Climbing Ranger (PO-00734887)

The US Forest Service, Methow Valley Ranger District in Winthrop, WA will be filling 1 full time Climbing Ranger Volunteer Intern for a 12-week summer season. The region is part of the North Cascades and includes the Washington Pass area (in the North Cascades Scenic Highway corridor), as well as several local crags such as Fun Rocks, Goat Wall, and the Matrix near Mazama, Washington. It also includes climbing destinations within the Pasayten and Lake Chelan Wilderness areas.  The Climbing Ranger Intern will join a team of 2 other Forest Service Climbing Rangers, and will also serve within a dynamic Recreation Program that includes Wilderness, Trails, and Developed Recreation crews. 
This is a resource protection climber education based program.  Duties include:

  • Climbing patrols on trails, climbing approaches, and technical terrain
  • Providing in-field visitor information and education regarding Leave No Trace principals, especially as it applies to climbing, but including general visitor education as well
  • Data collection and monitoring including visitor use, trail inventory and GPS
  • Assist in trail maintenance and reconstruction projects, and conduct trail surveys for access routes to crags
  • Assist in education efforts related to protecting wildlife such as mountain goats, peregrine falcons, etc.

Required Skills

  • Must have experience trad climbing, knowledge of building anchors with traditional protection, rappelling multi-pitch climbs, and alpine systems. Please include your climbing resume along with your traditional resume. 
  • Effective communicator, great attitude, and passion for sustainability of recreational climbing
  • The work requires walking and climbing in steep, uneven terrain, exposure to adverse weather and insects, performing physical labor, bending, lifting, and carrying up to 50 pounds or more.

Successful candidates will serve alongside experienced climbing rangers, and will work in pairs on all technical terrain and for project work, and may work solo on non-technical terrain or trails. Normal schedule is typically eight 10-hour days in the field in a row, followed by six days off. Field days will primarily be day trips but will also include occasional backcountry trips of up to 8 days and short overnight trips.
Strong technical climbing skills and aptitude are a must, along with good communication, teamwork skills, and the ability to interact professionally with the public, including in high use areas. 


  • Professional development and experience in a Federal Land Management Agency
  • Opportunities to work with various organizations including the Access Fund and local climbing groups to improve the climbing experience in the region.
  • Opportunities to cross-train with Wilderness, Trails, and Developed Recreation crews.
  • Opportunities to learn about and work with the USFS pack stock string, and participate in a pack-supported climbing patrol.
  • Immersive experience in renown climbing venues such as Liberty Bell, Goat Wall, and Silver Star.

Compensation amounts:
– $1,100 – one time RT travel allowance
– $300 – weekly living allowance
– Housing on site included (see description)
– AmeriCorps eligible ($1,718 education award)

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

Position ID: PO-00734887

Expected Dates: June 5, 2023 - August 24, 2023

24 West Chewuch
Winthrop, WA 98862

Training Provided: Seasonal crew trainings, driver safety, options to cross-train with Wilderness, Trails, and Developed Recreation crews (including traditional tool use, working with the USFS pack stock string). Professional development with federal land mang agency.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: The Methow Valley provides outstanding opportunities for year round outdoor recreation, including hiking, climbing, biking, horse-back riding, skiing, and more. There is normally a strong local art, music and vibrant community scene.

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Recreation Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Required

A personal vehicle is strongly recommended because the living area is in a remote rural site with no public transport. A government rig is available for all work related tasks, but not personal use.

Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member

Housing will be provided.  Housing options are either a shared room in a bunkhouse, with shared kitchen/dining/bathroom/laundry facilities, or in a wall tent with indoor shared shower and bathroom facilities (or porta potty), and outdoor covered cooking area (with access to fridge and power).  The wall tent option also has access to additional restrooms/shower access 8 miles away in Winthrop.    Wifi is available.

All housing is located at USFS historic Early Winters Compound, located 8 miles from the main ranger office in Winthrop. There is trail access to Mazama and other areas from the compound.  It is also located on the banks of Early Winters Creek, in a peaceful ponderosa pine forest.  

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association