Snow travel school at the MCA's Basic Mountaineering School.

Photo by Brian Aho.

Resurrection Bay Day Harbor from Peak 2316. Kenai Fjords National Park.

Photo by Wayne Todd.

Carrie Wang on Boggs Peak, Chugach National Forest.

Photo by Wayne Todd.

The Scandinavia Peaks Hut sits among the magnificent Scandinavian peaks of the Matanuska Glacier area.

Photo by Wayne Todd.

Rock Climbing School

The Training Committee is planning to have rock climbing training again this summer. Likely we will have a weekend of climbing training in Hatcher Pass (weather permitting) or the Purinton Creek area in late June or July. The cost of the weekend class is $60 and you need to be a current MCA member to participate. Training topics may include: Climbing Safety Basics, Climbing Techniques and Movement on Rock, Rappelling, Basic Anchors, Advanced Anchors, Sport Climbing, Traditional and Multi-Pitch Climbing, and Self Rescue.

In past years we had the following clinics and classes:

Climbing Safety Basics - This clinic isn’t just for brand new climbers. Experienced climbers will also benefit by reviewing skills that could make the different between a safe enjoyable outing or an accident. The later clinics will also build on the basics taught at this first class.

Climbing Anchors Clinic - This clinic covers rock climbing anchors. Students will learn how to build safe anchors using bolts, natural anchors and also artificial protection as time permits. Building safe, efficient anchors is a skill that all climbers should review and practice.

Climbing Skills Weekend - The rock climbing weekend in Hatcher Pass covered the following topics: Climbing Safety Basics, Knots, Climbing Techniques and Movement on Rock, Rappelling, Basic Anchors, Sport Climbing, and techniques related to Traditional and Multi-Pitch Climbing.

Miscellaneous Climbing Skills Clinic - The last clinic of the season is an opportunity for students in the previous classes to review more skills. Practice equalizing bolts and chains to create anchors. Also practice using traditional protection to put together gear anchors using cordelettes. Finally a demo and practice of "cleaning a sport route" so students learn how to do this safely if they are the last one climbing a route and have to clean it. This is mostly hands on, not much lecture, just a chance for you to practice whatever skills you want, ask questions, and have instructors double check your anchor systems and offer advice.

If you're ever faced with a situation where the anchor looks crummy but you rap off it anyways - maybe you should take the MCA anchor class. Photo © Billy Finley MCA Anchor Class Summer 2010. Photo © Dean Carman MCA Anchor Class Summer 2010. Photo © Dean Carman MCA Anchor Class Summer 2010. Watch those angles. Photo © Dean Carman
MCA Anchor Class Summer 2010. Photo © Dean Carman MCA Anchor Class Summer 2010. Hamming for the camera. Photo © Dean Carman Dean Carmen demonstrates rope clipping finesse. Photo © Wayne Todd Tim Silvers orates rock climbing etiquette. Photo © Wayne Todd
Tim Silvers demonstrates anchors and rappeling. Photo © Wayne Todd

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Many thanks to: Wayne Todd, Tim Silvers, Ross Noffsinger, Steve Gruhn, Carrie Wang, Billy Finley and many others who provided information, ideas and photos. And thanks to Willy Hersman who created, managed and hosted the first MCA website, without which this site's development would have been so much more difficult. Current website donated by Couloir Graphics.