ambitious of us the climbing routes on the peak’s east side offer a much more stimulating way up the mountain and here the eastern escarpment of the Sierra is at its most dramatic. Climbers long ago discovered that as well as having a stunning appearance the entire Whitney region sports abundant and excellent quality rock. Whitney’s east face is but one of dozens of prominent alpine features in the area. So it’s no wonder that the climbing routes on Whitney, and its neighbor to the north, Mt. Russell are well-known and popular objectives to the alpine rock climber. We offer Whitney climbs at any time of year; the rock routes of the East Face and East Buttress are well-known classics and receive quite a bit of attention while the “Mountaineer’s Route” is a great way for novices to experience a bit more adventure than they would find on the main trail. In a…
Sierra Mountain Center offers all-women programs to suit any desire, whether you want a leisurely hike through alpine meadows or to climb the highest peak in the lower 48. Do all of this in a comfortable, supportive environment with other women and women instructors. Meet new friends, eat good food and get outside in the beautiful mountain air. Whether you are a busy career woman or a full-time parent, a teen or a retiree, connect with nature in a way that is deeply rejuvenating and rewarding and meet the challenges of the outdoors with the friendship and support of other women. The goal of our women’s programming is to provide a supportive all-female environment to allow you to learn new skills, let loose and have fun On our women’s trips, you will: Treat yourself to some me-time when you can leave behind the needs of others and focus on having fun, developing your goals, indulging your sense of adventure, and building self-reliance in the outdoors. Laugh, recharge and rejuvenate with daily activity, and make new friends in the beauty and immensity of the mountains. Push your limits, grow your skills, and gain a sense of empowerment while attaining stunning views…
Rock Climbing School
Ice Climbing School
Sierra Alpine Courses
Avalanche Education Courses
Mountain Weather Course
Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
Private & Custom Guiding
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PARTICIPANT AGREEMENT, RELEASE AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK
In consideration of the services of The Sierra Mountain Center, LLC, their agents, owners, officers, volunteers, participants, employees and all other persons or entities acting in any capacity on their behalf (hereinafter collectively referred to as “SMC”), I hereby agree to release, indemnify, and discharge SMC, on behalf of myself, my spouse, my children, my parents, my heirs, assigns, personal representative and estate as follows:
I acknowledge that hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, skiing, ski mountaineering and mountaineering entails known and unanticipated risks that could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis, death, or damage to myself, to property, or to third parties. I understand that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity.
The risks include, among other things: the hazards of walking on uneven terrain and slips and falls; being struck by rockfall, icefall or other objects dislodged or thrown from above; the use of climbing ropes and equipment; the forces of nature, including lightning, weather changes and avalanche; the risks of falling off the rock, mountain or into a crevasse; the risks of exposure to insect bites; the risk of altitude and cold including hypothermia, frostbite, acute mountain sickness, cerebral and pulmonary edema; my own physical condition, and the physical exertion associated with this activity.
Furthermore, SMC employees have difficult jobs to perform. They seek safety, but they are not infallible. They might be unaware of a participant’s fitness or abilities. They might misjudge the weather or other environmental conditions. They may give incomplete warnings or instructions, and the equipment being used might malfunction.
I expressly agree and promise to accept and assume all of the risks existing in this activity. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary, and I elect to participate in spite of the risks.
I hereby voluntarily release, forever discharge, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless SMC from any and all claims, demands, or causes of action, which are in any way connected with my participation in this activity or my use of SMC’s equipment or facilities, including any such claims which allege negligent acts or omissions of SMC.
Should SMC or anyone acting on their behalf, be required to incur attorney’s fees and costs to enforce this agreement, I agree to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs.
I certify that I have adequate insurance to cover any injury or damage I may cause or suffer while participating, or else I agree to bear the costs of such injury or damage myself. I further certify that I am willing to assume the risk of any medical or physical condition I may have.
In the event that I file a lawsuit against SMC, I agree to do so solely in the County of Inyo, the state of California, and I further agree that the substantive law of California shall apply in that action without regard to the conflict of law rules of that state. I agree that if any portion of this agreement is found to be void or unenforceable, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.
By signing this document, I acknowledge that if anyone is hurt or property is damaged during my participation in this activity, I may be found by a court of law to have waived my right to maintain a lawsuit against SMC on the basis of any claim from which I have released them herein.
I have had sufficient opportunity to read this entire document. I have read and understood it, and I agree to be bound by its terms.
SMC NATIONAL PARKS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISKS
In consideration of the services of Sierra Mountain Center their officers, agents, employees, and stockholders, and all other persons or entities associated with those businesses (hereinafter collectively referred to as "SMC") I agree as follows: Although SMC has taken reasonable steps to provide me with appropriate equipment and skilled guides so I can enjoy an activity for which I may not be skilled, SMC has informed me this activity is not without risk. Certain risks are inherent in each activity and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of the activity. These inherent risks are some of the same elements that contribute to the unique character of this activity and can be the cause of loss or damage to my equipment, or accidental injury, illness, or in extreme cases, permanent trauma or death. SMC does not want to frighten me or reduce my enthusiasm for this activity, but believes it is important for me to know in advance what to expect and to be informed of the inherent risks.
The risks include, among many other things: the hazards of walking on uneven terrain and slips and falls; being struck by rockfall, icefall or other objects dislodged or thrown from above; the use of climbing ropes and equipment; the forces of nature, including lightning, weather changes and avalanche; the risks of falling off the rock, mountain or into a crevasse; the risks of exposure to insect bites; the risk of altitude and cold including hypothermia, frostbite, acute mountain sickness, cerebral & pulmonary edema; my own physical condition, and the physical exertion associated with this activity. Furthermore, SMC employees have difficult jobs to perform. They seek safety, but they are not infallible. They might be unaware of a participant's fitness or abilities. They might misjudge the weather or other environmental conditions. They may give incomplete warnings or instructions, and the equipment being used might malfunction.
I am aware that climbing, mountaineering, skiing, backpacking and any outdoor activity entails risks of injury or death to any participant. I understand the description of these inherent risks is not complete and that other unknown or unanticipated inherent risks may result in injury or death. I agree to assume and accept full responsibility for the inherent risks identified herein and inherent risks not specifically identified. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary, no one is forcing me to participate, and I elect to participate in spite of and with full knowledge of the inherent risks. I acknowledge that engaging in this activity may require a degree of skill and knowledge different than other activities and that I have responsibilities as a participant.
I acknowledge that the staff of SMC has been available to more fully explain to me the nature and physical demands of this activity and the inherent risks, hazards, and dangers associated with this activity.
I certify that I am fully capable of participating in this activity. Therefore, I assume and accept full responsibility for myself, including all minor children in my care, custody, and control, for bodily injury, death or loss of personal property and expenses as a result of those inherent risks and dangers identified herein and those inherent risks and dangers not specifically identified, and as a result of my negligence in participating in this activity.
I have carefully read, clearly understood and accepted the terms and conditions stated herein and acknowledge that this agreement shall be effective and binding upon myself, my heirs, assigns, personal representative and estate and for all members of my family, including minor children.
Check this box to confirm that you have read the above and agree to our Participant Agreement, Release and Assumption of Risk
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SMC Cancellation Policy
Important! Please read our Cancellation and Deposit Policy
Your reservation is secured with a 50% deposit and the balance is due thirty days prior to the start of the program. A 25% deposit will secure your dates if you are booking more than three months days prior to the program start. We accept checks, Visa, or Mastercard.
Cancellations greater than or equal to 30 days prior to the program starting date; SMC will retain a 25% administrative fee from monies collected and refund the balance. Rescheduling is possible, but subject to availability. We will only reschedule for the same calendar year. Any and all costs incurred in rescheduling, such as USFS trail fees, will be paid for by the participant.
Cancellations within 30 days of the program start date and/or once the program has begun; program fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to another trip.
Special Trips - overseas trips and domestic trips longer than 10 days ( JMT and High Sierra Hike). Cancellations greater than or equal to 60 days prior to the program starting date; SMC will retain a 25% administrative fee from monies collected and refund the balance. Any and all costs incurred in cancellations, such as USFS trail fees, will be paid for by the participant. Cancellations within 60 days of the program start date and/or once the program has begun; program fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to another trip.
If conditions, weather or circumstances preclude running a scheduled program we reserve the right to make the decision as to whether the program will be rescheduled or an alternative provided. In the rare circumstance where we need to cancel a program due to weather you can reschedule without a penalty, but no refund. Credits arising from such situations will be honored for 18 months.
We are not responsible for cancellation fees or costs arising from your changed or cancelled flights, lodging, or other arrangements.
We very strongly suggest obtaining trip cancellation insurance. Information on this is available on our website. If you decline to take this option and are forced to cancel your reservation or trip SMC will be unable to provide a refund on your trip payment or deposit.
We do not provide rescue insurance. Membership in the American Alpine Club includes rescue insurance and is recommended. See
Check this box to confirm that you have read the above and agree to our Cancellation Policy
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We strongly recommend obtaining trip cancellation insurance (Travel Insurance). You can download the
Adventure Insurance Brochure
here, go to the
or call us for more info.
My Travel Insurance
Yes, I have purchased travel insurance.
No, I have not and will not purchase travel insurance.
PHOTOGRAPHIC MODEL RELEASE
We often use photographic images from our trips in slide shows, brochures, and other advertising.
Check this box if you agree that we can use photos of you from your SMC trip in this manner
The information I have provided is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I have read the deposit and cancellation policy, understand it and agree to its terms. I have the option of trip insurance and understand that if I do not take this option SMC will not be able to provide any alternative to the cancellation policy. I understand that participation is conditional upon being in appropriate physical condition at the start of the trip.
Type in your initials to "sign" and agree to this form
Are you under the age of 18?
Parent or Guardian: Type in your initials to "sign" and agree to this form
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