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How much experience do you need to bring a friend?


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I have two friends who are interested in climbing, each for their own reasons. I introduced both of them to the gym, and maybe I should be sorry for that. They've been bouldering indoors for a while and like it. Both of them have expressed some interest in climbing outdoors, but probably don't have enough interest to make it happen on their own.


I'm fairly new at this. I took a lesson with AAI last fall and loved it. This spring I took an anchor building and rappel lesson at the gym. I read Freedom of the Hills and a few more-involved books from Mountaineers Press. I've been going out to the crags all spring, with a partner who's more experienced than I am. I've done a lot of belaying, mostly from the bottom. I've built half the anchors we've used, generally a cordelette and some lockers through bolted anchors. We did a two pitch route Saturday, I set a few pieces in the belay anchor.


I've come to feel completely comfortable with my ability to do the basic stuff, and know a bunch of easy routes where you hike up to the bolts, build your anchor, rappel to the bottom (or just walk around), and climb. There's a 5.0 with a nice view and a crack that offers comfortable, solid hand holds the entire way up, and it seems like a great place to take somebody for their first outdoor climb.


These two don't like each other, so it will be one-on-one.


What I have in mind is to bring my friends to the crag, build the anchor, have them try to pull it out (to build confidence and have them feel involved), rap to the bottom (for fun, and to demonstrate the rope having me), and then belay them while they climb. I might show them how to rap on flat ground, but I would have to be at the top to check to see they clipped in correctly and also at the bottom to do a fireman's belay, so I don't plan on having them actually rappel. I'm not comfortable with trying to teach them to belay and then immediately counting on them to do it safely. Won't be the most exciting couple days for me, but it'll be a good deed. And it won't require that much skill or knowledge on my part.


So, what I'd like some second opinions on, is how I know when I'm at a point when it makes sense to do this.

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You are ready to do this when you no longer feel the need to ask random strangers this question. Ask the person who's been taking you out and teaching you. They are the only person besides you that really knows what skill level you are at.


Also, setting a TR anchor and rapping off it isn't exactly rocket science so unless your gym friends are total idiots I wouldn't sweat it. If they are that dumb then you've got to ask yourself why you're taking them climbing with you.

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If you are confident in setting up solid, redundant, equalized anchors, you are probably good to go. As the previous poster said, ask those that have been mentoring you if you are ready because you don't know what you don't know. I would pass on the rappeling. When I have taught rapelling to newbs I have them on belay on a separate rope. This is much easier to manage with 2 instructors, one at the top and one at the bottom.

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