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Metro-Boston: Learn To Climb Outdoors This Spring With The AMC Rock Program

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Mark Jourdian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

It's that time of year again a friendly member of the AMC Rock Program team - my turn (!) - puts up a post about the Rock Program. If you have any friends or acquaintances in the metro-Boston area who want to learn to climb outdoors, this is for them.

I took the program back in 2016 and it changed my life. Not only did it open up a world of outdoor climbing, it introduced me to a community of climbers that have become friends that I spend most weekends with. As someone who has moved from city-to-city every few years, opportunities to build those connections seldom come up which is why it's been so impactful. But enough about me...

The Rock Program is about rock climbing outdoors, in particular learning about the rope techniques and safety systems used in outdoor climbing. Our focus is on preparing students to be safe and capable followers for trad climbs, but we teach a variety of skills that are useful for other kinds of outdoor rock climbing. For example, students will learn to setup top-rope anchors, clean sport anchors, and so on. Our program is run and taught by volunteers. Our instructors are experienced rock climbers, most of whom have been teaching rock climbing for many years.

The program consists of one evening session, one full weekend session, and three single-day weekend sessions. The weekend sessions run from 8:15am until approximately 1-2pm. Weather permitting, we will set up top ropes for climbing until 4:30pm or so, and we encourage you to stay and climb! The full schedule is up here.

Skills Covered Include: Belaying A Leader, Building Top Rope Anchors, Rappelling, Ascending, Anchor Cleaning

We're moving from last year's lottery system to an application based system. Applications open Wednesday March 7th at 8PM and close on March 11th at 11:59PM.

We're holding an optional (but encouraged) info session on Wednesday March 7th at the new AMC Headquarters in Charlestown, MA.

You can learn more about the rock program at

Lou Caserta · · Boston, MA · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

Thank you brother for the information. I have recently been introduced to rock climbing in Portugal. I have climbed maybe 6 or 7 times out there. I returned to Boston about two months ago not knowing anyone who climbed. All I know is this fire is burning inside for climbing. I would be so grateful to have the opportunity to build the appropriate skill and safety needed to have a solid foundation in rock climbing. So that I may carry on in this beautiful adventure that has been revealed to me in this life.  Thank you, Lou

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

Just curious, why is the AMC seeking more applicants? I believe it's already maxed out and hard to get into the program.

Rob Blakemore · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 105

Heya Russ,

I volunteer with the rock program sometimes, but I am not one of the organizers. As far as I know the sum total of the advertising is a few flyers in local climbing gyms, a post each year on mountain project, and an email sent out to people who ask to be added to the listserv. The idea is to reach people who are new to an interest in climbing, or new to the Boston area who may not have been previously aware that Rock Program exists. Does that seem excessive to you? Perhaps the program could get by on word-of-mouth alone for a few years, but it would likely be necessary to advertise it again at some point.

It is true that there have been more applicants than spots in the last couple of years (hence the lottery last year, and the application process this year). I don't know how you would figure out the "right" amount of advertising such that the program had a number of applicants exactly equal to the number of spots. The number of applicants seems to reflect a growth in the popularity of climbing, rather than a change in the way program is advertised. 



[edited for a typo]

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

Sure, that makes sense.  I can understand the tricky nature of running the program.  It's great, I am a graduate.  I was just curious though, because you are going to post and get people's hopes up, all excited and stuff, then basically break more hearts in the end.   Too bad there isn't a way to train more people, ie expand and build it up.

Christian DuBois · · Fairhaven, MA · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

If you move back here Russ you can volunteer your time as an additional instructor. Don't worry I'll babysit your dog for you when you get back here.

Christian DuBois · · Fairhaven, MA · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

#amcrockprogram2017 #bestdogever

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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