25 Reasons to hire a Certified Guide

Source (give credit where credit is due): Geir Hundal (www.geir.com)

Contributed by: Marty Comiskey ( martycomiskey@yahoo.com)

Best useful for:   Top rope     X        Trad       X      Mountaineering     X
                            Sport     X              Ice     X          Other (list)    X

I originally posted this list on the PATC listserve last year. Recently, someone suggested that it should be posted as well on the PATC webpage.

This list came from Geir Hundal's website www.geir.com. Geir is a certified AMGA guide and obviously he would like for climbers to hire his company for guided outings.

Whether or not you ever hire Geir or any other guide for a climbing trip, this list of skills, techniques and systems is a good list of items for all climbers to know so as to expand their "bag of tricks." Some of the skills listed are for efficient and safe climbing/anchoring. Others are for emergency situations (i.e. self rescue, etc.)

Geir's list follows:

1. do you know how to read a topo?
2. do you know how to use a cordalette?
3. can you build a multi-directional equalized anchor?
4. do you know what extension in an anchor is, and the reason it is a concern?
5. do you know what the effective range of your cams are?
6. do you know what types of rock features accept cams vs. the types of rock
features that accept chocks?
7. do you know when it is appropriate to extend a draw on a piece of gear?
8. do you know how much force is generated in a typical lead fall? How much
force is generated in a toprope fall?
9. do you know there is a much better option to tying in with a daisy chain?
10. are you able to belay two people at the same time while keeping the station
11. do you know when it is appropriate to belay off the anchor vs. off your
12. do you know when it is appropriate to belay with an autolocking device vs. a
plaquette device vs. a plate device?
13. can you escape a fully loaded belay without unloading it?
14. do you know how to quickly and easily extend the master point of your
15. do you know when to use hip/shoulder belays vs. terrain feature belays?
16. while belaying a second to an anchor, could you set up a rappel and have
yourself on rappel before your second arrived?
17. do you know how to back up a rappel?
18. do you know how to back up a lower?
19. if your partner were injured on a multipitch climb, could you smoothly and
efficiently get him down, even if he is large and unable to assist you?
20. if you had to lower someone 350 feet with two joined ropes, could you do it
smoothly and confidently? How about if your partner was unable to assist you by
unweighting the rope?
21. if your partner was injured on lead beyond the halfway point of the rope,
would you know how to get him down?
22. using mechanical advantage, could you raise a second up a pitch if the
circumstances demanded it?
23. do you know how to set up a tandem rappel? Do you know the advantages and
disadvantages of tandem, simultaneous and counterbalanced rappels?
24. have you practiced these skills in the last month? In the last 6 months?
25. can you manage your rope at belay stances? How about two ropes? At hanging
belays? When swapping leads vs. not swapping leads?

How many did you answer in the affirmative? Climb safe. 

©2020 PATC-MS | The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club | All Rights Reserved.