Skip to main content

Course Description

Designed for rock climbers who want to understand the fundamental skills of self‐rescue, this course covers all the bases. The focus is on learning a thorough grasp of applicable rescue systems, not just memorizing steps in esoteric skills. Learn how to escape a belay, lower a patient, and pass a knot while maintaining a focus on prevention and how to approach a rescue with a cool head. You don’t need rescue skills on most days that you climb, but basic rescue skills are a must for all climbers.

Course Focus

  • Prevention: Review of proper anchoring and belaying techniques
  • Rescuer Safety: Situational awareness and understanding adequate security
  • Rescue knots and hitches
  • Simple rescue systems that work in many situations and are the foundation for all advanced rescue techniques


  • A thorough understanding of basic climbing systems and common knots
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have adequate health insurance


A certificate of completion is issued to students that successfully complete this course.

Student to Instructor Ratio


Time Commitment

12 hours: 3‐hour evening classroom session, plus one full day in the field.



Gear List

  • Rock Climbing Harness and Helmet
  • Belay device
  • 2 locking carabiners

Optional: Bring whatever equipment you normally climb with so we can discuss its use in rescue situations. Especially bring slings, cordelette/prusik material, plaquette‐ style belay device (Reverso, Black Diamond Guide, etc.), comfortable climbing shoes and extra locking and non‐locking carabiners. Make sure all your equipment is marked.

Sample Schedule

Evening 1: Classroom
1800 Introductions and expectations
1830 Rescue system overview
1900 Knots and hitches
2000 Material and system strength
2030 Case study analysis
2100 Done
Day 2: Field
800 Anchoring and belaying technique review
900 Escaping a belay
1100 Lowering a patient
1300 Passing a knot
1500 Putting it all together: scenarios
1700 Done