Advanced Ratings

What are M and E ratings?

M-level outings include skills for class 3 rock climbs (frequent use of hands for upward progress) and moderate snow climbs, which may require use of an ice axe, as well as navigation skills.

·       M-Rock leaders may lead class 3 rock climbs but not moderate snow climbs.

·       M-Snow leaders may lead moderate snow climbs but not class 3 rock climbs.

·       Full M leaders may lead both class 3 rock climbs and moderate snow climbs.

E-level outings add skills for leading class 4 rock (consistent use of hands for upward progress and more exposure to falling) with a rope, anchors, protection and belays; steep snow climbs that require the use of an ice axe and crampons and may require roped travel and belays; and advanced navigation, which may require the use of an altimeter.

·       E-Rock leaders may lead class 4 rock climbs but not steep snow climbs.

·       E-Snow leaders may lead steep snow climbs but not class 4 rock climbs.

·       Full E leaders may lead both class 4 rock climbs and steep snow climbs.

Note that a few Angeles Chapter entities offer outings rated T for technical. These outings require specialized skills and leaders of these trips are approved by the entity to lead the technical aspect of the outing in addition to having an appropriate leader rating granted by the Angeles Chapter Safety Committee.  Examples include sailing and ski mountaineering.

An E-rated mountaineering trip

Jack Kieffer's E-Rock Provisional. Photo by Matt Hengst. 

Helpful Stuff

Learn specifics about the M-E Requirements.

Need Forms? See Forms menu. M/E specific forms are here.

Want to learn mountaineering techniques? Check out AMP, the Advanced Mountaineering Program, offered twice a year, sponsored by LTC. You have to be a Sierra Club member and have some basic experience with rock/roped climbing.

Have you been given "access' to Campfire Events? Learn more on our Campfire Events page - the online method of entering events that outings chairs coordinate.

Here is a sample Mountaineering Resume (pdf)

Visit Trip Planning for information of interest to outings leaders and chairs, including Rules of Conduct.

Mountaineering Oversight Committee (MOC): A National committee that approves all Club mountaineering outings. More information to come.

Provisional Lead Committee (PLC)

The PLC reviews all M-E provisional plans. Members include the LTC Chair, Vice-chair, Rock Chair, Snow Chair, Navigation Chair, and LTC Administrative Chair. The following requests shall be sent to
  • Requests to be granted M or E level provisional status.  The request shall be accompanied by a comprehensive climbing resume.  The request shall specifically indicate whether the request is for M-Rock, M-Snow, Full-M, E-Rock, E-Snow, or Full-E.
  • Requests for approval of specific M or E level provisional trip. The request shall be accompanied by a draft Mountaineering Oversight Committee (MOC) application.
Within 24 hours of receipt of request by PLC Coordinator, the PLC Coordinator shall: 
  • Log the request
  • Review the leader’s record and determine if the required checkoffs have been completed. 
  • Inform the candidate if all requirements have not been met.
  • Forward the request to the Provisional Lead Committee if all requirements have been met.
 The PLC will review the candidate information and PLC members will vote to approve or deny the request within seven (7) days of receiving the request.  An affirmative vote by at least four members of the PLC is required to approve a request.  However, if any member of the PLC has voted against the request, additional discussion will take place so that the person voting against the request has an opportunity to convince other members to revise their votes.