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Climbing Classes – What To Expect
Are you considering taking up the sport of climbing? It is definitely a fun and exhilarating outdoor activity but it is not something easy to learn and climbing comes with some serious risks. Taking a class from a knowledgeable instructor with a lot of climbing experience is a must.
You’ll be instructed on a wide range on topics and taught essential skills for safe climbing. The class will be a combination of class room study and actual hands on training.
One of the most important parts of the class (and most basic parts of climbing) will be knot tying. If you’ve never been in boy scouts or the Navy, you’d be surprised at how many different types of knots there are. You’ll learn various tying methods including the Italian Hitch, the Bowline, a Double Overhand and the Tape Knot.
You’ll be instructed on how to tie the harness onto the ropes using the biners. It’s very important to strap on a harness accurately and to test the loops and ties since your connection to the rope is critical to your safe ascent and descent from the mountain. You’ll also be shown the proper use of karabiners; these are the metal rings with spring clasps.
Belaying is a term used in climbing which means to attach yourself to the end of a rope or attaching a rope to a stable object. Belaying correctly is one of the most important lessons of mountain climbing. There are several different belaying techniques, all of which you will learn in class.
The top rope belaying technique is practiced using a long rope which is anchored to the top of an outcropping. The rope is threaded through the karabiners and the anchor is connected to webbing. The karabiners attach the anchor to the rope. The climber (below) climbs as the belayer pulls up the rope’s slack. Similarly on the descent the climber is lowered by slack provided by the belayer.
You will be taught proper climbing and lowering techniques and then you’ll be taught how to be the belay. You’ll be partnered up with someone else (which is always required) and be given the role of lead climber or second climber. The lead climber places protection (“pros”) and attaches the ropes to them using biners.
These are just a few things you’ll learn in a climbing class. There are many other techniques that are essential to this activity. Again, due to the nature of mountain climbing you should check the instructor’s credentials and inquire about experience. Don’t penny pinch when it comes to a climbing class since you usually get what you pay for.
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Travel Part B