Basic FT #3 - Rock Skills - More Information

Basic FT #3 - Rock Skills - More Information

Additional information for Seattle Basic Alpine Climbing Field Trip 3

FT3--Rock Skills

Prerequisites:  Completion of field trips FT1, FT2

Preparation:   Practice any techniques in which you are not proficient.  Review chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 in Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills (MFotH), 8th Edition, covering knots, belaying, rappelling, and rock climbing.    

Equipment:     Be sure to bring all the gear listed below. Mark your equipment so that you will be able to identify it when it gets mixed in with other gear.

  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Belay device
  • Belay gloves
  • 1 large, locking pear-shaped carabiner ("HMS" or "Pearabiner")
  • 2 locking and 6 non-locking carabiners
  • 3 single and 2 double tied runners; 2 sewn runners (120 cm and 60 cm)
  • Hero Loop
  • Backpack
  • Mountaineering Boots (rock shoes are NOT allowed for this fieldtrip)
  • Rain jacket and pants, insulating layers and warm non-cotton base layer clothing for climbing outside in cold, and possibly wet weather



In the Knots area, you will demonstrate your ability to tie the following knots in a pass/fail manner with no assistance:

  • overhand knot (fig 9-4)
  • water knot (fig. 9-7)
  • slip knot (fig. 9-20)
  • clove hitch (fig. 9-18)
  • Munter hitch on pearabiner (fig. 9-26)
  • girth hitch (fig 9-19)
  • Prusik Hitch (fig 9-23)
  • Mule Knot (9-21)
  • Butterfly Knot (9-17)
  • double fisherman (fig. 9-10)
  • figure 8 knot on a bight (fig. 9-11)
  • figure 8 knot, rewoven (fig. 9-12)
  • single bowline on a fixed anchor (fig. 9-14)
  • double bowline (on a bight) (fig 9-15)
  • butterfly coil (fig. 9-3)


You will be expected to climb 3 or more low 5th class top-roped routes on the south wall climbing towers.  Students will be belaying other students. Skills covered:

  • Hazard Awareness
  • Balance/control
  • 3 points of contact
  • Climbing in mountaineering boots on up to class 5.4 moves
  • Explain/demo correct protection cleaning
  • Explain/demo correct gear management
You will be given guidance and graded proficient/needs improvement on:
  • Friction climbing
  • Face climbing
  • Crack climbing
  • Stemming/Chimney climbing
  • Mantle
  • Lie Back
  • Under Cling
  • Traversing
  • Down climbing
  • Low angle without hands


You will need to demonstrate back-over with autoblock, sit-and-spin, and low-angle arm-wrap .


  • Be sure to connect your PAS as soon as you reach the rappel ledge and before announcing "off belay".  
  • DO NOT disconnect your PAS until the Instructor on the ledge has checked your rappel connection and given you the go-ahead to rappel
  • On all rappels use the proper rappel signals, “On Rappel” and “Off Rappel.”  

For the back-over and sit-and-spin:

  • Demonstrate correct rappel setup with both your belay device and carabiner brake. Munter Hitch ( For Munter rappel instruction, watch this video)
  • Make 1 carabiner brake Munter hitch and 1 device rappel
  • On one rappel, wear your pack
  • On one rappel, use an auto-block
  • Perform a fireman belay 


In the Belay area, you will demonstrate safety and competency for:

  • Belay concepts (stance, brake hand positioning, helmet & glove)
  • Personal Anchor System usage 
  • Belay anchor connection (2 anchor points AND a powerpoint on a cordelette)
  • Belay technique (with both belay device and munter hitch)
Belay Tie-off and Escape
  • Belay tie-off with a mule knot (belay device and munter hitch)
  • Performing belay escape (belay device and munter hitch) 



  • Know the whereabouts of your pack at all times. Keep the items you’re not using in your pack.
  • Make sure instructors have signed your grade card where needed before leaving a station.
  • Always use a personal anchor at the top of ALL climbing routes when not on belay or rappel.

Come Prepared and Have Fun!!