Private Rock Climbing- Leadership Skills

I couple of years ago Andrew was a student of mine in an AIARE 1 Avalanche Course. Since then he has toured quite a bit in the New York and Vermont back-country and built up a pretty good list of rock climbs from Moby Grape on Cannon to lots of sport leads at Rumney. Wanting to improve his leader skills and efficiency we spent a beautiful day yesterday at Cathedral Ledge working on the finer points of multi-pitch trad climbing. Since I wanted to maximize the amount of info we could cover in this private course I drafted up a brief agenda the night before to give our day some structure.

Meet at 8:30, Drive to top of Cathedral.

Morning Session: Brief anchor building clinic

Attaching to a multi-pitch anchor (various methods pro/cons)

Belaying a second; harness, re-direct, direct  (various methods pro/cons)

Assisting a second: Canadian Drop Loop, 3:1, 5:1 improvised pulley’s

Move to Barber Wall, Rappelling Clinic (why do people keep dying)

Middle-marks, end knots, safety at the edge, pre-rigging, stacking, efficiency

Moving through 3rd & 4th class terrain

Climb Upper Refuse in 3 pitches

Efficient seconding. Belay transitions. Proper lap-coiling. Swinging Leads vrs. Blocking


Back to “classroom ledge”.

Extending top-rope anchors

Leader Rescue Session.

Belay Escapes.

Ascending Loaded Rope.

Counter-balance rappel with injured climber.

Upper Refuse

Upper Refuse

Whitehorse in the background

Whitehorse in the background

Figuring out a 5:1 hauling system

Figuring out a 5:1 hauling system

Anchor clinic

Anchor clinic

Fall colors!

Fall colors!

Whew, that is ALOT of information for an 8 hour course but we wrapped it up right on time. I love guiding days like this when I’m not just leading someone up a climb, but sharing the tips & tricks that can take a decade to discover with a fairly competent climber. I look forward to working with Andrew again to continue to improve his skill set!

If you want to spend a day like this with me there is still plenty of fair weather to get out before winter arrives! We can have a day like this well into November, so click here for info on our private courses!

About David Lottmann

David has devoted his entire adult life to climbing - pushing his grade on recreational objectives and working as a professional mountain guide. After a stint in the United States Marine Corp, he was hired as a rock and ice instructor and since has expanded his repertoire to include alpine, skiing and avalanche education. David is an aspirant Rock Guide through the American Mountain Guide Association [AMGA], an American Institute for Avalanche Awareness and Education [AIARE] Course Leader, holds a Wilderness First Responder [WFR] and is a volunteer member of Mountain Rescue Service [MRS] and Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue [AVSAR]. In his free time, you will find David blogging, mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, skiing, sharing micro-brews with friends or in the kitchen working on a new recipe in his home town of Conway, New Hampshire. He resides there with his wife, Michelle, his son, Alex and daughter, Madalena.
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One Response to Private Rock Climbing- Leadership Skills

  1. Sharpless says:

    Wow.. I’ve only recently started climbing outdoors. Lack of experienced climbers to tag along was what prevented me from committing to it initially. But I like what you are doing here. And if I were living south of the border, I would have loved to consider it. I have joined a club here in Canmore now that goes on regular trips that also imparts rock climbing courses. I think pretty much the same way as you do. I like that you share these experiences and the pics too.


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