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Jens

Mountaineers Leaders?

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Do the mounties have Leave No Trace education in the curriculumn of every course? Also is it policy for the groups to always pack out their shit?
We've had Leave No Trace lectures in every Mountaineers course with which I am familiar. The policy on Blue Bagging is usually to comply with whatever rules are in effect in the area.

 

For example, the MRNP has a Blue bag policy is in effect on the Kautz route. I climbed the route with some visitors from Canada who did not comply and in fact I was ridiculed for following the rules.

 

They ridiculed you for not polluting a wilderness area with their Canadian crap? F-ing unbelievable. madgo_ron.gif

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Do the mounties have Leave No Trace education in the curriculumn of every course? Also is it policy for the groups to always pack out their shit?
We've had Leave No Trace lectures in every Mountaineers course with which I am familiar. The policy on Blue Bagging is usually to comply with whatever rules are in effect in the area.

 

For example, the MRNP has a Blue bag policy is in effect on the Kautz route. I climbed the route with some visitors from Canada who did not comply and in fact I was ridiculed for following the rules.

 

They ridiculed you for not polluting a wilderness area with their Canadian crap? F-ing unbelievable. madgo_ron.gif

These fellows were both Euros and old-school climbers, so I could understand where they were coming from.

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Selkirk-

I believe part of the issue is that the new instructors have insufficient time to gain experience using the skills they've been taught in a variety of terrain and situations. These are the basic skills they will be expected to pass on to other students. Some experience is necessary - the question is how much, and is the current criteria sufficient.

 

I can certainly agree with that. But I think that the level of experience needed to demonstrate a basic skill, and then ensure that someone is doing it safely is much, much less than the experienced to decide what to teach. I get the impression that some people think that there is a pack of unsupervised people with 1 years worth of experience who are entirely responsible for teaching basic students climbing skills, which isn't even close to correct.

 

The net responsibility of a 1st year intermediate in a teaching situation is to demonstrate a skill they already know, and then watch to make sure the basics are doing things safely. (tied in, harness on correctly, belay device threaded and locked, yada, yada, yada). More experienced climbers have decided what to teach, how to teach it, and which experienced climber is going to be in charge of each teaching area. I think in my opinion a year's worth of climbing experience is likely enough to demonstrate a basic skill, and then supervise someone while they practic it.

 

The higher standards that had been suggested are a great starting point, but I think it's likely overkill as even these instructors have a set of more experienced climbers intermixed and overseeing what they're teaching. Now having a few people who design and run the field trips, go through some more advanced training I think could be very useful.

 

So what would your opinion be, on the minimum amount of experience appropriate to demonstrate a belay or rappel, and then supervise while someone else practices, all in a controlled environment?

 

So Selkirk, what I'm starting to realize is we've only been addrssing two or three elements of outdoor education in this conversation. But there are a few more that are applicable:

 

What is going to be taught?

Who is going to teach it?

When is it going to be taught?

Why is it taught?

 

We've been dwelling on the "Who". My real concern is the "Why" and that students learn the distinctions in the skills they're taught. I think experience provides instructors with this skill to provide distinctions.

 

My biggest complaint about the Mountaineers, Mazamaz, WAC, BoeAlps, and similar clubs is that they teach cookie-cutter "recipe" problem solving skills. "If you find yourself in X situation, then do Y."

 

That's actually my own quote, from my first post on this thread, back on page 3. And that is my harshest observation of the PNW club approaches to basic skills.

 

Just because the new instructors are supervised doesn't excuse their lack of experience. Students don't take that distinction as far as older instructors will, and answers given by new instructors - even erroneous or incomplete - will be given much more weight than they might deserve. And instructors aren't just teaching "How" a skill is used, but also "When" it is appropriate to use that skill.

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