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 grew up skiing in the Whites and started climbing at a summer camp just north of Mt. Washington when he was 16. Those first couple of years solidified climbing as a lifetime passion. From 1996-2000 he served in the USMC, and spent the better part of those years traveling the globe (18 countries). After returning to civilian life he moved to North Conway to focus on climbing and was hired in 2004 as a Rock and Ice Instructor. Since then Dave has taken numerous AMGA courses, most recently attaining a Single Pitch Instructor. He has completed a Level 3 AIARE avalanche course, is a Level 2 Course Leader, holds a valid Wilderness First Responder and is a member of Mountain Rescue Service. When David isn't out guiding he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, backcountry skiing, trying to cook something new once a week and sampling new micro-brews. He lives in Conway, NH with his wife Michelle, 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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