The climbers from the AIS-Salzburg are climbing during their winter trimester in the
Kletterhalle Salzburg. The group of eight students, accompanied by AIS-Salzburg staff member Valerie Cicero, started up last Wednesday. The group is mostly made up of beginning climbers, with two students who have taken climbing courses from me before at the USI Salzburg/Rif on the outdoor climbing tower.
On Wednesday mornings the group has the climbing gym all to themselves between 08:00 - 10:00am.
Our first day started with the basics of climbing and safety. After getting the shoes sorted out, we did some easy bouldering that focused of precise footwork.
Then we put on our harness and then learned how to tie in to the rope with a figure-8 knot.
Our goal for the morning was to climb on top rope. The students learned how to thread the belay device, attach it to their harness and do a pre-climb safety check of the climber and belayer.
We learned, and then did a dry run through, of the proper way to belay: pull the rope out through the belay device, bring the right hand down to create a 90 degree bend in the rope, left hand grips the rope just above the right hand, and then bring the right over the left hand and re-grip the rope.
The students then were ready to climb on the top ropes in the course area of the gym. The routes are designed for practicing on and are about 6 meters in length. Everyone got to do a lap or two on the short wall before we ran out of time.
Of course, the two hours went by far too quickly for the students liking. However there is always next week ...
In our second meeting, we will climb more on top rope in 3-person teams. We are going to try the longer routes in the main section of the gym.
As the students get more accustomed to belaying each other correctly and safely, we will be able to do a lot of climbing in our brief two hours on Wednesday mornings.