Becoming a Winter School Leader

What qualifications do I need to become a Winter School leader?

A Winter School rating provided by the Winter Safety Committee is required to lead a trip during Winter School. These ratings control what kinds of trips leaders are permitted to create. Each Winter School trip must have a minimum of two leaders, at least one of whom is rated as a "primary/full" leader. A first aid certification: WFA or higher is required to obtain a B or C primary leader rating.

The qualifications for each of the three categories — hiking, ice-climbing and skiing — include a combination of outdoor experience and leadership related to that activity. It is possible to become a winter hiking leader with minimal winter hiking experience, as long as you are a current MITOC three-season hiking leader or equivalent.

What are co-leaders?

People are often given co-ratings by the Winter Safety Committee. This rating is given to those who show promise in an area but have not demonstrated the specific outdoor experience/leadership/group management necessary for a full rating. Co-leaders require a primary leader to be present in the group in order to lead a trip. The co-leader position promotes experience building under the supervision of an experienced leader. Co-leaders are encouraged to use the earlier weeks of Winter School to demonstrate the skill set necessary to be "upgraded" to primary leader prior to the close of IAP.

How do I become a leader / co-leader?

If you're interested in leading trips, fill out a leader application form:

What benefits come with being a leader?

As a trip leader, you receive free gear rentals and a course subsidy for Wilderness First Aid certification (WFA, WAFA, WFR, WEMT).