Courses | Self-Rescue (Climbing 501)

The advent of the cell phone has certainly made calling for help much easier these days. But what if there’s no cell coverage (like at Seneca) or you drop your phone? More importantly, as a climber, you owe it to yourself and others to be as self reliant as possible when you venture into the mountains. Being able to solve your own problems is a proud and long standing tradition in the climbing community. Let us show you how.

This course covers numerous scenarios where you will need to go to the aid of an injured or incapacitated climber. The skills and systems covered range from the fairly simple to the highly complex. This is one of our most advanced courses and the pace is dictated by the students’ readiness to advance to the next topic.

This two- or three-day course is geared toward climbers who are comfortable and competent with a Figure 8 Knot, Water Knot, and Double Fisherman’s Knot, voice commands and modern belaying and rappelling techniques. You should also have a good understanding of the objective hazards of climbing. This is by far our guides’ favorite course to teach. The longer you can stay, the more we can teach you.

Here are a few topics that we cover in the Self-Rescue course:

Advanced knots and hitches
Belay escapes
Rope ascension (prussiking) scenarios
Learning to retrieve an injured leader or second
How to rappel safely with an injured partner
How to orchestrate multi-pitch rappels with an injured partner
How to raise or lower a partner when appropriate
Mechanical advantage haul systems
How to pass a knot while rappelling or lowering another climber

*All necessary equipment is provided. We also have a full service climbing shop next door, so anything you might want or need to purchase is available. If you have your own equipment and wish to use it, by all means bring it. Prior to use on a course, an instructor will evaluate all equipment to ensure its safety and suitability.

Course Details
Rates & Dates
Maximize Your Experience

Course Details

During this two- or three-day course we focus on imparting climbing self-rescue techniques relevant to the students’ climbing experience. We pace this course based on mastering each skill set before moving on to more complicated techniques. We cover advanced concepts such as belay escapes, rope ascension, knot passing, haul systems, tandem rappelling and counterbalance rappelling. Climbers will be exposed to a variety of self-rescue scenarios. We will also discuss steps one can take to avoid situations where rescue techniques are required. As always, superior and personalized climbing instruction makes for a quality learning experience.

Rates & Dates

Single Person Class

2 Day Version: $595
3 Day Course: $795

Group Discounts

Book with a friend and save up to $200 a person!

2 Day Version: $375 (per person)
3 Day Course: $495 (per person)

Register a full class of 3 and save up to $400 a person!

2 Day Version: $295 (per person)
3 Day Course: $395 (per person)

Our courses begin each Tuesday and Saturday, from mid-March to mid-November.

If you have a group of three, these courses can begin any day of your choosing.

Maximize Your Experience

Given the complicated nature of the self-rescue course, we suggest that students prepare by reading; Climbing Self Rescue: Improvising Solutions of Serious Situations by: Andy Tyson and Molly Loomis, The Mountaineers Books 2006

There are many useful techniques in climbing self-rescue, but not all are addressed in this course. It is important that you concentrate on the following skills in this order:

Rescue knots and hitches.........................pg. 36-56
Belay escape.....................................pg. 60-71
Passing knots....................................pg. 144-153
Rope ascension...................................pg. 108-115
Rappelling in rescue situations..................pg. 79-93; 101-105
Haul systems.....................................pg.128-139
Counter balance rappels..........................pg. 93-97

Even if you are familiar with any of techniques/knots listed please review them before reading about the more involved techniques.