The Ultimate Guide To Modern Alpinism

Standing on the summit via a technical route is the most rewarding feeling. Yet embarking on big routes introduces many factors that increase your danger exposure, and the chance of failure. Succeed on your next mountain mission with the skills acquired here.

Do You Desire To Climb Big Mountains:

  • Go anywhere and reach the summit in style
  • Reduce stress while preparing
  • Avoid rookie mistakes that can ruin the experience
  • Be mentored by a mountain guide that's 'been there done that'

If Yes, Then This Course Will Help:

  • Gear recommendations to keep your pack light
  • Ice climbing movement techniques
  • Expedition planning
  • Winter survival and camping beta
  • Systematically organize route info

Forever Access

No subscriptions. No time limits. Reference this course forever.

One Of A Kind Course

This unique course tackles the avalanche problems with real case studies.

Join 1200+ students

Lots of happy skiers and splitboarders have completed this course.

What sets this course apart?

  • Get educated on your schedule.
  • Access future updates for free.
  • Ask direct questions to Mark Smiley throughout.
  • Safe learning environment. Be bold with your questions.

Video Curriculum

Start here
  • User Interface Layout (1:27)
  • Mountain Terms Defined (6:46) Preview
  • Climbing Route Ratings (9:50)
  • Block vs Swinging & More (6:52)
  • Find A Good Partner (2:43)
  • Managing Risk (7:42)
  • Acceptance of Risk
Anchors: - Rock - Ice Snow
  • Factor Two Falls (4:42)
  • Rock: 2-Bolt Anchors Hacks (10:40)
  • Rock: Alpine Rock Anchors (17:02)
  • Rock: Alpine Anchor Progression (8:55)
  • Rock: Bail Anchors (5:03)
  • Rock: Glue In & Mechanical Bolts (14:10)
  • Ice: V-Thread Anchors (12:54)
  • Snow: Deadman (6:42)
  • Snow: Pickets (5:05)
  • Butt Anchor (1:47)
  • Anchor Progression Preference Chart
The Lost Art of Pitons
  • Where To Place Pitons (4:25)
  • Sizes & Placement (10:42)
  • Removing Pitons (1:36)
  • 'What If' Situations (6:00)
Ice Climbing Tips & Kicks
  • 5 Rookie Mistakes (9:42)
Best Gear: My Recommendations
  • My Standard Rack (3:11)
  • Ropes Ratings Explained (8:22)
  • Crampons: Steel vs Aluminum (6:37)
  • Complete Gear List - All 83 items
  • Boots (2:04)
  • Electronics (4:10)
  • Gear...Top Recs
  • Uncoil A New Rope...Zero Twists (1:56)
  • Mt Rainier Packing List
Extreme Camping: The Art of the Bivy
  • Warmth & Weight Considerations (6:44)
  • Tents, Pads, & Sleeping Bags (12:41)
  • Pitching A Strong Tent (5:42)
  • Water Collection (9:51)
  • Bivy Meals & Cooking (6:21)
  • Camp Stoves (3:02)
  • Fuel Efficient Snow Melting (4:26)
  • Multi-Week Meal Plan (PDF)
Doc Talk: Identify & Treat Illnesses
  • Intro: Dr. Christian Dean (0:54)
  • AMS, HAPE & HACE (7:19)
  • Frostbite & Blisters (5:56)

Expedition Preparation
  • A Guide's Guide To Denali Unguided (PDF)
  • Training For Denali & Other Big Mtns (3:42)
  • Glacier Sun Protection (2:51)
  • Skis vs Snowshoes on Denali (4:20)
  • Bikini Wax Your Butt Crack (1:14)
  • Risk Management on Denali (2:54)
  • Training Philosophy (52:20) Preview
Digital Beta Doc - Offline
  • Offline Beta on Mt Stuart's North Ridge (4:19)
  • Quick Topo Hack (1:11)
  • Check the Weather (1:54)
  • What's Your Rescue Plan? (2:43)
  • Should We Turn Around? (5:45)
  • Create a .GPX File for a GPS App (14:57)
Bonus Stoke Films
  • Conclusion (1:18)
  • Hummingbird Ridge, Mt Logan, Canada (13:42)

Enroll Here

Digital Avalanche Course

Digital course on your own pace
  • Complete the course on your schedule. Use the video lessons as a reference for future refreshing.
  • You can ask Mark Smiley direct questions throughout.

As I venture into more advanced terrain and beginner mountaineering objectives the Tetons, I'm very thankful to have a catalog of videos I can reference at my own pace. The format allows for an entertaining review of good material, with the ability to re-play the specific skills that I need more work on!

Mouna Goyette

Dude...your video tutorials are perfect! All that info is absolutely invaluable. Answers all my questions. THANK YOU!

Pete Moore

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alpinism vs Mountain climbing?

Alpinism is just a cool way to say that you're climbing a mountain. Alpinist = Mountain Climber. Alpinist draw on many skills to reach the summit. Climbing rock and ice, navigation, reading weather, building anchors, route planning, and more.

How long do I have access to the course?

Forever - across any devices you own.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Can I ask Mark Smiley questions throughout the course?

Yes. Every video has a place where you can write in questions, and Mark will reply personally.

Meet your instructor
Mark Smiley

Mark Smiley's passion for adventure has taken him on 30+ expeditions on five continents. He and his wife, Janelle, are the only people that have attempted to climb all 50 Classic Climbs of North America (48 successfully). He was part of a team to set a world record skiing across the entire Alps Mountain Range (1100 miles and 292,000 vertical feet) in a mere 36 days.

His teaching style is fun, mellow and easy to understand. As an IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide, Mark is among the world's elite guides to reach this status. More important than this certification, is his candid style of conveying to you the best techniques that will help you the most.

Victor Caldua was a friend and mountain guide and father who died in an avalanche while climbing Alpamayo, Peru. He left behind a wonderful wife, Alicia, and two amazing and talented daughters, Vanessa and Estefani. 10% of the profit from this course will be gifted to Victor's family for their education expenses. Vanesse wants to be an engineer and Estefani wants to be a mountain guide.

Sept 22, 2022 Update: $8500 sent to the family, to help with school expenses. We committed to supporting their needs indefinitely. As more people enroll, their education prospects increase.