CMC Rock Climbing Leadership Students will Explore Local Crags this Fall
In a few weeks, Colorado Mountain College Leadville students enrolled in the Rock Climbing Leadership course will embark on a ten-day climbing adventure. The small group of dedicated recreationists will learn beginner and intermediate rock climbing techniques, practicing rappelling, knot-tying, rescues, and belaying, among other climbing-specific and general leadership skills.
“We learned how to set anchors and understand the techniques of placing trad gear,” says Kesley White, a 2020 Outdoor Recreation Leadership graduate, “The systems are very intricate and it’s absolutely crucial to have a proper understanding of weight loads, placement and safety for trad climbing.”
Colorado Mountain College instructors Kip Davis and Cheyenne Chaffee bring years of climbing experience to the Rock Climbing Leadership Course. Their collaborative teaching styles creates an inclusive learning environment where students of all levels, including beginner climbers, feel comfortable exploring their abilities.
“They worked with me personally to help me not only accomplish my goals,” says Kesley, “but to strive for bigger and better ones too. They consistently challenged me, held me to better standards, and pushed my physical and mental limits on our course and in our time together.”
Last year’s Rock Climbing Leadership cohorts consisted of eight students and two instructors. They drove 225 miles from Leadville, CO to Buford, WY—just over the Colorado/ Wyoming border—and set up their camp and classroom at the Vedauwoo Climbing Area.
This year will be a bit different, as Colorado Mountain College classes will not be traveling out of state due to the pandemic. Thankfully, Colorado is home to many incredible climbing destinations, including some just “down the road” from the Leadville campus.
“This semester we will be staying local and working in the Upper Arkansas Valley,” says Kip Davis, “We’ve been tossing around a few course location ideas, like Turtle Rock and Monitor Rock, and probably some backcountry rock experience using crags in the Hagerman’s Pass/Mount Massive Wilderness zones.”