J Tree April 28 - May 1, 2017 (SPI Assessment)


Original Post
Nicole BI · · Oakland, CA · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 262

Hey y'all, I'm flying down from the Bay Area to do my AMGA SPI Assessment in Joshua Tree April 29-30. Looking to meet up with other climbers Friday April 28 and/or Monday May 1. If (this is a long shot) anyone reading this is also preparing for their assessment, or you are simply a curious climber who is interested in seeing some of the skills I will be tested on, and you want to meet up on Friday April 28 to help me practice, that would be awesome. Monday May 1 will be a post-assessment play day for me; at the moment I am partnerless but will have all my gear with me, so let me know if you might be interested to meet up and climb. Also, if anyone has done the SPI Course and/or Assessment in JTree and can recommend a good location to practice, I'd appreciate that info. Thanks!

Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 150

I was just discussing this the other day, what routes are you asked to lead in JT for the SPI assesment?  Have they told you ahead of time?  something 5.7? 

Nicole BI · · Oakland, CA · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 262

Hi Forever Outside, I haven't received any information regarding locations to be used. I did the assessment 3 years ago in a different location through a different assessment provider, and can't remember if we were told that information ahead of time, but I believe the two climbs used were a 5.6 and a 5.7. AMGA standard is being comfortable leading 5.6 trad at a minimum. I'm not sure what the AMGA protocol is regarding how much information is provided ahead of time, but it sure would be helpful to be able to scout the location prior to the assessment.

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204

I'm pretty sure when I took my AMGA class (not assessment) we spent a good bit of time up at Atlantis wall learning the top management stuff on the upper part. Could be a decent spot to get some practice in. (Could be wrong since it was a couple years back and at the time I didn't know my way around the park.)

But really anything and everything around J tree is pretty convenient for practicing SPI stuff, since all the walls are short with easy access to the top. Even just banging out the routes at Trashcan Rock is good prep. The climbing is so short and easy you won't have to think about it, and you can focus on SPI stuff. Building anchors there has some J Tree typical funk where you might need to extend from edge or look around for placements that aren't grainy and flared. If you show up early it's empty, if you wait around the boy scouts might show up and give you a master class on over complicated anchors. If it gets crowded you can swap to the other side of the rock and do some raps and lowers on the steep side. Convenient but tourists will watch so hopefully that doesn't bother you.

Dairy Queen wall has some fun moderates with gear anchors if you want to do more climbing. Rock garden valley is fun, though more bolted anchors if I remember right.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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