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CMC / Denver Group


You need to be proficient in belay technique, specifically the technique commonly referred to as Brake-Under-Slide, covered in Introduction to Climbing and the Basic Rock Climbing School. You need to be proficient with the climbing signals listed in Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills (8th ed), also covered in the climbing classes.

Although we provide the technical gear, you will need basic outdoor gear. You will need your 10 Essentials. You will need a layering system that will keep you comfortable in cold and windy January conditions up in Summit County and through a range of activities. There will be some work on the hike in. There will be some idle time in the shade while you belay. There will be some on-again-off-again activity as you swith between climbing and belaying. You will need some thin but warm gloves to use with the tools (for dexterity) and you will need some thicker gloves to belay with. Best is to have a 'belay' jacket that you can put on or take off as the conditions suggest.

Best is to have mountaineering boots that accept automatic or semi-automatic crampons. Boots that accept automatic crampons will have both toe and heel welts. Boots that accept semi-automatic crampons will have heel welts. Boots that have no welts can accept strap-on crampons but these are not ideal for ice climbing; the crampons are too loose to allow firm and precise kicks. Strap-ons will work if you are desperate to ice climb, but they are not recommended.

You will need a day pack that allows you to carry your 10 Essentials plus any gear we give you. You might need to carry a rope. You might need to carry your crampons in your pack. You will need to be able to attach your ice tools to your pack.