How Leader Ratings are Assigned

Terrain Ratings: (co)A, (co)B, (co)C

To receive a Winter School leader rating you should have some winter hiking experience, and some group management experience (could be leading summer hikes).

If you are a new Winter School leader you start with only a co-rating to learn how MITOC does things from an established full leader. If you have substantial winter hiking experience outside of MITOC we will ask you to have your co-leader the first weekend send a reference for upgrade to full leader status once you are familiar with the MITOC way of doing things.

For a coB rating you should have experience travelling in B terrain. Most trips are B trips so we try to assign coB ratings where possible, and most winter hiking experience falls within B territory anyway.

For a coC rating you should know how to self-arrest from all 4 positions, proper ice axe and crampon use, be able to navigate in poor visibility, and properly layer above treeline.

If you do not have current WFA (or higher) you cannot be a full B or C leader.

Activity Ratings: (co)I, (co)S

coI leaders are likely experienced rock climbers, good at building TR anchors, and have experience following ice. Most often they are MITOC rock climbing leaders or involved in the rock climbing program. Full Ice leaders should be comfortable leading ice climbs as we expect full ice leaders to know how to read ice conditions and have substantial ice climbing experience.

coS leaders are generally experienced frontcountry skiers (blacks aren't hard) with at least some backcountry ski experience. Full S leaders have critical hard skills that include knowing how to identify what is and is not avalanche terrain (and knowing to stay out of it for MITOC trips), proper setup, fit and basic repair of AT and telemark gear, and use of skins/ other backcountry ski gear.

Rating Upgrades

Leader upgrades work on a reference system. If you are planning on requesting a recommendation for an upgrade, you should let your co-leaders know while planning your trip. You should try to handle as much of the organization of the trip as possible and demonstrate leadership during the trip itself.