Gym to Crag: Level 1
Top Rope Anchors and Rappelling
This 1-day Introduction to Rock Climbing Anchors is the perfect start for those wanting to transition from Gym to Crag or experienced climbers who are feeling a bit rusty or unsure of their skills. By the end of the day you will have the tools to set up Top Ropes at many of the local Bay Area Crags. Conveniently located at Cragmont Park in the Berkeley hills.
The goal of this course is not just to teach you theory, but to get you practicing your new skills out on the rock face under expert supervision. Not everything we teach can be learned from a book, there’s no absolutes in the “Wild”, so we teach creative problem solving when the answer is, “It depends.”
In this course we will cover strengths and qualities of materials, basic 2 bolt sport anchor systems, natural anchor systems, rappelling and then put it all together in practice on the top of a wall. There is a great deal of technical information covered in this course, but our main goal is to get you comfortable performing the skills on the edge of a cliff. We will discuss how to manage risk and fear in this “cliff edge” environment and why we trust our “Bombproof” systems. In order to maximize your time on the rock we will provide you with a small homework assignment prior to the course. It will contain a list of knots to practice and reading material covering the strengths and weaknesses of the baseline equipment used in the course.
*Note: We won’t be doing any climbing during this course. The focus is on building Top Rope systems only where it is possible to approach the sport anchors from above.
What's not included (please bring):
Topics discussed include:
- Essential gear for building anchors
- Important knots
- Specifics of the SRENE acronym
- Use of gear to build anchors across many different environments
- Evaluation and use of natural and fixed protection
- Rope management
Participants should be able to:
- Exhibit solid belay skills
- Tie a figure eight follow through
- Tie an overhand knot
- Tie a bowline knot
Our climbing guides have been trained by the American Mountain Guides Association, are Wilderness First Responder certified, and demonstrate the highest measure of professionalism, safety, and knowledge.
|MODERATE: A moderate level of strength is needed to complete some of the tasks at the top of the crag. There won’t be any route climbing, but expect to build at least 2 anchors on the wall and rappel twice down the cliff face. Most of the day will be spent in ground school learning the systems where you have access to water, food and toilet facilities|
- 9:00am: Meet at Cragmont Park in Berkeley (MAP)
- 9:00 - 9:15am: Introductions and overview of day
- 9:15 – 10:15am: Review strengths, weaknesses, inspection protocol and applications of equipment and materials.
- 10:15am – 12:15pm: Building bolted sport anchor systems using SERENE acronym
- 12:15 - 12:30pm: Working lunch
- 12:30 - 1:30pm: Building systems using natural anchors (Trees, Stones, etc)
- 1:30 - 3:00pm: Rappelling instruction
- 3:00 - 5:00pm: Putting it all together on the rock. Securely lower to a bolted anchor, build a top rope anchor system, transfer to your climbing rope and rappel to the ground.
- Bag Lunches
- Comfortable, wicking athletic clothing with pants or capris to cover knees. No Shorts.
- Any personal gear you may have (e.g., shoes, harness, etc.)
- 2-3 liters of water
- Jacket or fleece
- Sturdy approach shoes/hiking boots that are broken in
- Sunscreen, Sun hat, Sunglasses
- Seasonally: baselayers, fleece, down jacket, beanie, gloves