Cornell Tree Climbing Institute

Break Trips Courses

The following courses take place during breaks such as Fall Break and Spring Break during the school year, and are also listed with their corresponding program areas.


Ice Climbing & Mountaineering - Adirondacks
Start Date - Mon Feb 9
Join us as we tiptoe up frozen waterfalls and climb to the top of snowy peaks. Come learn the fundamentals of this incredibly unique form of climbing while enjoying the beauty of a Northeastern winter. Emphasis is on front pointing and belayed technical climbing - techniques best suited to the steep water ice typically found in the Northeast. Covers equipment, German technique (front pointing), French technique, tool selection and placement, and winter safety and comfort.

Winter Camping Break Trip
Start Date - Sat Jan 31
Learn the essentials of traveling and camping in the winter. Build a snow shelter, travel on snowshoes, melt snow for water, and learn to sleep toasty warm. Winter camping opens up whole new horizons for exploration, without the bugs, crowds or mud.

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Backcountry Photography - Fall Break
Start Date - Sun Sep 27
This class combines photography skills, appreciation for nature, and a weekend backpacking class. Enjoy the beautiful sights in and around the Fingerlakes as you and your fellow students learn about some basic nature photography techniques, such as the rule of thirds, and how to maximize your use of exposure to get the shots you want. No prior experience is necessary, but you will need a camera. Fall semester class may go to the Adirondacks to catch the colors as we transition from summer to fall.

Fall Break Backpacking Trip
Start Date - Sat Sep 26
Enjoy your Fall Break in the beautiful natural surroundings of Ithaca. No prior experience is necessary. Students will learn some basic Backpacking skills as they spend Fall Break in the beautiful natural areas in and around Ithaca.

Outdoor Rock Climbing - Fall Break
Start Date - Sun Sep 27
Learn basic rock climbing skills on real rock! We’ll spend four days during the peak of fall foliage climbing, camping, and relaxing at Minnewaska State Park in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. We will cover climbing equipment and technique, knots, belaying, rappelling, and natural history. As always, an instructor- to-student ratio of 1:4 ensures lots of personal attention and climbing time. NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.

Shawanagunks Rock Climbing - Fall Break
Start Date - Sun Oct 4
Enjoy world-class rock climbing at one of the premier areas in the US, the Shawangunks! After an introductory class at the Lindseth Climbing Wall, we will travel to the 'Gunks for a 4-day rock camp that will teach you the skills to do multi-pitch climbs. Whether it is during fall foliage or spring wildflowers and bird migrations, the natural beauty of the 'Gunks is superb and the climbing is some of the best in the world. A student-to-instructor ratio of 2:1 ensures individual attention and plenty of climbing for all. Prerequisites: Basic Rock Climbing or equivalent experience Belay certification

Wilderness First Responder - Winter Break
Start Date - Thu Dec 3
This nationally recognized course provides the training and certification that is increasingly necessary for professional outdoor instructors or guides. The curriculum goes beyond the basics to emphasize the skills and knowledge needed in remote situations when extended care is necessary. This 8-day course covers assessment, and treatment for a variety of medical problems commonly found in the backcountry, ranging from minor injuries and illnesses to major trauma and life threatening sickness. Video analysis of simulations used to enhance learning.

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