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Rock Climber's Gear and Anchor Class at Cragmont in Berkeley

January 11, March 29, May 11, July 13 (Sold out, wait list only), August 10 and September 28, 2014

rock climbing gearOne of the essentials of safe climbing is the ability to create and/or identify safe anchors. This class will give you hands on instruction on how to build a solid top rope anchor. If you are building your own anchors, or climbing on someone else’s, you owe it to yourself (and your mother) to take this class.


Our class takes place outdoors in Berkeley at Cragmont Park, and is designed to be very hands on. You will be learning by doing. You will be building anchors throughout the day, and having those anchors critiqued by our professional guide and instructor.  All necessary anchoring gear will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own gear if you’d like to practice placing gear and building anchors with your own rack.


In this class we introduce gear placements, too. You'll learn how to place a nut, cam, or hex. You'll have opportunities to practice placing this gear ( gear is provided), and will be able to critique other people's gear placements. At the end of the day you will have the knowledge to set up your own anchors, in just about any situation- bolts, cracks, trees, etc. You'll also have a cordolette you can keep, to get your anchor kit started!


Here's what a recent participant had to say after the class: "It's hard to believe that you can go from utter confusion to being able to critically apply a new skill and attain a sense of enlightenment in only one day."


The Outdoor Adventure Club teaching method will give you all the tools you need, and prepare you to make decisions when you are setting up anchors. You will learn much more than simply "do this in this situation". You'll learn how to think through the problem of anchor building, so you can set up anchors just about anywhere!


By the end of the day you should be able to:

  • Build a solid top rope anchor in a variety of situations ranging from simple two-bolt anchors to complicated anchors using trees, boulders, cams and other gear
  • Be able to critique other people's anchors and decide if you'd climb on their anchor
  • Be able to place gear (nuts, hexes, cams) in an anchoring environment
  • Tie a variety of knots, with confidence.

Prerequisites: Some climbing experience and familiarity with belay techniques.


Topics covered in this full day, outdoor class:



  • Types of modern gear
  • Nylon ropes, webbing, and cords
  • Knots- Figure 8, 8 on a bight, Clove hitch, Fisherman's, Bunny Ears
  • Carabiners and evolution of carabiner design
  • Protection: Nuts, Hexes, Tri-cams, SLCDs/cams, Bolts
  • Practice placing gear
  • Failures: The importance of knowing how things fail to avoid future failures


  • Introduction of SERENE/ERNEST
  • Sliding X
  • American triangle
  • 2 bolt anchors, both pre-equalized and self equalizing
  • 3 piece anchors using a cordolette
  • Angles between gear
  • The Power Point
  • Using natural pro
  • Judging strength
  • Gear in series
  • Extending the anchor
  • Practice building anchors
  • Critique each other's anchors
  • Identify poor anchors

Climbing will be limited on this trip, but bring your shoes and harnesses if you like. You may be able to get in a few climbs at the end of the day if there is time.


This trip happens rain or shine. If there is rain we can teach the class under a covered area at Cragmont. The class is hands on, regardless of weather.  After the course there will be an informal review. Perhaps at the Pyramid Brewery or at Zachary’s for pizza.


Want information on all of our rock climbing trips? Check out our full Rock Climbing Program.


Where is this trip?

Here's a Google Map to the general area

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Specific driving directions for the trip will come with your confirmed reservation.



  • Hands-on instruction from 9-5
  • Professional guide trained by the AMGA
  • All the climbing gear you'll need for the course
  • A cordolette to keep and use when you are setting up your own anchors after the class
  • A class handout to keep to remind you of the concepts taught in the class, including a gear list to help you start purchasing your rack of climbing gear
  • A carpool list so you can arrange rides to the class

You'll need to bring:

A recommended gear list will come with your confirmed reservation, but you should generally be prepared with the following:

  • Clothes appropriate for the weather
  • Appropriate footwear to hike for a few miles throughout the day
  • You are welcome to bring your own climbing shoes, harness, belay device and helmet if you wish
  • Lunch
  • At least 2 liters of water

If you would like to read up on climbing gear and anchors, or mountaineering essentials, before or after the clinic, check out these books:




Ultimate Members: FREE

Standard Members: $99

Non-members: $119


Note the July 13th class is currently sold out, wait list only.



Trip Cancellation Policy


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To Register for this trip(s), please complete the following 2 steps:


Step 1 - Click on the trip registration link below and fill out the form to complete Step 1 of the registration process. Don't forget to return to this page to complete Step 2, payment (which may require closing a tab or window).


Trip Registration Form


Step 2 - Complete payment information using PayPal.

The July 13 class is currently sold out, wait list only.
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If you have any questions about this trip, please email us at info@outdooradventureclub.com or call 415-377-1195.


Private, custom and corporate trips: Any trip on our calendar can be customized and offered to your friends, family or corporate group. Just ask and we'll make it happen.