Since 1948, Seattle Mountain Rescue (SMR) has been a dedicated volunteer team of alpine climbers, responding to wilderness emergencies year-round. Whether it is a technical rope rescue on the snowy slopes of Snoqualmie Pass or hiking up Mailbox Peak to hand a benighted hiker a headlamp, our members take pride in serving our community.

We seek new members with a range of skills and experiences that represent our outdoor community at large. The most important qualities in a candidate are a well-developed mountain skillset, a desire to help others, sound judgment, leadership experience, and a commitment to personal growth. A candidate needs to have a well-rounded history of experiences reflecting technical skill, leadership, teamwork, good decision making, and sound risk management.  

In SMR we believe a diverse and inclusive environment inspires growth, unity, respect and a better connection with the community that we support. We are interested in applicants who can work well with teammates from a variety of different experiences and backgrounds. Seattle Mountain Rescue encourages candidates from all backgrounds, cultures, and communities to apply.

Thank you for your interest in joining SMR! Please follow the steps below to learn how to apply. 


Step 1: Meet the Candidate Requirements

  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Have a minimum of three years of alpine mountaineering experience, including technical rock, snow and glacier. Ice climbing is not required but if you don’t have experience with ice please include some steep snow climbs. 
  • Demonstrated intermediate-level mountaineering skills.  (As a rule of thumb, intermediate-level mountaineering skills are demonstrated by leading 5.6 trad in an alpine rock environment. For a list of example climbs in the local Washington area, please see here.)
  • Be able to provide references from two members of the mountaineering community.
  • Possess at a minimum an AHA/ARC conforming adult/basic first aid and CPR certification. Your certification must be current and valid for six months at the time of application in order to be considered.  (WFA/WFR and/or EMT certifications are encouraged, though not required.)
  • Avalanche Level 1 from an American Avalanche Association (A3) approved course provider (e.g. AIARE Level 1 or NSP Level 1) or an international equivalent (e.g. Canadian Avalanche Association AST 1) or equivalent experience 10+ years (as determined by SMR). 
  • Applicants will need to complete ICS-100 and 700 as part of their application
  • Be able to demonstrate sound decision-making skills in the backcountry.

In addition to these prerequisite requirements, candidates must pass a background check by the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Step 2: Commit to SMR Membership Requirements

  • Respond to at least 5 missions per year with a goal of 10
  • Attend at least 20 hours of rope rescue rigging training per year
  • Maintain compliance with WA State & King County S&R Core Competencies requirements
  • Members are required to maintain at least an Avalanche Level 1 certification (funding available if accepted)
  • Membership in Seattle Mountain Rescue is at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, your novice period is
    a chance to see if SMR is a good fit for you and if you are a good fit for the team
  • Rigging training will be held in April, please attend our novice only rigging on March 26th or April 2nd. Spring Rigging training for the whole unit will be April 28-30. Please make every effort to attend these trainings. If you can’t please let us know as soon as possible.
  • Training occurs throughout the year, please plan on attending multiple days
  • Leadership, we want members who come to more than just missions. Please plan on joining a committee!

Step 3: Deciding to Apply  

Our next recruiting cycle is going on right now! This only happens once a year, so if you meet the requirements and have the time to commit please apply. If you have a conflict with any of the required dates, please look at applying next year. We appriciate your interest and can’t wait to meet you!

Applications will be due February 4, 2023
Interviews will be held on March 4, 2023 (unfortunately we can’t hold interviews on multiple days, please make sure you are available on this day)

Step 4: Watch the Info Session Video

To apply to SMR, please watch the following video. After watching, you will need to complete a short quiz (see step 5). After completing this quiz, the application will be sent to you. Please allow a few days for this email to arrive. If it has been more than 5 days since completing the quiz and you haven’t received an email, we apologize and ask that you reach out to


Step 5: Take a Short Quiz

Thank you for watching our info sesion video! The quiz can be found here. After completing this quiz, the application will be sent to you. Please allow a few days for this email to arrive. If it has been more than 5 days since completing the quiz and you haven’t received an email, we apologize and ask that you reach out to

After going through this page, if you have any questions about SMR or the application please contact our recruitment chair at
If you are having a problem with the logistics or something isn’t working please email

Application Process Overview