Preparation: Read chapter 9 (Basic Safety System), chapter 10 (Belaying), and chapter 17 sections on the Texas Prusik (pp 379-380, 383-384, 394, 395-396) in Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition.
You will receive 10 feet of climbing rope at the first class meeting for use in learning the knots. Practice knot tying and the motions of belaying at home and/or with your SIG group. Becoming proficient takes time and practice, and is critical for continued progress and safety in the course. If you come prepared, the field trip will be both fun and rewarding. If you are unprepared, you will be overloaded and frustrated.
Equipment: Be sure to bring the materials listed below. Mark your equipment so that you will be able to identify it when it gets mixed in with other gear. You do not need Mountaineering boots for this field trip, but may bring them if you already have them. If not you can buy them before the second field trip.
There will be three main activity areas at which you will spend about 60 minutes each. References refer to Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition.
1. Knots: In the Knots area you will tie your runners, a tie-off loop, and have your harnesses fitted (if not done already). You will practice and demonstrate your ability to tie the following knots:
2. Prusik: In the Prusik area you will construct your prusik slings, learn how to tie a prusik knot (fig. 9-22) and practice prusiking up and down a rope. You will discuss your plans for physical conditioning to prepare for the remaining field trips and the climbing season. See figure 17-3 on page 380 for instructions on how to make your prusik slings. You will need sturdy boots to stand in the prusik slings. For the purposes of this field trip only, hiking boots are ok.
3. Belay: In the Belay area you will learn the ABC’s of a belay system (A: Anchor, B: Belay, C: Climber). You will learn setting up an anchor, choosing a correct stance, belay device setup, Münter hitch setup and rope handling. You’ll learn about using a personal anchor. After a demonstration by an instructor, and some practice, you’ll demonstrate your ability to set up and handle a belay with both device and munter hitch.
Be sure that you understand your harness manufacturer’s instructions on how to 1) attach your belay device to the harness and 2) tie the rope into your harness. Always wear and use your climbing harness according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It doesn’t matter what anybody else tells you; if your manufacturer says to do it a particular way, then that’s the correct way to do it. If your harness has a belay loop then you use it for belaying and rappelling. You clip your harness carabiner into the belay loop and then setup your belay device or Münter hitch and carabiner brake system on your carabiner. Tie the rope into your harness in accordance with your manufacturer’s instructions. Attaching your belay device or tying in contrary to the harness manufacturer’s instructions is unsafe and will be graded as such. If you have any questions about how to use your harness, contact your mentor or one of the field trip leaders.
Come Prepared and Have Fun!!
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