Mountain Education began in 1982 as a mountaineering school working with hikers and ski-mountaineers and, now, teaches people from around the workd along the High Sierra mountains from the Mojave Desert in the south to Lake Tahoe in the north from January to November. We specialize in snow safety techniques and skills, volunteer in Search and Rescue for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, work to help the National Ski Patrol on our local mountains, teach Emergency Medical Technician skills at our local college, and are certified in Level 2 Avalanche awareness, control, and rescue.
Areas of Service and Expertise
Besides working with the Pacific Crest Trail Association and Continental Divide Trail Alliance to train future long-distance hikers of those trails, we are, also, involved in training the Guides of the Tahoe Rim Trail in snow safety and group leadership. Our President and CEO, Ned Tibbits, served as a Wilderness Ranger for Sierra National Forest, a Paramedic for six years in the San Francisco Bay Area, a Professional Ski Patrolman for both Northstar-at-Tahoe and Heavenly Ski Areas, a Search and Rescue member for the Douglas County, Nevada, Sheriff's Department, and thru hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1974 and the Continental Divide Trail in 1980.
Types of Experiences and Trips Provided
Mountain Education wants everyone who desires to go into the mountians to be safe and have a fun time there! If you're not prepared for what can happen or confront you there, then you might have a trip filled with anxiety, concern, misfortune, or injury.
We teach our students how to plan and prepare for their own outings, hike safely, and consider the elements and conditions around them before their own desires, all to bring them home happy and hungry to go back out again! We concentrate our skills instruction in snow-hiking, snow-camping, creek-crossing, avalanche safety and awareness, on-snow ascent and descent skills, the basics of summer backpacking, cross-country route-finding, and navigation, how to forecast and deal with weather, and how to stay found, warm, and dry all the time!
We offer skills training trips varying from 3 to 21 days up and down the Sierra Nevada. Beginners start out learning the Basics on weekend, basecamp trips. Four to seven-day outings follow in March and April for those who want to advance to Intermediate-level abilities. Ten to twenty-one day adventures start in May and continue through October completing the list of practical skills and appropriate knowledge we impart to make our students mountain-savvy, personally secure, self-sufficient, and ready for all conditions the wilderness can throw at them.
We strive to teach our students the low-impact techniques of Leave-No-Trace camping and wilderness travel so that their presence, whether on the soil of a campsite or to the eye of another passing visitor, does not intrude upon the pristine backcountry experiences of others. Propper sanitation habits, cowboy-camping, light hiking methods, trash awareness, environmental protection, and the comraderie of the hiking community are all taught to make everyone's enjoyment of our wilderness the best it can be.
ADA Accessibility Notes
Mountain Education works on the trails and amidst the peaks and valleys of the High Sierra. We meet our students at trailheads, so we do not operate at a physical facility. We started in 1982 as a family-run business and are, now, moving to become a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation. We are based in the South Lake Tahoe area, are involved in the safety of the public visiting our backcountry, yet teach all along the 400 miles of the Sierra.
Pet Friendly Notes
During the winter months, our students can bring their dogs with them as long as they are used to snow and we are not visiting a National Park. During the Summer, when trails are hard on a pet's feet, the family dog can join our skills training trips as long as the owner can monitor and control it. We bring along Samoyed dogs of our own to enhance the fun of our trips!