We Teach Trad

The Mazama Advanced Rock Course provides high quality instruction and training to enable graduates to be proficient at leading traditional climbs on vertical rock. We teach the technical and mental skills that will prepare you for a wide range of climbing, from single-pitch cragging to multi-pitch and alpine rock routes.

Photo: Andrew Holman

Course Format

The Advanced Rock program is comprised of a series of eleven lectures, given by knowledgeable speakers with hands-on demos or exercises where appropriate. There are eight weekend field sessions, coordinated and taught by skilled, experienced climbers. There is also an invitation to rock climbing outings post-class in the spring through fall where you can practice your new found skills.

The Advanced Rock program offers you the opportunity to meet new and experienced rock climbers, as you learn about climbing areas and destinations. It affords you a supportive group for learning new skills and challenging yourself to grow as a climber. And don't forget, lots of fun!

Advanced Rock Skills
Gear Placement
Anchor Building
Lead Climbing
Rock Rescue
Mental & Physical Preparation
Planning & Execution

 

Course Details

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Schedule

Advanced Rock occurs from mid to late February through May.

The application period is in December.

The Admission test occurs in January.

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Time Commitment/Duration

High/Intense–The AR course schedule requires a significant time investment and you are discouraged from taking on other projects or classes while it is in progress.

Moderate–AR takes place over a period of three months.

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Tuition

2018 Tuition: $445 for members and $545 for nonmembers.

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Skills Taught

AR teaches trad climbing skills including gear placement, anchor building, lead climbing, rock rescue, mental and physical preparation, and planning and execution of climbs and trips.

The AR class focuses on teaching the use of traditional protection systems, gear, and ropes in the vertical environment. The course is not intended to teach rock climbing technique. All applicants need to have the required prerequisites to be admitted into the class (see below).

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Gear

Required prior to class: harness, personal safety, rock shoes, helmet, multiple carabiners, prusik slings, and belay device. 

Purchasing a complete rack of gear before the course is discouraged because we work to arrange discounted gear purchases with local shops for AR students.

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Prerequisites

Age 18+

In good physical condition

Actively leading outside in the last year

Comfortable mock-leading a climb rated 5.8 or higher without a take or fall

Have successfully completed the Mazama ICS Sport Lead class OR have earned a lead card at a local climbing gym.

Proficient in basic skills of belaying, rappelling, knot-tying, clipping pro, and rock climbing techniques, including:

Belaying: anchoring, climbing commands, belaying from below and above (top belay), belaying with either hand, belaying off the harness and belaying in autolock/plaquette mode off the anchor.

Rappelling: convert a top rope anchor into a rappel.

Knots: rewoven figure-8, butterfly knot, water knot, clove hitch, bowline, double fisherman’s knot, girth hitch, Munter hitch and Prusik hitch.

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Application Process

Enrolling in this class involves an application process. After the application period is over, the course committee will select students and notify you if you have been accepted. This selection process usually takes one to two weeks.

The application period is typically in December.

You'll need to include one letter of recommendation, from an individual who can speak to your personal climbing abilities and skills. This letter must be submitted with your application.

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Scholarship Opportunities

We are offering a limited number of scholarships to allow students to participate who will not be able to do so without financial assistance and whose participation can help expand the Mazamas membership base beyond current cultural, economic, and ethnic demographics.

A scholarship is for course tuition ONLY. Mazamas may cover the cost of your course up to 90% of the course tuition based on factors listed above. Other costs associated with the course may apply. You must have access to a computer, smartphone, or tablet to participate in the course. Please see course home page for associated costs and logistics. All scholarship awardees will qualify for select course gear at a discounted rate.

Please click here to apply for a scholarship.  Applications are due by Saturday, November 17th. The Mazamas will contact you with details of the status of your scholarship application.

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Requirements

AR is demanding in terms of time and gear, so apply only if you can make the necessary commitment.

Participation in all lectures and field sessions is required.

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Admission Test

The admission test is required prior to acceptance and will test a variety of the skills listed above in prerequisites. You are required to bring your personal climbing gear to this test.

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Class Completion

To complete AR and receive the AR badge, a student must:

Attend all lectures and field sessions

Pass the skills test at Horsethief Butte

Receive a minimum of 3 positive instructor evaluations at Smith Rock field sessions of 3 pitches each. There are up to 6 field session days to complete this requirement.

Photo: Jon Skeen