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 5 trainings and a minimum of 16 hours of rope rescue rigging training per year
  • Go on minimum of 4 hours of snow training and 8 hours of medical training
  • 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 and doing more than just the minimum.
  • Leadership, we want members who come to more than just missions. Please plan on joining a committee!

Step 3: Deciding to Apply

Our application is currently closed. Check back in December 2023.
Want to be notified when the application opens? Sign up on this form.