Archive:Lead Ladder 2013

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The Lead Ladder is an instructional rock climbing course designed for those who aspire to lead climb traditionally protected single and multi-pitch routes. It consists of 4 x 2 hour evening sessions and a weekend in Squamish, and is organized by Jon Leighton.

The Lead Ladder is not a formal qualification, merely an organised means of passing on skills. People will be closely mentored throughout the course, which has a 2:1 student to instructor ratio. The basic idea is for people who have already done some roped climbing (perhaps top roping or sport) to gain skills and experience safely by leading routes well within their comfort zone of at least 5.6 and up (there is no mock leading). Whilst you will learn skills required to lead climb, it won't teach you how to move on rock more efficiently or turn you into a 'climber' per se, but it will certainly accelerate that process. Several people who attended last year went from mainly top-roping in the Bluffs to full length routes on the Chief. 10 places are available. If more than 10 apply, people will be selected based on their suitability for the course, how much time they have left at UBC to give some skills back and on a first come first served basis.

Note however that the four classroom sessions are open to anyone and will be between 6.30 and 8.30pm either on MacInnis Field or at the wall in the Norm Theatre; meet at the club room. If you're not on the course, please SIGN UP FOR THE CLASSROOM SESSIONS BY EDITING THIS PAGE. The classroom sessions consist of equipment theory, belay systems, hoists/rescues/emergencies, and TBC.


  • 29 May Equipment (Theory)
  • 5 June Belay systems (Practical)
  • 12 Jun Hoists, Rescues & Emergencies (Practical)
  • 19 Jun TBC (Practical)

The other instructors need to show up for the practical sessions and on the weekend.

  • The Lead Ladder weekend is 22-23 Jun. We will camp overnight in Squamish.

Participant Requirements (Questions to Ask Yourself)

  1. Can I usually top rope 5.8 outdoors cleanly?
  2. Am I happy falling off as a second or on a top rope?
  3. Do I want to / do I feel ready to lead?
  4. Have I got more than 1 year left in the VOC?
  5. Will I be attending VOC climbing meets so that the club can make use of my new skills?

The answer to all of these should be yes, but the system isn't immune to flexibility.


There will also be some background learning (not too much), which I will post to the message board before each session.

For session 1, please see this post from the message board. There are several drop box links there with the required reading.
For session 2, please see this post from the message board.
For session 3, please see this post from the message board.
For session 4, please see this post from the message board.

Evening Session Sign Up

Number May 29
June 5
Belay Systems
June 12
Hoists, Rescues
& Emergencies
June 19
1 -Todd Van der Star- -Todd Van der Star- -Todd Van der Star- -Todd Van der Star-
2 -Dave Newton- -Dave Newton- -Dave Newton- -Dave Newton-
3 Cameron Bathgate Cameron Bathgate Cameron Bathgate Cameron Bathgate
4 Steph (tentative) Steph (tentative) Steph (tentative) Steph (tentative)
5 shuvi shuvi (tentative) shuvi (tentative) shuvi (tentative)
6 Annie M Annie M Madi Jannu
7 Clemens (tentative) Clemens (tentative) Clemens (tentative) Clemens (tentative)
8 Mike Mitchell Mike Mitchell Mike Mitchell Mike Mitchell
9 - - Ru Ru
10 - - Andrew C Andrew c
11 - - Julien Julien (tentative)
12 - - Isabel Isabel (tentative)