This Fall, Arc'teryx Yorkdale sponsored a handful of athletes from a local climbing gym, True North Climbing, to take a lead climbing course. This would allow the chosen athletes to learn how to lead climb and progress their skills.
Safety was the main concern. After discussing several aspects of lead climbing that the climbers should be aware of, the course instructor began to teach how to correctly clip into quickdraws. The instructor also discussed incorrect way to clip in roes, and why they are not ideal for climbing. i.e. back clipping and Z-clipping
Next on the agenda was learning how to belay. Understanding the difference between taking in slack (top-rope belay) vs. giving slack (lead belay) was a main focus. This then lead. to the participants to practice mock leading. The course instructor had the climbers clip into an auto belay as well as tie into a lead rope. This would allow the climbers to safely climb as well as practice clipping their respective ropes in the quick draws as well give the belayer the chance to get comfortable with belaying a climber while on lead.