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 experience in each of the following areas…
    • Alpine rock (demonstrated by leading trad 5.6 multipitch (3+ pitches) in an alpine rock environment. For an example of climbs in the local Washington area meeting these requirements, click here)
    • Backcountry snow travel (demonstrated by traveling in backcountry avalanche terrain, regardless of whether it’s snowshoeing or skiing/splitboarding)
    • Glacier (demonstrated by traveling in glacier terrain)
  • 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 of 10+ years (as determined by SMR). 
  • Applicants will need to complete ICS-100 and 700 as part of their application. This certificate can take between 1-4 hours to complete. Find the link to the online classes here. 
  • 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 rigging trainings per year 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 per year
  • Maintain compliance with WA State & King County S&R Core Competencies requirements
  • Leadership and involvement! We want members who come to more than just missions. We are specifically interested in bringing on members that have capacity to be involved in the unit outside of mission response. As a volunteer run organization members are expected to get involved in leadership and admin roles.

*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 on a weekend in May and October. Please make every effort to attend these trainings. 

*Training occurs throughout the year, please plan on attending multiple days and doing more than just the minimum.

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!

Important Dates:

  • Applications are due by January 5th, 2024
  • Hikes will take place in February (⚠️ Required to attend, mulitple opportunities will be available)
  • Interviews will be held on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024 (⚠️ Required to attend. If you can’t attend March 2nd because you are working on Saturday or have another significant committment, there is an alternative date of Tuesday, March 5th)
  • You will find out if you have been accepted on March 21st around 8pm via email.
  • If accepted, New Member Orientation will be in the evening on March 22nd in North Bend
  • Rigging training will be held in May and tentatively scheduled for the weekend of 5/18-5/19

To be prepared for summer rescues it is important that you make all of these dates! In addition to these dates there will be new member training covering topics such as patient packaging, litter handling, patient assessments and rigging operations. 

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).


Step 5: Take a Short Quiz

Thank you for watching our info sesion video! Please note our application is now closed. Please check back in the fall of 2024 for the quiz link.

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 6: Hike

After the application closes on January 5th, the applications will be reviewed and we will select candidates to go on a short hike with us. The goal of these short hikes is for us to get to know you better and for you to get to know us! These hikes will take place in February and there will be many opportunities.

Step 7: Interview

The last step of the application will be the interview. These interviews will be about 30 minutes long and will be held in-person at our building in North Bend. After being interviewed the interviewers will make their recommendations to the board and if approved, the board will vote you in as a novice member!

After going through this page, if you have any questions about SMR or the application, or if you are having a problem with any of the forms/links please email Alexis at

Visual recap of the process: