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2019 Climbing School


2019 Los Alamos Climbing School

Course Objectives:  Beginner through intermediate students will learn the fundamentals of single-pitch rock climbing.  The five-week course, taught by an AMGA certified Single-Pitch Instructor, will cover fundamentals of top-roping, anchor building, climbing technique & movement, rappel, and sport lead climbing.  Students will be required to provide a minimum amount of climbing equipment (see Minimum Equipment Requirements). This equipment is necessary to participate in the class, and detailed instruction will be provided throughout the course.  The combination of selected equipment and course instruction are tailored to meet all current climbing-industry standards and best practices, and will prepare students to participate in LAM single-pitch outings in the Northern New Mexico area.  


Class Start Date: Wednesday May 1, 2019


Class End Date: Saturday June 1, 2019


Class Length: 5 Weeks


Enrollment & Registration Opening Date (YMCA Front Desk): March 1, 2019

Class Fee: $250

Age Requirements: 18 years of age and older

Class Coordinator:  Zack Baker

Class Instructor: Bradly Cooke

Equipment: Students must provide their own equipment (LAM will loan out shoes and helmet).  Expect to spend ~$300 without shoes/helmet).

Minimum Equipment Requirements: Each student must provide harness, general purpose climbing shoes, helmet, tube/ATC with locking carabiner, GriGri with auto-locking carabiner, 7mm nylon accessory cord (30 ft) with 4 locking carabiners, autoblock/Prussik with locking carabiner (Sterling Hollow-Block 6.8mm X 13.5”), personal anchor (Metolius PAS 22) with small to medium locking carabiner, 18-20 mm sewn nylon sling (120 cm), and class reference text Advanced Rock Climbing – Mastering Sport & Trad Climbing, Falcon, 2018, Bob Gains.  


Agenda – Course Topics:

  1. Kickoff meeting – Equipment Inspection, Safety & Risk Briefing, Leave Non-Trace Ethics, and Waivers/Medical-Forms
    • Wednesday May 1, 6:00 – 8:00, Crossroads Church
  1. Introduction to Top Rope Climbing
    • Saturday May 4, 9:00 – 12:00 YMCA Indoor climbing Wall, 1:00 – 5:00 Potrillo
  2. Lecture I – Knots, Tethers, & Fall Factor
    • Wednesday May 8, 6:00 – 8:00, Crossroads Church
  3. Anchor Building Fundamentals, Cliff Edge Safety, and Introductory Rappel
    • Saturday May 11, 8:30 – 12:00 YMCA Indoor climbing Wall, 1:00 – 5:00 Potrillo
  4. Lecture II – Canyoneering and Mountaineering
    • Wednesday May 15, 6:00 – 8:00 Crossroads Church
  5. Climbing Technique and Movement
    • Saturday May 18, 9:00 – 12:00 YMCA Indoor climbing Wall, 1:00 – 5:00 The Y
  6. Lecture III – Sport Lead Climbing Topics Including Equipment, Clipping, and Lead Belay
    • Wednesday May 22, 6:00 – 8:00, Crossroads Church
  7. Introduction to Sport Lead Climbing
    • Saturday May 25, 9:00 – 12:00 YMCA Indoor climbing Wall, 1:00 – 5:00 Gallows Edge
  8. No class: May 29.
  9. Graduation Climb
    • Saturday June 1, 9:00 – 4:00 Las Conchas


Note: Not participating or missing any of the Course Topics 1-4 seriously jeopardizes your personal and your class’s safety. If this is a possibility, please talk to Brad or Zack.


Equipment List

LAM will loan helmet and shoes for the duration of the class, or you can buy your own.  Students will need to provide the remainder of the equipment.

Examples are provided below of recommended equipment with online links.  Once you know what you are looking for, you can shop around for best price (e.g. on Amazon).  If possible, go to local Santa Fe or Albuquerque store (e.g. REI) and try on shoes, harness, and helmet before purchase.  Sales staff are knowledgeable and very helpful with equipment selection.

You will learn how to properly use all of the equipment listed below.  The combination of the listed equipment and proper instruction are tailored to meet current climbing-industry standards and best practices.  For this reason, we cannot “make-do” with jury rigged systems, old/worn equipment, and commensurate add-hock techniques. This is why our first class will include an equipment check.  Ensuring a “safe”, fun, efficiently run, and highly educational Climbing School is our goal. If you have questions, call LAM and we will help you out.

Package deal with Harness + ATC + Locking Carabiner + Chalk & Bag ($90-$100): Women’s - or, Men’s - or

Shoes ($50-$150): You must go and try them on at the store!  Look for general purpose climbing shoes that will work for the gym, face, slab, and crack that are snug, but with a relatively comfortable fit - ignore sale personnel that tell you your shoes should be several sizes smaller than your street shoes, and/or must be painful to wear!! Nonsense.  You won’t learn anything if your feet constantly hurt.  Women’s -, Men’s -

Helmet ($50-$100+): Women’s -, Men’s -

4x Locking Carabiners Autolocking is highly recommended  ($10-$13 per carabiner): Screwlock -, Autolocking -

Petzl GriGri ($70-$110):,

Auto-Locking Carabiner for GriGri ($15-$20):

30 ft 7mm Accessory Cord ($12-$15):

Autoblock/Prussik ($13):  look for the 13.5” length

Metolius Personal Anchor ($30):

Medium to small locking carabiner for personal anchor ($8-$12):

120cm Nylon Sling ($8-$10):

Class Reference Text ($14-$15):


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