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Learning to Climb


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I'm cross posting the post from the Best Knots thread in the climbing section.


The link is actually to a page on the Washington Alpine Club's climbing class webpage. see web page and web page . (The images of the knots are obviously from an outside source.) The WAC's basic climbing class has just opened up the application period for this year's climbing class, and given the number of newbies who frequent the site I'll give the class a plug.


The class teaches basic techniques for climbing rock, snow, and ice in a small and intimate setting (30 - 32 students max each year), and provides plenty of supervised opportunity to practice the techniques. The class is designed for absolute beginners with some backcountry skills, but is often taken by climbers with some experience.


I, personally, had been rock climbing for a number of years in the midwest before moving to Seattle. Even so, I'd never rappelled on a munter hitch before, nor had I learned any self-rescue techniques....both of which I've learned thru the WAC. I was also completely lacking in steep snow and glacier climbing skills and knew enough to get some training before venturing too far out into the Cascades.


The jokes about group climbing directed at many of the alpine clubs are indeed funny and not without the occasional justification. However, learning skills in that environment can be a reasonably safe way to go. It's also the most accessible to most beginners unless they are lucky enough to have a mentor willing to get them up to speed. It's up to you to choose then how you spend the rest of your climbing time, whether as a alpine club drone on group climbs, as an independent agent, or some combination of the two. It all depends on your skill level, your confidence, and perceived risk.


Check out the class info on the website. I'll be happy to provide more of my personal opinions on the subject if you're genuinely interested.


I'll also cross post this to the Newbie section.

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Thanks, Thinker. I think most people who browse this site realize that the club-bashing is what it is: mostly entertainment but also true to some degree: the clubs, while they offer a relatively safe and structured introduction to the sport of climbing, have their limitations. And accidents on club outings are not uncommon although the rate of accidents on these outings appears to be higher than it actually is because these groups are much more likely to report a mishap than might a bunch of independent climbers who don't have an organization watching over their shoulder.


Trask: do you have to shit on every thread?

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