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Formal Climbing Training Recommended?
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DreamingDog


Mar 12, 2012, 6:39 PM
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Formal Climbing Training Recommended?
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I wanted to get some advice on taking classes. My searches came up with several posts about technique training but I'm looking for information on rope management and safety training.

I have done a moderate amount of climbing. It's been all sport climbing or top rope. I tried to teach myself rope management by reading a few books. While they've had tons of good information, I don't feel confident when I'm about to rappel off an anchor I've created. Basically, I don't feel confident that I'm doing things right and it oftentimes scares me shitless. No accidents yet so I'm doing something right or maybe just getting lucky.

Would you guys recommend taking formal, outdoor training classes? I know a lot of folks teach themselves but I'm not sure I share that sentiment. I gave it a shot and I'm feeling a little uncomfortable. Any thoughts? Maybe some basic rope management classes and then some advanced and rescue courses later?

I'd like to get deeper into this but my fear or lack of knowledge is holding me back. What about you guys? Did you take classes or teach yourself? What made you go that particular route?

Thanks for reading.


smallclimber


Mar 12, 2012, 7:01 PM
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Re: [DreamingDog] Formal Climbing Training Recommended? [In reply to]
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If you don't know any more experienced climbers who can take you out and are willing to pay for it, then you could just book a day with a guide. It's not cheap but I'd probably go for individual or with just your current cimbuing partner, rather than a group, then you can specify what you want to work on. Depending on where you climb there will likely be a couple of guiding companies in the area.
Or you can see if you can meet up with anyone in your gym (or maybe they even offer what you are looking for). There is a difference between just following a more experienced climber and specifically asking him to "teach' you, so pick your teacher carefully.


houslele


Mar 12, 2012, 7:27 PM
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Re: [DreamingDog] Formal Climbing Training Recommended? [In reply to]
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I think it's always best to learn from friends and climbing partners. If you can find someone whose not to far off from your skill level (as far as climbing ability) yet is more experienced and confident with rope work then that'd be the way to go about it. You might have to go through a few partners, as many won't want to teach people, but you'll find somebody whose not a dick and doesn't mind showing you the ropes. If all else fails, and you have the money, you could book a one on one lesson. Don't do a group lesson.


bearbreeder


Mar 12, 2012, 10:41 PM
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Re: [DreamingDog] Formal Climbing Training Recommended? [In reply to]
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if you want to learn it the "right" way a guide is never a bad choice ...

learning from other people can be very good or very bad ... depending on how well they teach you and what they know ...

remember that many experienced people in the gym want to climb with people who generally know what they are doing ... ie more climbing, less teaching ...

you will probably have to dangle some free beer, gas money and hawt chicks for them to actually teach vs you picking up stuff on the go ..

the local alpine club may be a good alternative


GeckoBat


Mar 12, 2012, 11:43 PM
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Re: [DreamingDog] Formal Climbing Training Recommended? [In reply to]
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When it comes to something as unforgiving as climbing, IMO you should seek professional training. Look into the various training centers and check out their "credentials". There are just some things where a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.


bill413


Mar 13, 2012, 5:43 AM
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Re: [GeckoBat] Formal Climbing Training Recommended? [In reply to]
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I'll second bearbreeder's advice about an alpine club (if that is an option in your area). Many of them are very safety conscious.

The best thing you can do, whether receiving instruction formally, informally, or just out there climbing, is to look at the anchors and really evaluate them. Ask yourself why it was rigged the way it was; what is the function of each piece of it. If you see something you don't understand, or don't feel good about, ask! If the person rigging it can explain it, you will have learned something. If they can't, then hopefully both of you will have learned something.


markc


Mar 13, 2012, 7:02 AM
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Re: [DreamingDog] Formal Climbing Training Recommended? [In reply to]
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It seems like hiring a guide for a day or two will give you more confidence. I second the idea of booking a guide for private lessons for you and maybe one or two partners. You can review what you know with an eye on catching any issues and refining systems. You may learn some new tricks, and if nothing else it will vet or correct your current practices. If things go well, you can step up to self-rescue or other items on your list. Continuing on informally may give you the knowledge that you want, but apparently not the confidence in systems that you lack.

I had more time than money when I started climbing, and I was lucky to fall in with a couple experienced climbers fairly early on. I've largely learned from mentorship, reading, playing with gear and systems, and just getting mileage with partners of similar experience. Something to keep in mind is that the focus is in that type of relationship is still largely on the climbing. Working with a guide will allow you to really focus on what you're looking for.


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