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Comprehensive Sport Climbing Course

The aim of this course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to climbing sport routes in the outdoors, tailored specifically to Melbourne’s rapidly growing indoor climbing community.

For those of you who don’t know – sport climbing means that there are permanent bolts/hardware in the rock, which has the advantage that a minimum of gear is required to safely climb on them (you don’t need to buy as much gear to start climbing in the outdoors, yay!). Since the fixed hardware is specially designed for this purpose, the techniques to learn are much simpler than traditional – “trad” – climbing, and can be comprehensively covered in just three days.

What will we learn?

On this course you will learn to:

  • Securely belay a partner when they are lead-climbing
  • Lead climb in outdoor sport climbing areas
  • Inspect fixed sport climbing hardware and anchors before you use them
  • Return at the end of your session without leaving any of your equipment behind
  • Abseil safely using fixed hardware
  • Recognise the most common sport climbing mistakes and easy methods to mitigate them
  • Make intelligent decisions in the outdoors.

BONUS – as part of this course you will learn about the humble prusik loop – a very simple, extremely useful piece of climbing equipment that not many sport climbers carry or even own. You will learn just how useful it can be in all sorts of situations, and as a special thank-you for signing up to this course – we’ll give you one to keep!

Session 1

Location: This session is held on an outdoor location on real sport climbing routes. The area we climb at and the grade of the routes will be tailored to the group participant’s skill levels.

Duration: Approximately 6 hours of learning time.

Prior Knowledge: The participants do not start this session with any particular prior knowledge, but having top-rope climbed before (either indoors or outdoors) will be handy.

Session Goal: The goal of Session 1 is to introduce top-rope climbers (or those with no experience) to the concept of lead-belaying, specifically for the outdoors.  The first morning will be spent on the ground covering basic skills – knot tying, self and buddy checks etc, then we will move onto real climbs and practice practice practice!

Session 2

Location: This session is held on an outdoor location on real sport climbing routes. The area we climb at and the grade of the routes will be tailored to the group participant’s skill levels.

Duration: Approximately 6 hours of learning time.

Session Goal: The goal of Session 2 is to have every participant climb three simulated outdoor lead climbs, using the skills they learned in the previous day:

  1. being lowered after setting a simple two-bolt equalised anchor (practice from Session 1);
  2. after threading the fixed anchors, then being lowered while removing the quickdraws on the way down (including when it is appropriate to do this); and
  3. by abseiling and cleaning the gear at the same time.
  4. safely bailing from a sport route, without leaving a leaver-biner behind – and when it is appropriate to do this.

Finally, participants will learn some additional skills, including belaying from the top of a route (and safely lowering a partner), how to how to prusik up a rope, e.g. to regain a roof after falling off, and how to clip a bolt that is out of reach.