Assistant Canyon Leader Assessment

Assistant Leader Assessment
COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers event.
  • Sat, May 8, 2021 from 08:30 AM to 06:00 PM
  • Seattle Program Center
    8711 16th Ave NW, Apt B
    Goodman B, Goodman C, North Plaza: North Wall, North Plaza: Friction Slabs, North Plaza: 50-degree Slab, North Plaza: Towers & Chimney, South Plaza: Climbing Wall East Side, South Plaza: Climbing Wall West Side, South Plaza: Boulder, South Plaza: Boulder Field, South Plaza: Center Green
  • Becca Polglase
  • Seattle Canyoning Committee
  • Seattle
  • vCal / iCal
  • 1 (10 capacity)

Technical Skills Assessment required of Assistant Canyon Leaders

Assessment Purpose: This assessment verifies that the canyoner has the technical skills required of an Assistant Leader. Assistant Leaders in canyons often get less practice than students while in canyon, but must be prepared to manage high-stress or challenging technical situations independently. They are the second set of safety eyes, the back-up belayer, the efficient rigger when the day is getting late, and the support for the nervous student. They also serve as redundancy in skills in case something happens to the leader. Leaders need their assistants to have the skills demonstrated in this assessment.

Assessment Objectives:

Students must be able to demonstrate, at minimum, sufficiency in the skills being assessed. Sufficiency = 3 on the Mastery Hierarchy: (1=failure, 2=insufficient, 3=sufficient, 4=proficient, 5=mastery). These skills are not expected to be done quickly or perfectly, but rather showcase that students are able to demonstrate the required technical skills, without any critical safety errors. Sufficiency means a student is at a suitable level of skill for independence.

While the primary purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate technical skills, students may be asked to explain certain aspects of a technical skill to verify understanding of its application. 

Skills being assessed:

  • Cairn anchors: inspecting, building, backing up, rappelling
  • Building webbing anchors around a tree (one redundant and one non-redundant)
  • Building an anchor from a rock pinch
  • Assessing and building suitable bottom anchor for guided rappel
    • Joining two ropes together for retrieval
    • Isolating a coreshot (butterfly or stacked overhand; isolation method must include a safe clip in point)
    • Rappelling double strand
    • Passing a knot double strand
    • Assessing and building natural anchors:
    • Rigging and managing a rebelay starting at the first pitch
    • Tensioning a guides rappel using an Italian 8
    • Converting a stuck releasable system (static rigging) to a lower
    • Converting a releasable system to a haul and bringing a teammate back to the anchor
    • Performing a direct rescue with a pickoff strap
    • Trip plan test (to be done at home) 


Candidates may use any piece of equipment on their harness to complete the techniques being assessed. Additional equipment will be provided by the assessors if necessary for specific techniques.