Where can one get professional vertical rope training?

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Where can one get professional vertical rope training?

Postby jhallward » Jun 1, 2007 4:37 pm

I'm looking to go vertical caving in New Mexico this summer (I'll be in the area anyway), but aside from what I've learned from some light rock climbing have no prior experience with SRT or any rope techniques, and am looking for a place that offers professional training in vertical rope techniques.

I'm looking for something similar to On Rope 1's Basic Vertical Skills course (http://www.onrope1.com/basic-course.htm), except that I live in Minnesota, am driving to New Mexico and Tennessee is a bit out of the way. Anyone know of a place that would offer something like this? If not in New Mexico anywhere in the midwest/Colorado works, since I'll be driving through this area anyway.

Any help is appreciated.
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Re: Where can one get professional vertical rope training?

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jun 1, 2007 5:59 pm

jhallward wrote:I'm looking to go vertical caving in New Mexico this summer (I'll be in the area anyway), but aside from what I've learned from some light rock climbing have no prior experience with SRT or any rope techniques, and am looking for a place that offers professional training in vertical rope techniques.

I'm looking for something similar to On Rope 1's Basic Vertical Skills course (http://www.onrope1.com/basic-course.htm), except that I live in Minnesota, am driving to New Mexico and Tennessee is a bit out of the way. Anyone know of a place that would offer something like this? If not in New Mexico anywhere in the midwest/Colorado works, since I'll be driving through this area anyway.

Any help is appreciated.

There are a number of people in Colorado (grottos) that are qualified to teach SRT dunno about "professional" since it implies that one is paid to do it. Perhaps a dinner and a couple of beers afterwards would be a nice "thank-you" gesture. I'm guessing that New Mexico Grottos would have qualified people as well. Go to: http://caves.org/io/grottos.shtml and click on the state where you are or willing to go and get info from one of the grottos listed for that state. That's your best bet honestly.
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Postby jhallward » Jun 3, 2007 11:33 pm

Yeah, grottos can provide vertical training, but the reason I'm looking for something professional is because it means (a) I won't have the practice on trees meaning I can be trained on longer ropes (on rope 1 for example has you do a 200 foot climb) and (b) professionals will often offer equipment rental, and while I have no intention of renting all my equipment (because of safety and quality considerations) it would be nice to have some equipment available for rent.
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Postby tallgirl » Jun 4, 2007 12:04 am

i think you would be surprised how many cavers have "spare" gear you could use for practice. just like any sport there are some collectors. lol
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Postby wendy » Jun 4, 2007 1:24 am

jhallward wrote:Yeah, grottos can provide vertical training, but the reason I'm looking for something professional is because it means (a) I won't have the practice on trees meaning I can be trained on longer ropes (on rope 1 for example has you do a 200 foot climb) and (b) professionals will often offer equipment rental, and while I have no intention of renting all my equipment (because of safety and quality considerations) it would be nice to have some equipment available for rent.


doing vertical practise in trees is only limited to the amount of rope you have, you could do 1200' of vertical training in a tree if you have a rack and that much rope
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Postby George Dasher » Jun 4, 2007 8:35 am

May I suggest you check out what your local grotto and cavers have to offer before you "give up" on them. They may be able to help out a great deal, but it is going to be a matter of finding the right person willing to help.


Another problem is that, other than making the trip to TN, they may be the only option you have.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jun 4, 2007 12:02 pm

jhallward wrote:Yeah, grottos can provide vertical training, but the reason I'm looking for something professional is because it means (a) I won't have the practice on trees meaning I can be trained on longer ropes (on rope 1 for example has you do a 200 foot climb) and (b) professionals will often offer equipment rental, and while I have no intention of renting all my equipment (because of safety and quality considerations) it would be nice to have some equipment available for rent.

While I personally have nothing against practicing in trees it is my preference that said practices should be done after the "student" has learned basic SRT. By this I mean that they've rappelled and have ascended a few times and have facilitated a change-over at least once. I prefer to be teaching on a cliff face and the height of the cliff depends upon the student and amount of (previous) experience on rope (any rope... i.e. rock climbing). It's a tried and true method of mine.
You can talk to whomever has the qualifications to train SRT in whatever grotto you go to to seek out said trainers. Not all of them will say... "well we can do it in my back yard, I've got a great tall tree to practice in..." In fact in your area I'd dare say most of them would take you to a place where cliffs abound and will start teaching you there.
The Colorado and NM cavers have a good number of "expert" vertical cavers (as opposed to the wording "professional" -- which again implies that they make a living doing whatever it is that they're supposed to be a "professional" in). Check them out, talk to them, let them know what you're wanting and I'm sure they'll be happy to help you out.
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Postby pete_the_caver » Jun 12, 2007 2:13 pm

You could come to the Uk or go to New Zealand. Both countries have lots of professional caving instructors
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jun 12, 2007 3:52 pm

pete_the_caver wrote:You could come to the Uk or go to New Zealand. Both countries have lots of professional caving instructors
Heh, only if you promise to take them caving down there mate. For some folks that's a once in a life time adventure to be sure. :kewl:
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Postby Squirrel Bait » Jun 12, 2007 4:59 pm

I'd like to go next year. :-)
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Postby KeokukGeode » Jun 12, 2007 11:03 pm

Just a suggestion
Hocking Technical College
Ranger Department
Ropes and Rappelling
Nelsonville, Ohio
http://www.hocking.edu
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Postby Anonymous_Coward » Jun 13, 2007 8:24 am

I don't know if it fits your travel plans, but there is a vertical workshop at the NSS Convention. It is put on by the Vertical Section of NSS and is very worthwhile. My wife and I took the class when we started vertical and it helped us quite a bit. You get instruction from some very experienced people. The best part is you get to try several different ascending systems and see which one you like best. This helped us to buy the right vertical gear. Plus, since it is at convention, you can buy your system right there from the vendors. If it fits your schedule, I would highly recommend attending the NSS vertical workshop. I believe it costs about $15.
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Postby caverdan » Jun 13, 2007 12:57 pm

In Colorado, give Todd Warren a try. He's a long time grotto member and does most of our club training. Like Ralph suggests, he usually teaches on a cliff face. :kewl: You'll get nothing but the best from him. Here is a link to his website.

http://www.alpenquest.com
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Professional climbing classes

Postby Ernie Coffman » Jun 14, 2007 5:57 pm

JHallward, you might be interested in this link:

http://www.cmcrescue.com/cmcschoolrope1.php

CMC is definitely a professional climbing school and on your way to New Mexico. They do offer classes all over, though, but you just have to look at your calendar for when and where they are.

The suggestion of the NSS Vertical Workshop at the convention is your least expensive and probably the best way to try out different rigs and climbing activities, but none of it is on the real rock, unfortunately. There's only so much time! :exactly:

Have a good one!
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