Appalachian Mountain Club

Climbing Class

The 2019 Climbing Committee Spring Training Class application process is CLOSED.

The 2020 application process will open in mid-December 2019.  The deadline to apply for the 2020 Climbing Committee Spring Training Class is February 29, 2020.  Please check back soon for information on the 2020 course.  Thank you for your interest.

The 2019 New York-North Jersey Climbing Committee Spring Training Class application process is now OPEN. Please read and review all of the information on this page before applying.  The deadline to apply for the 2019 Climbing Committee Spring Training Class is February 28, 2019.

Training Class Overview

The annual training class is offered for the novice or beginner climber with a strong interest in multi-pitch traditional (“trad”) rock climbing.  No prior experience is necessary for the class, but we do expect applicants to climb regularly with the New York-North Jersey Climbing Committee upon successful class completion

The Training Class is not designed for:

  • accomplished trad lead climbers
  • trad climbers that are already experienced seconds
  • people with a casual interest in rock climbing
  • people who “just want to try” rock climbing

If you want to “try” rock climbing, you will be better served taking one of the AMC’s basic rock climbing workshops.  For more information and a schedule of workshops please see AMC Outdoors or the online catalog.  The Mohican Outdoor Center offers rock climbing workshops and is in close proximity to New York City and North Jersey.  For more information call the center at 908-362-5670.

For those with a more serious interest in climbing, successful completion of the Climbing Committee’s Training Class provides a network of experienced climbing partners and allows one to participate in scheduled club trips.

CLIMBING IS DANGEROUS! Prospective students for the Climbing Training Class should be aware of the inherent dangers in climbing. Rock climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering carry a significant risk of personal injury or death. Exercising good judgment and practicing good safety skills may manage the risks, but they are never eliminated. Think carefully about the inherent danger of climbing before deciding that this sport is for you.

Skills Taught in the Training Class

  • Top rope anchors using webbing and/or low stretch rope (you will be climbing and rappelling on the anchors you build).
  •  Basic knots and hitches: harness tie-in with backup, figure eight-on-a-bight or equivalent, girth hitches, leashes, and proper methods for joining of two rappel ropes.
  •  Building anchors using natural features.
  • Attaching yourself to ground belay anchors, intermediate belay anchors and anchors at the top of a climb.
  • Proper cleaning of “trad” gear from the rock.
  • Rappelling technique including extension and backup.
  • Proper fit and functional components of a climbing harness.
  • Rope coiling techniques.
  • When, how, and why to properly flake a rope at the start of a climb and during each successive pitch.
  • Rope ascension using friction hitches.
  • Arrest of a lead climber fall.
  • When, how, and why to safely escape a loaded belay.

Training Class Logistics

When: April 6-7 and April 13-14, 2019 (all day each day).
Where: Southington, CT.
Cost: AMC members: $225 for the entire class plus equipment (*see cost note below).
Non-members: $325 for the entire class plus equipment (*see cost note below).
To join the AMC, get a copy of our online AMC Membership Application.
*Cost Note. In addition to the course fee, participants must supply their own personal safety/climbing equipment (shoes, harness, etc.); expect to spend about $250 for this equipment. We will provide a complete list of required equipment upon acceptance to the course.  Do not send in the course fee or purchase any equipment until you are confirmed as a student in the class.
Class Size: 16 students.
Student to Instructor Ratio: Approximately 3:1.
Transportation: Your responsibility. We will send out a class roster so that you can carpool.
Lodging: Your responsibility (motels and camping are available).
Previous Climbing Experience Required: None.

(Click Here to Apply)

Application Process
If you would like to apply for the Training Course, ‎(Click Here) and fill out the application.
Important dates for the application process:

  • February 28, 2017 Deadline for receipt of applications.
  • March 15, 2017 Accepted students notified.
  • March 21, 2017 Deadline for receipt of course fee, AMC membership number, and hazardous activity release form.
  • March 28, 2017 Mailing of detailed class description and class roster.
  • April 22/23 & April 29/30 Rock Climbing Training Course.
  • May 13/14 Welcome To The Gunks! This is a huge event for us. Members of the club make a special effort to come out and climb multi-pitch with new members. We organize a dinner Saturday night.

The Training Course is offered for the novice or beginner climber with a strong interest in climbing regularly with the club. The topics covered in the class include: basic equipment, basic rock climbing technique, basic climbing knots, choosing and tying into an anchor, belaying, rappelling, top-rope set-up, prussiking, and following and “cleaning” a multi-pitch climb. Rope leading is not covered. More information can be found on the Climbing Committee’s website. For information on items not covered on the website contact the committee chair: . Registration-only questions at