Saturday, April 3, 2010
BSA Climbing Instructor Course
Those of you who have done wild cave trips understand that there is a fare bit of crawling and squeezing into cracks and holes. There is also a fair amount of scrambling over breakdown, climbing over boulders, and chimining through cracks. In climbing terms this may resemble “bouldering”. Bouldering occurs where you need to spot someone who is not climbing more than shoulder high. There is no need for a belay while doing this. Sometimes you’ll be faced with having to belay someone who is climbing higher than you can safely spot them. When belaying you must to be anchored so you don’t get pulled off balance and fall yourself.
The BSA Climbing Instructors Course teaches you the basics and theory behind safe anchoring of a belayer, climber, and rappeler. It also teaches how to quickly asses when a belay is and is not necessary. Even though you may not have a caving activity that requires a Climbing Instructor to be present, the Climbing Instructor Course will give you the tools and skills to tell the difference between when you do and do not need a Climbing Instructor.
As a BSA Unit any time a rope or webbing is used for a climbing aid you must have someone with current “Climb On Safely” training present. Anytime more than one Unit or your friend from another Troop or Crew comes along with your Troop or Crew you will need to have a BSA Climbing Instructor.
Taking the BSA Climbing Instructor is not all that hard either. Most Councils offer this course sometime during the year. If not, check a neighboring Council for courses. It’s generally a two weekend course. You walk away with a lot of material and a better understanding on what you will need to do to be safe while on rope. This is not a “how to rock climb” course, but a “how to safely climb and rappel” course. And like most BSA courses it’s a lot of fun, you get to meet some great people and gain some incredible recourses.