Seattle Basic Climbing - Optional Student Skills Practice

Field trip: Basic Alpine Climbing Course

Seattle Basic Climbing - Optional Student Skills Practice - Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

The Seattle Program Center will be open for basic students to practice skills and prepare for upcoming field trips. OPTIONAL: NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR STUDENTS. LEADER REGISTRATION: The REGISTERED LEADER is responsible for closing up, and for arranging a substitute if unable to attend for any reason. Please connect with Member Services beforehand for close-up procedure/code.

  • Mon, Dec 18, 2017
  • Seattle Climbing
  • Climbing
  • Basic Alpine
  • Adults
  • For Beginners (Getting Started Series)

6 pm to 8:30 pm. - Goodman C, and Basement practice areas.

The REGISTERED LEADER is responsible for closing up, and for arranging a substitute if unable to attend for any reason.

STUDENTS: Please check in with the Field Trip Leader for suggestions using the different skill stations.

Magnuson Skill Exercises for Basic Alpine Climbing Course Students.

1. Top rope belay and lower: This is a good place to start new climbers with limited or no previous roped climbing experience. Students belay students, which builds confidence. Students stay close to the ground until given the ok to climb higher by a course mentor (sig leader, climb leader, field trip leader, or crag leader). A number of fundamentals here that new climbers can build on, and use with other skill exercises. Use the Skills Book FT #1 Station 1 for reference.

2. Introduction to rappel: Done with a top rope belay and close to the ground, this also builds confidence and is an excellent way to start anyone with no previous experience. Usually done without extension or personal anchor for simplicity, and then added later. Good confidence builder for anyone struggling to feel comfortable hanging on a wall, trusting equipment, (most everyone just starting out). This video shows how.

3. Introduction to belay tie off: Done on the ground with two students. One acts as the climber putting tension on the belay rope when appropriate, the other is belayer. Done with both munter and slot device. Tie-off  safely to go "hands free". It's interesting to examine the mechanics (rope bends) of both belay devices.

4. Rope ascending stations: These are typically rigged in Goodman A & B. Sometimes rigged in Goodman C, but not ideal as it interferes with climbers on the wall. Usually rigged from ground anchors around the perimeter with a load releasable munter, thru ceiling anchors, and back to the ground. The person ascending always checks the rigging before ascending, along with a mentor or second pair of eyes. While the perimeter anchor bolts are quite substantial by themselves, it’s helpful for the new students to see examples of SERENE rigging here. Skinny glacier ropes are recommended if glacier travel is the intended rope ascending application. A chance to learn about different friction knots, and test them on skinny ropes.

5) Introduction to use of personal anchors, and rappel set-up transition: These are the low angle wood ramps in the basement, and also the hanging concrete slabs also in the basement can be used. Close to the ground which is ideal for students with limited prior experience.

6. Belay weights (basement): Belayer can be anchored, or not. Leader/Mentor raises the bag simulating a top-rope belay. Raising the bag is a good time to give the belayer a quick drop. The idea is to give the belayer an idea of the force involved, and the importance of considering the direction of force. Once the bag is raised to the top, slowly lower the bag. Lowering the bag simulates belaying a leader. Surprise the belayer with quick drops only when the belayer is positioned in a safe location.

7. Rappel w/low anchor, Goodman Wall (aka sit-n-spin): A great place to work out your, uh “technique” for this awkward maneuver.

8. Top roped down climbing / belaying a leader simulation: Choose the easiest climbs to start. A wonderful exercise that will improve your balance and climbing technique. The belayer gets belaying-a-leader rope handling practice.

9. There is also the South Plaza (outside) for those seeking a more alpine environment. Prepare accordingly.


Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Standard climbing gear

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