Learn how to Trad Climb with the AMC
Climbers (or anyone interested in learning to climb),
Just posting an announcement for an introductory climbing course being offered by the AMC in the early Spring. The Appalachian Mountain Club (www.outdoors.org
) is a non-profit community that is broken into regions throughout the Northeast. Within each region, there are committees that organize outdoor weekend excursions for hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, backpacking, etc. ONCE a year, the climbing committee of the NY-Northen NJ Chapter offers a four day introductory course for 18 lucky students that teaches what you need to know to safely set up toprope anchors and second (or follow) trad leaders on multi-pitch climbs (like those at the Gunks). In addition, if you pass the course, you will be included on the committee’s roster, instantly providing you with other safe climbing partners to hit the Gunks with on weekends and invitations to planned trips to nearby climbing areas like Rumney, the Adirondacks and Seneca Rocks…even occasionally to less nearby locations like Red Rocks and El Potrero Chico.
Four days for the nominal fee of $200 (which is used to cover costs for community equipment like ropes, webbing and carabiners – all of the instructors volunteer their time and pay for their own transportation and lodging costs) in exchange for training and partners…what’s the catch? Well, you do have to be a member of the AMC (which takes about 5 minutes on http://www.amc-ny.org/
), but you can wait to hear if you’ve been accepted to the course before having to join. You also have to get yourself to Southington, Connecticut (where we hold the four days of outdoor instruction) for two weekends in row (no public transportation, car pools available – hopefully you’ll be driving one them).
Aside from that, the real reasons that we volunteer our time is that we love climbing and want to build the community of safe climbers within our committee. The larger the group, the better it is for all of us. Also, since almost everyone on the roster has gone through the course (you can also join as a walk-on leader), we all take comfort in knowing that we’ve all been trained in the safest practices….which leads me to my final point: You don’t have to be new to climbing to take the course, but you do have to practice what we teach to find a place on the roster. The instructors have put a lot of thought into designing a curriculum that teaches the safest climbing methods possible (i.e., how to belay, which knots to use, etc.) and we want to insure that course graduates are proficient in safe practices.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, check out the link below for more information (dates/equipment costs/schedule/timeline, etc) and also for the application itself: http://www.amc-ny.org/recreational-activities/climbing
(Please take the form submission seriously, as we always get more applicants than slots available in the course and typically have nothing else to go on in deciding who we offer a spot to)
If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
, but please be understanding if the responses are terse - we get a lot of questions, and remember we’re all volunteers!