Saturday, June 18, 2016

Multi Pitch Leader Course - Day 1

cathedral, north conway, rock climbing

A fantastic first day of instruction with Cathedral Mountain Guides co-owner (and American Mountain Guide Association certified guide) Bayard Russell! Ashley and I met Bayard at the North End of Cathedral Ledge to start the Day 1 of the 2-Day Multi Pitch Leader Course. Day 2 Lesson here.





The first thing Bayard showed us was a typical “Cathedral Ledge Trad Rack”. We went over the different types of Cams, stoppers, slings, quickdraws needed for a typical climb at Cathedral Ledges. I was actually surprised that the rack wasn’t larger.












He showed us how to place gear in cracks starting with stoppers. I have to admit, I was not a fan of stoppers. But after this weekend’s lesson, I really like their versatility. Their tapered shape as well as their concaved side can allow it to be placed in pretty much any orientation.



















Afterwards, we practiced building trad anchors using cams and nuts. I really dig this “quad anchor”!


















What I like about the Quad Anchor is that it's super easy and fast to build. And the leader and second can be anchored in and equalized neatly, very quickly and with ease.







Nice crowd at the North End






After covering multi pitch rappelling, we headed out to Whitehorse Ledge. We did 4 pitches up the Standard Route via The Crystal Pocket to the thread anchor in the main arch. Ashley making her way up to The Crystal Pocket.






Selfie at The Crystal Pocket


From there we practiced multi pitch rappelling where Bayard stayed out of our system at each rap station in order to oversee our transitional process.




On our way out to the parking lot a couple in a pink golf cart drove by and her putter fell out. I called out to them and they stopped and let me get a photo next to her custom cart! It was meant to be!


Links of interest:
Revisting the Quad for Load Distribution and Stance Management
by Dick Chasse
http://www.rockandice.com/Article-Images/Quad-Anchor-full-paper.pdf

Climbing Anchors and the Evolution of the Quad
by Dick Chasse
http://www.rockandice.com/climbing-news/climbing-anchors-and-the-evolution-of-the-quad

The Masterpoint, The Shelf, The Components: Anchor Anatomy In Action
by American Alpine Club
https://americanalpineclub.org/resources-blog/2016/6/27/the-masterpoint-the-shelf-the-components-anchor-anatomy-in-action



The Multi Pitch Trad Leader Course is designed for those with a background of gym climbing and sport climbing who are comfortable leading bolt protected routes. Covered are basics of Traditional protection, anchor building, lead climbing systems and multi pitch rappelling. Taught at a 2 participant to 1 guide radio. 2 days, semi-private course. 

Bayard Russell has been guiding in New Hampshire since 2003. He is a certified AMGA Rock Instructor, a team leader and director of the Mountain Rescue Service, New Hampshire’s volunteer technical rescue group, and a passionate year-around, all conditions climber. In 2008, he founded Cathedral Mountain Guides.

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