17 Nov AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course

As a birthday present to myself, I took an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course from November 14-16 in Joshua Tree.  And Wow! What a great experience!

Going into this course I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  All I knew was that I loved climbing, I loved coaching, and I dream one day of guiding people outside. Training to become a single pitch instructor seemed like a great step towards this goal.   Although I’m a decent sport climber, I’m very new to trad and all aspects of gear, placing pro, and building anchors, so I knew I would have a lot to learn! What I didn’t realize, was just how much!

It was one of those situations where I didn’t know how much I didn’t know. The AMGA course introduced me to knots, anchor systems, and general concepts I was completely unaware of before.  Over the three day course we were belaying rappels, escaping belays (weighted and unweighted), creating pulley systems, ascending ropes, plucking people off walls, and hauling folks up a route.  It was extremely challenging for me and such a great learning experience.  I was definitely out of my element with all of the systems we learned and I know I need a lot of practice before taking my exam and becoming a full fledged instructor, but even so, I’m really just happy to have the concepts in mind.  Even if I never became an instructor, I feel that it was so valuable just to learn these things for the general safety of myself and my climbing partners.  After this course I definitely feel better equipped to handle situations out on the wall, and I’m really excited to keep practicing and improve my skills!