For many, the fantastic views, dizzying exposure, and sense of adventure offered by multi-pitch climbing is the embodiment of the climbing experience. With bolted sport climbs ranging from 2 pitches all the way up to 23 pitches, El Potrero Chico is one of the best places on the planet to get started climbing long multi-pitch routes.
Though El Potrero Chico is known for it’s easy accessibility, it’s would be easy, even for the experienced sport climber, to forget that these mountains are still unforgiving big walls with serious consequences. A solid understanding of the basic systems involved in multi-pitching is a necessity to climb here in Potrero Chico. The Multi-Pitch Basics course will lay out the groundwork to make sure your transition from single pitch sport to multi-pitch is a smooth and successful one, with safety always being our number one priority.
What to Expect?
A 2 day private course covering the skills and techniques needed to get started in the world of multi-pitch climbing. Also ask about offerings for a single day overview or multi-day progression.
Day 1: Ground School for anchor building followed by 3-5 pitches of multi-pitch climbing to reinforce grounds school topics.
Day 2: A longer guided multi-pitch, typically between 10-13 pitches, emphasizing self sufficiency and reinforcing topics from day 1.
- Route Selection/Evaluation: Though guidebooks are a great resource, the ability of first hand reconnaissance on a route is an invaluable skill.
- Anchor building: Pre-Equalized or Self Equalizing? Using the rope, cordalette, or runners? Learn a variety of techniques for building bombproof anchors to have at your disposal.
- Belaying from Above: Indirect, Redirect, or Direct off the anchor, learn the ins and outs of belaying your seconding climber.
- Safe Rappelling Techniques: According to the American Alpine Club, nearly a third of all climbing accidents occur on the descent, learn techniques and special considerations that are necessary to avoid becoming a statistic.
- Rope Management: Good rope handling skills are imperative to a safe and efficient day out on the rock, rope tangles can be one of the most frustrating parts of multi-pitching, but with good rope management they can be avoided entirely.
- Multi-Pitch Transitions: Block Leading or Swapping Leads, Lap Coiling and Pancake Stacking, and best practices for attaching to the anchor. A smooth transition from belaying to climbing and a proper plan can make the difference between throwing back margaritas at dinner and switching on the headlamp for the descent.
- How to Pack for Multi-Pitch: Packing the right gear, while not over-packing is the foundation to a safe and fun climbing day. Having the right gear to be comfortable and ready for emergencies is important, but so is climbing without feeling like there’s a monkey on your back, fortunately with the right knowledge you don’t have to choose between the two.
Recommended Gear For This Course:
You will be required to provide your own climbing shoes and harness, in addition to those items, consider bringing the following:
- A UIAA Certified Climbing Helmet
- 70m climbing rope
- A guide style belay device like the Black Diamond ATC Guide or Petzl Reverso
- An autolocking belay device such as the Petzl Gri-Gri 2 or Gri-Gri +
- A 6mm prussik cord or 13.5″ Sterling Hollow Block
- x2 Double Length (120cm) nylon runners
- x4 Locking Carabiners, my favorites are the Petzl Attache 3D
- A Personal Anchoring System such as the Petzl Connect Adjust, Metolius PAS, or an additional 120cm nylon runner
- A Small Backpack (16-20 liters) with a hydration bladder (optional)
1 Person: $375
2 Person: $250 per person ($500 total)
*Inquire about pricing and availability for larger groups.
Contact us for more information or questions about our clinics!