Salt Pump’s new Skills Series programs are three part programs that encourage more comprehensive skill development on a given subject matter. This fall we’re offering two different Trad Climbing Skills Series, one of them on October 5th, 12th and an outdoor day on the 15th, the other one on November 30th, December 7 and December 14 (all indoors). Both of the Trad Climbing Skills Series will be taught by Zack Sawyer. Zack wrote down his thoughts below on the trad climbing courses he’ll be teaching, and the many benefits of being a well rounded climber. Enjoy!
THE CARPENTRY OF CLIMBING, by Zack Sawyer
Clipping bolts, stacking pads, and plugging pro all provide climbers the opportunity to express themselves in moments of both vulnerability and prowess. This is the beauty inherent to all climbing disciplines; a limitless process of reconciliation between our humility and pride. Salt Pump is committed to helping its family learn and grow; no matter where they find themselves in their climbing apprenticeship.
“Carpentry of Climbing”
Fundamental to this apprenticeship is the art of traditional or “trad” climbing, and Salt Pump’s new skills series will be teaching eager minds all about this “carpentry of climbing”. Trad climbing requires a vast array of skills and knowledge. Learning to utilize specialized gear, employ technical rope systems, and develop an ‘elusive’ mountain sense are all necessary components of the well-rounded trad climber. Tactics, techniques, and philosophies will all be covered, practiced, and refined in this 3-part course.
This course is appropriate for all climbers!
Anyone yearning to climb some of the best climbs at the crag, throughout the country, or across the far-reaches of the world are encouraged to sign up for this course! Perhaps you are a budding indoor climber anxious to develop the skill set to go outside. Maybe you have been in the game for a while, but want to learn the newest and slickest methods for moving efficiently among the mountains, all the while following the current best practices for managing risk. For those on the fence, or unsure if they are ready to take the sharp end, I wholeheartedly encourage you to give it a try. Your worries or concerns may fade away as you fire in your first cam or feel the air beneath your feet. See this skill series as an opportunity to embrace a philosophy of continuous learning and improvement which will guide your entire climbing journey.
My own journey has been affected by all the excellent teachers, mentors, and friends I have had the privilege of learning with. Years ago, as I followed others up climbs of a very modest grade, completely gripped, I wondered if I would ever have the courage and capacity to lead such climbs. What a joy to revisit these climbs now, leading friends up the same granite path, seeing the same array of emotions darting across their faces, punctuated only by moments of pure happiness! I received sound advice early on: to treat every outing as an educational opportunity. I read widely, watched and listened to others, and took every chance to learn from those who had come before. After constant headaches, I now get completely fired up practicing and teaching rope-work, technical systems, and the endless array of little techniques and tricks just as much as I love to climb.
Climbing self-sufficiency: A life process
Learning to trust the gear you place enough to climb above it, unsure of the difficulties or terrain ahead can be daunting to say the least. Beyond simply learning the concrete skills which will make this easier, participants will leave this course with fresh perspectives, and a greater confidence in their own abilities and potential. Becoming self-sufficient on the rock and in life is a process. The well-rounded trad climber is one who approaches this journey with alacrity and love, all the while paying tribute to and further enriching our sport. It is this rich history and evolving world which provides the distinctive context for our climbing passion. Onward and upward!!!