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Bay Area Rock Climbing Message Board › Local Gear & Anchor, Learn to Lead, and Self Rescue Classes

Local Gear & Anchor, Learn to Lead, and Self Rescue Classes

Richard B.
Group Organizer
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 43
Hey everybody,

Spring is here, and I thought you may be interested in one of the upcoming classes offered by the Outdoor Adventure Club at Cragmont in Berkeley and Castle Rock near Saratoga.

Brian asked me to make sure it's clear these are not events on the Meetup calendar, but classes provided by a professional guide service, requiring signing up outside the meetup group. All the classes are taught by an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor, with over 13 years of professional guiding experience in the bay area.(me!) All the classes are very much hands-on, and we provide all the gear necessary for the class. Michele (resident MC substitute greeter) and Avi­ have both been on several trips with the Outdoor Adventure Club if you'd like a reference.

I'm happy to extend the Outdoor Adventure Club member rate to anyone from the meetup who signs up for any of these classes- just put the word "meetup" after your name when you register.

April 4- Gear & Anchor Class at Cragmont in Berkeley- click for more info
The class is a full day of hands-on instruction and practice. At the end of the day you should be able to identify and build high quality top rope anchors.

The first part of the day teaches you the tools you'll need to build solid anchors:
You'll learn knots like the Figure 8 family, Clove hitch, Water knot, Fisherman's, and the Bunny Ears knot. Not only will you learn the knots, but you'll learn when to use them.
You'll learn the differences between cord and webbing, and when you should use one over the other.
You'll learn how gear works and equally important you'll learn many of the ways gear fails.
Once you have the tools, we'll spend the rest of the day teaching how to bring all the tools together to build anchors in any situation. You'll have several opportunities to build anchors in a variety of scenarios. You should leave the class with the knowledge and confidence to set up your own climbing anchors

April 12 Learn to Lead at Castle Rock- click for more info
If you are ready to get on the "sharp end" of the rope, this is the class for you. It's all day, hand's on with a low climber to guide ratio (4:1) to insure you get great personal attention and several opportunities to climb.
The class focuses on trad climbing, but the same concepts apply for bolted sport climbs.
We'll teach where to place protection, how to minimize rope drag, fall factors, lead belaying and much more.
You'll have the opportunity to place gear while "mock leading" while on a top rope. You and your gear placements will be under the watchful eye of a professional guide, getting your lead climbing career started in a great direction.

April 18-19 Climber's Self-Rescue Weekend at Castle Rock- click for more info
Anyone climbing outside should have the skills and techniques taught in this class dialed. Even if you just go top roping with your friends this class will prepare you for the "what if" scenarios that can and do happen in outdoor climbing, from the simple "How do I help my friend climb past a tricky move?" to the complex " My partner was hit by a rock, so I lowered his unresponsive body to a ledge, 40 feet above me. Now what do I do?"

You'll learn and practice the knots, hitches and systems used in self rescue, including Prussik and other friction hitches, Mariner's hitches, Munter hithches and the Munter Mule.
You'll also learn three different methods for belaying from above (Munter, Cinch, and Reverso) and when you should choose one over the other.
You'll also learn how to escape the belay, build hauling systems, how to ascend the rope, and add friction to lowering systems.

It's a lot to cover in two days, so we limit the class to 4 students per guide to make sure you have plenty of attention and opportunities to practice all the skills taught.

Let me know if you have any questions, and climb safely this season!

Richard Bothwell
Outdoor Adventure Club
A former member
Post #: 4
I've taken both the Learn To Lead and the Gear and Anchor classes taught by Richard.

For someone relatively new to the sport of climbing, i found these to be excellent lessons especially for someone who is intimidated by the thought of climbing outdoors, especially lead climbing and placing protection. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking for good instruction with personal attention. Well worth it!

- Avi
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