Pitons And Copperhead Training


You must be a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - Mountaineering Section club (not just this Meet-Up group) to attend.  Priority will be given to active members and newly joined members!  If you are not a member of PATC-MS, please sign up at www.potomacmountainclub.org!  Membership will be checked by the leader.  Thank you.

Reminder: Climbing is a dangerous sport and injury may occur.

Although it is rare to use pitons today in climbing, there are still some areas where they are used such as big walls, alpine climbing, and foreign climbing areas where they are often necessary due to the rock type (Dolomites in Italy).  This will be a class to learn about pitons, piton types, placement of pitons (including ways to cleanly place pitons), and piton cleaning.  My aim of this class is not to encourage the use of pitons, but rather provide an education for those who may need them at some point or want to learn for historical purposes about the gear people used to climb on.  I will also talk about cleaning pitons in the least destructive manner.  We will be doing hands-on training in rocks that are not at a regular climbing area.

I will also cover copperheads, which are still used considerably in advanced aid climbs, but may also be found fixed on many big walls.

This will be on the ground training not involving actual climbing, other than gear testing with feet just above the ground.  This training will take place even if it is slightly raining, but heavy rain will cause a postponement.  Please meet at the designated spot because the training location will not be disclosed beforehand.  We will carpool to the trailhead.

Bring sturdy hiking boots or shoes as we probably will travel cross country to the training locations.  I would also suggest fingerless gloves or light leather gloves.  You may want to consider bringing safety glasses.  If you have etriers (aiders), bring a pair, otherwise I will have several pairs.  You do not need to bring any pitons or copperheads as I have them.  I have two hammers, but if you have a climbing hammer, feel free to bring it.  Bring a backpack and be ready for hiking to an off the trail spot for this training.  No experience is required for this training and beginners and curious climbers are welcome.


Join or login to comment.

  • Simon

    Mark is a treasure trove of historical and technical information. His manner of instruction lends to a very good rate of retention. An awesome hands-on class! Thank you so much!!

    May 14, 2013

  • David L.

    Mark rocked it and was extremely kind and generous with his time, instruction, and gear. Great class!

    May 13, 2013

  • Eric M.

    Great class Mark. Thanks so much for teaching us something few these days know.

    May 12, 2013

  • Rachel S.

    Ahhh I really wanted to come and was excited to see I was off the wait list but my twins just got out of the hospital and are still very sick. Have fun all! Looks like a great time!

    May 10, 2013

  • Eliddia M.

    Mother's Day plans are taking over my day on Sunday so I won't be able to attend. So bummed! This looks like a fantastic training and I hope to have the opportunity to do it again. Thanks Mark!

    May 10, 2013

  • Mark F.


    I am looking forward to the piton and copperhead class this Sunday. Please meet at the designated place at the time listed as we will be carpooling from there. I will provide directions to the location at the meeting location. The location is about a 50 minute drive from the carpool meeting location.

    Please bring backpacks that can fit some extra gear as we will be splitting up the gear to take to the training site. We will be doing the class in the morning at the site, which is about a 30-45 minute hike from the parking location.

    After the class, we can do top rope climbing in a place that probably most of you have not climbed at before. Bring your harnesses, shoes, chalk bag, rope, and static rope for an anchor.

    My plan is to finish up about 4 pm.

    May 10, 2013

  • erez

    I was just nominated "coach" for Sat early morning MSI game. Can't leave the team w/o a coach :(

    May 8, 2013

  • Peter J

    Another trip came up and I won't be able to make this one. Bummed, but at least there's a waiting list.

    March 24, 2013

  • David L.

    Thank you so much. I'm really looking forward to learning piton-craft for future alpine ascents.

    February 20, 2013

  • Travis

    Hell yeah!

    February 19, 2013

  • Jesse

    Im definitely planning on attending.

    February 19, 2013

  • Eric M.

    I'm definitely in on this.

    February 19, 2013

  • David G.

    Looking forward to this...

    February 19, 2013

15 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Imagine having a community behind you

Get started Learn more

I decided to start Reno Motorcycle Riders Group because I wanted to be part of a group of people who enjoyed my passion... I was excited and nervous. Our group has grown by leaps and bounds. I never thought it would be this big.

Henry, started Reno Motorcycle Riders

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy