Basic Rock Climbing School – Instructor

Basic Rock Climbing School Spring 2013
Pictured above: David, Slava (Assistant Instructor), Wendy, Roger (Assistant Instructor), Kimberly, Zack, myself, James, and TeeJay

This spring, I volunteered to be the Senior Instructor for the Colorado Mountain Club Boulder Section’s Basic Rock Climbing School. This means, I was in charge of picking our field trips, ensuring everybody was safe, selecting assistant instructors, and teaching the techniques, theory, and application of course material.

It was quite the undertaking, but by having Slava and Roger as my assistants, I felt much more confident we would have success. Roger is the Chair of the Boulder CMC Council and has been one of the knot testers for the club in past years. Slava is a serious mountain man and somebody I definitely trust at the other end of my rope!

For our first field trip, we took them to the right side of the Dome, in Boulder Canyon. Here, next to a short 15 foot high practice wall, we went over their knots, how to escape the belay, belaying, and rock climbing techniques. We set up TRs so everybody could practice climbing. It was a very jam packed day, but the students did awesome.

Our second field trip was at the left side of the dome. There is a short 2 pitch climb. The first pitch is a 4th class gully and the second pitch starts in a large alcove and goes up to a huge tree. I led a wet crack and Slava ventured out onto a face, then back to the tree. This field trip is the one which is typically called spaghetti practice, because you have tons of ropes all piled up all over the place. With 6 students and 3 teachers, it’s to be expected! I did show them ways of coiling the rope to keep things tidy, but it’s still kind of chaotic.

Our third field trip was to Crown Rock. We set up top ropes and students got to rappel with a munter hitch, their rappel device, ascend with prussiks, and also we taught how to get past a knot. If, for example, you are on rappel and there is a problem with the rope that you need to bypass.

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