This course is designed for those climbers who want to develop their climbing skills. The courses focus on gear placement, building solid anchors, and lead climbing.
Outdoor Traditional Lead Climbing
Leave the quickdraws at home for this one! Further your rock skills with AMGA certified single-pitch instructors or AMGA certified rock guides by learning as they educate you on placing traditional protection in cracks, constructing EARNEST gear anchors, and leading cracks.
You will leave feeling empowered to climb cracks at Index, explore vertical terrain above Washington Pass, and adventure into the backcountry of the North Cascades. Start your tick-list because you have a whole new set of skills as a traditional climber!
This course will be held at either Mount Erie, Index, Tieton, or Frenchman Coulee in Washington, or Broughton Bluff and Smith Rock State Park in Oregon.
Minnesota programs will be held at Taylors Falls or North Shore.
This single-day, eight-hour course will begin in the morning at a pre-determined location, coordinated through email.
Your instructor will facilitate a lesson on placing removable, traditional climbing protection, such as cams and nuts, and give you feedback as you place your own gear. After a solid understanding of these tools is reached, they will develop your conceptual understanding of complex EARNEST anchor construction. Then you will have time to practice making your own anchors.
Part of complex anchor construction is understanding the BHK, or Big Honkin’ Knot. Your instructor will cover this in detail while teaching you about anchors.
At some point during the day, they will allow you the opportunity to practice placing gear while climbing during a mock-leading scenario. During this time they will evaluate your movement and gear placements, giving you the feedback you need to hone your decision-making skills when leading crack climbs.
Another large part of the course is knowing how to belay from above with an auto-locking device or an assisted breaking device when you have one climber following your lead. Your instructor will demonstrate this skill and allow you time to practice.
At roughly 5:00 p.m., the course will conclude with a closing. You can plan on being home for dinner that night.
- This is an intermediate level rock climbing course. Any previous climbing knowledge will enhance your experience, and we request that you have a solid foundation of indoor climbing.
- We recommend you have completed Rock Climbing: Beginner, or possess equivalent experience before registering for Outdoor Sport Lead Climbing.
- Strength rating on climbing goods
- Understanding of soft goods and hard goods
- Parts of climbing shoes and pros and cons of different designs
- Lead climbing belay technique
- Proper clipping technique
- Discussion on how to catch a lead fall
- Simple, two-bolt EARNEST anchor construction
- Overhand knot series: knot, bite, follow-through, bend, and flat
- Figure-eight knot series: knot, bite, follow-through, and bend
- Hitches: girth, clove, and basket
- Friction hitches: prussik, auto-block, and klemheist
- Other knots: bowline and fisherman series
- Safe construction of anchors when you have access from above
- Proper technique for cleaning an anchor safely, and personal anchor strategies
- Eight hours of expert instruction
- Kaf Resources
- Static rope
- Climbing Rope
- Anchor materials
- Mock-leading practice
- Eight hours of expert instruction
- Personal clothing
- Climbing shoes
- Kaf will provide what is listed above.
- Please bring your own personal climbing gear, and quickdraws if you have it. This course will give you invaluable time to practice with your own gear.
- You are responsible for clothes that will be comfortable while climbing in all conditions for 8 hours.
- Please bring your own climbing shoes.
Transportation and times will be coordinated by email when the pre-trip announcement is sent to all registrants. The course is scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.