Couch to Summit – Fall 2021


Everything You Need to Know to Climb Your First Mountain

In this course, you will be empowered with both physical and skills training to climb your first mountain! Everything from basic first aid to nutrition to map/compass skills will be covered for you.

Each section of this course includes an informational workbook and training to keep you both informed and entertained!

In the words of Jack Kerouac, “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

The Basics:

  • In-person training at Rochester-area parks Tuesdays for 8 weeks
  • Includes both physical skills & physical training
  • Starts Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 7:15 pm and runs through Tuesday, November 2.

Who is this course for:

  • Beginner hikers and aspiring mountaineers
  • People interested in getting outside
  • Anyone willing to put in the effort and commit to 2-3 hours per week of training

What you’ll need for training:

  • Comfortable Shoes (hiking, trail running, etc)
  • Weather-appropriate exercise clothes (think gym clothes)
  • Backpack (most backpacks will work for training, will discuss other options in week 3)
  • Water Bottle (any water bottle will work)

Weekly Breakdown:

Week 1: September 14 – Clothing for Mountaineering / Workout 1
Week 2: September 21 – The 10 Essentials / Workout 2
Week 3: September 28 – Backpacks & More / Workout 3
Week 4: October 5 – Nutrition/Hydration for Mountaineering / Workout 4
Week 5: October 12 – First Aid / Workout 5
Week 6: October 19 – Navigation/ Workout 6
Week 7: October 26 – Leave No Trace / Workout 7
Week 8: November 2 – Putting it All Together / Workout 8

What’s Included:

  • 8 weeks of in-person skills & physical training
  • 2 additional physical trainings per week
  • Weekly worksheets
  • Binder for weekly printed worksheets
  • Private Facebook group
  • Beginner gear advice and suggestions

Price $349

Limited spots available



Couch to Summit Info Session

Come to this info session to learn more about our upcoming 10 week Couch to Summit Training Program.

Topics Include:

  • Who is this course for?
  • What will you learn- physical and skills?
  • What can I expect during and after this course?
  • Costs?
  • Questions?

RSVP Required.  Event link will be email on day of event.


Couch to Summit: Start Here

You’re here.  The mountain is there.  Let’s start your journey toward the summit TODAY with Couch to Summit!

Don’t get me wrong, TV is awesome, recliners are heavenly and Netflix is producing some great binge-worthy entertainment (Ozarks, am I right?!?) but climbing a mountain will change your life.

Hiking and mountain climbing has many benefits to both your physical and mental health and well-being.

According to WebMD, hiking can:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease
  • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise
  • Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs
  • Strengthen your core
  • Improve balance
  • Help control your weight
  • Boost your mood. “Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety,” says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society. “Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.”

Couch to Summit intends to do literally what it says, transform almost anyone with no outdoor skill and minimal physical training into someone capable of summiting a mountain.

From my experience, I’ve found that people avoid outdoor adventures, specifically mountaineering, for 4 reasons:

  • Cost
  • Know-how
  • Time Commitment
  • Decision Paralysis

Each of these perceived obstacles will be addressed in detail in future posts, but let’s take care of decision paralysis right now.  Commit to climbing a mountain TODAY. Say it, believe it, post on social media and tell your friends.  Get excited!

Gather the Training Supplies

Start by gathering the following supplies from around your house.  Don’t have one of these items?  Borrow from a friend.  Still no luck?  Don’t sweat it, they aren’t required.

NOTE:  We will go through each of these items in detail throughout this course.

  • Basic backpack
    A standard school backpack, hiking backpack, etc
  • Comfortable Footwear
    Sneakers, tennis shoes, hiking shoes/boots.
  • Socks
    Wool socks are best, but any comfortable, cushioned calf height or higher will suffice for training.
  • Water Bottle
    Any 16oz or more reusable, resealable bottle will do.
  • Comfortable/Weather-Appropriate Clothing 
    Depending on your location, comfortable workout shirt and shorts/pants
  • Training Weight
    This can be anything that adds weight to your pack for training.  As training progresses, weight with be increased to continually challenge you and  Good options are sand bags, dried rice, beans, canned goods, dumbbell weights, etc.

Got the supplies?  Let’s go!