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Who has done NOLS
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Libbster


Dec 10, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Who has done NOLS
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I was thinking of doing a NOLS rock climbing course. If I win the lottery I will do it this summer. If not then the summer of 2014. From those of who are NOLS grads....Do you feel that a course from NOLS like a rock climbing course take teaches things like anchor building, multipitching and fixed line ascension and more. Do you feel they the teaching is just plain, get your feet wet, basic knowlege. Or is it more along the lines of teacher mastery


stagg54


Dec 10, 2012, 3:01 PM
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Re: [Libbster] Who has done NOLS [In reply to]
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As far as technical skills, they do a good job covering all the basics. They are very conservative in their approach. Probably the most valuable part of it all from that aspect is simply the time spent practicing day in and day out with competent supervision. You will become very proficient in the NOLS way of doing things. Just remember: it is one way of doing things and not the only right way of doing it.

Aside from the technical aspect, what I found the most valuable part of the course was the leadership aspect. You can learn the technical part of climbing from any half-respectable guide, but not many can teach you to be a good leader.

My $.02


TarHeelEMT


Dec 21, 2012, 10:50 PM
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I did an Alaska Mountaineering course with NOLS a decade ago. You'd think that with a month, they'd be able to teach you a pretty significant amount of skills. You'd be wrong. At the end of a month-long "mountaineering" course (which to my dismay was mostly just a summer retreat for rich brats), I had not the slightest idea how to place a nut or cam (not sure I saw one the entire course) and certainly no idea how to lead climb, follow multipitch, or any of those other vital skills for, you know, actually climbing.

To their credit, we got very proficient at glacier travel and crevasse rescue, but they sure neglected the part about teaching us to actually climb up stuff in anything but a guided capacity. I was incredibly dejected after the experience after blowing several years of savings on a course I *thought* would teach me how to be a climber.

If you want to actually learn to climb on your own, I would not do NOLS.


(This post was edited by TarHeelEMT on Dec 21, 2012, 10:57 PM)


TarHeelEMT


Dec 21, 2012, 10:52 PM
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I climb with a guy who got his start through the American Alpine Institute, and their Alpine Leadership series seems to be what I had hoped NOLS would be.


vballtwin


Dec 29, 2012, 12:53 PM
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I took the NOLS Rock Climbing course this past summer, for 3 weeks in the Winds. I left the course KNOWING I could go to the mountains and top rope or lead climb, or lead belay someone, etc. My course did teach anchor building, rappelling, gear placement, climbing technique, they took us on a multipitch climb as long as you passed their requirements (tying knots etc) and they allowed lead climbing, again with passing a test of gear placement. The only background knowledge I had before the course was indoor rock climbing. Again, they teach you their style, but it is a style that definitely works in real life. One thing I can say is, if you have a question on the course, ASK IT. I learned additional things on my trip because I showed interest to learn and asked them questions (i.e. how to multi-pitch belay, how to complete a tandem rappel). I know my instructors were amazing and my experience was amazing. Not only do you learn rock skills, but you learn leave no trace principles, simplicity, and leadership skills, all things I now use in my everyday life. I do have a blog about my rock course at anythingispossiblekaryn.blogspot.com if you want to get a glimpse of what my course was like. I can't say I would be comfortable multi-pitching after the course unless I was following, but I am comfortable setting anchors for top rope climbing, tying knots, setting protection, and living in the woods!


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