Self Rescue for Rock Climbers

1 Day in California, Lake Tahoe / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person


About this trip

This course includes technical systems review, including belaying off the anchor, belay escapes and rope ascending and descending.


  • skill level


  • Duration

    1 Day

So you know how to climb, maybe you are even proficient at lead climbing. Have you ever thought about what would happen if something goes wrong? What if the climber you are belaying gets injured, and you are unable to lower them back to the ground? Simple accidents like this have been the beginning of many serious injuries and even fatalities. With some basic theory and techniques, you will have the tools needed to confront these problems in a calm, systematic manner. This one day skills course will teach you how to use the equipment you already are carrying, to improvise rescue systems and get you and your team out of a jam. Every climber needs to know these skills!

Skills covered:
• Technical systems review, including belaying off the anchor
• Belay escapes
• Rope ascending and descending
• Counter balance ascending and descending with an injured climber
• Raising systems, including 3:1 and 5:1
• Lowering systems with a knot pass

Prerequisites: Basic outdoor rock climbing experience required. Lead climbing experience is recommended, but not required.


Alpenglow Expeditions operates under a special use permit from the Tahoe, Inyo and Eldorado National Forests. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 


  • Technical Experience

    Guests should be familiar with technical rock climbing equipment and its basic uses.

    • 8am — Meet & Greet

      Meet your guide and fellow classmates. Make introductions and set goals for the day.

    • 8:45am - 12pm — Morning Skills Session

      Rock protection overview and placement. Equalization principals. Anchor station and rope management.

    • 12pm - 12:30pm — Lunch

      Take a break and review the morning session while enjoying lunch.

    • 12:30pm - 3:30pm — Afternoon Skills Session

      Belaying off the anchor vs. the harness. Edge safety. Anchoring with natural objects.

      • Equipment

      • Black Diamond ATC-XP belay device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes.

        Buy on
      • Nalgene 1 liter water bottle

        Two Lexan 1 liter, wide mouth bottles.

        Buy on
      • Black Diamond Vapor Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

        Buy on
      • Petzl Sitta harness

        Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable or stretchable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. *Harnesses are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

        Buy on
    • What kind of experience should I have before taking this course?

      Climbers must be confident in use of equipment including belaying, rappelling and use of top rope systems. Lead climbing experience is recommended but not required.

    • What is the typical group size for this course?

      Group sizes can vary depending on the course, however our maximum ratio of clients to guides is 4:1.

    • I am an experienced rock climber but I do not have a harness or helmet with me. Do you have this available to rent?

      While owning your own gear is always the best option, Alpenglow does provide rental gear at no additional cost. Equipment availability varies and is on a first come first serve basis. Please contact the office to inquire about borrowing gear!

    • Do I need to bring a lunch?

      Yes, you should bring a sack lunch and water bottle for this full day course.

Ben Mitchell

Ben has been in love with the mountains from a young age. He began hiking and skiing with his family and quickly decided he never wanted to stop. After finishing university in Portland, OR Ben moved back to Washington State and began guiding on Mt. Rainier and around the Cascades. For the next many years he followed the seasons, skiing, climbing and pursuing the art of human flight through out the world. He has made expeditions into both polar circles, skied first descents in Afghanistan and climbed throughout the Americas and Europe. When not looking forward to the next adventure he thoroughly enjoys roasting coffee, reading and taking his dog out for walks.

Ben is a fully certified IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Logan Talbott

director of operations / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan keeps things running smoothly as the director of operations at Alpenglow Expeditions. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is a fully certified AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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    Self Rescue for Rock Climbers