Great intro to outdoor rock climbing!
My sister recommended I do an introductory course during my stay in the Rockies area. I’d only ever gone indoor rock climbing and given where I was, it would’ve been an opportunity wasted if I didn’t do some outdoor climbing. My sister recommended MSA from personal experience and also from friends she had made at the local climbing gym.
On our first day, we met up at a café to get to know the others we would be doing the course with and also to be debriefed and check we had everything we needed. A nice mixture from all round, there were 5 of us (not including Mikey, our guide) so that set us up for some intimate instruction. After laying down what we’d be doing over the next two days, we set off to Cougar Creek. Mikey took us through the foundations of climbing like footing, gripping, techniques, safety and tying knots. A lot of things that I had either neglected or never known about, so it was incredibly useful. As a small group, we were able to rotate our turns on the walls while taking breaks so it worked out really well. It was well-paced (difficulty and duration) that we all managed the whole day without any qualms.
Our second day took us to Grassi Lake. It was after this day that I was glad that it was spread out over 2 days. Things got more exciting and at the same a bit more challenging. We were given a bit of intro to some other things that are out there in the climbing world (I had no idea there was so much!). Rappelling, lead climbing, setting up a top rope, awareness of surroundings, emergency/hazard stuff.
We were given plenty of feedback during the entirety of the course that we could correct any habits or forgotten lessons. It was a great introductory course to outdoor rock climbing and I can’t wait for Winter to roll around to do an ice climbing course!
By Ben T