Thursday, July 11, 2013

Peter Terbush Memorial Outdoor Leadership Summit

Each June I have the opportunity to teach a segment of the "Summit". This program was started at Western State Colorado University in remembrance of Pete Turbush who died in a climbing related rock fall accident in Yosemite back in 1999 ( Pete wanted to become a mountain guide, so his parents set up this foundation to give college students the fundamental technical experience as well as outdoor leadership training necessary to follow in Peter's path.
 I have taught both the mulit-pitch rock segment as well as the single pitch course for the "Summit" over the past several years, and it is always fun to remember what it was like when I was an up-and-coming guide learning these techniques.

Learning lowering techniques at Taylor Canyon

This year we had 6 students with diverse backgrounds in climbing. Some people had already been leading rock climbing trips for college outing clubs, while others had only top-roped a few times. In the spirit of servant leadership (a big emphasis of the program) it was great to watch the more experienced climbers help the others along.
Learning to clean sport anchors

This week long program takes a progressive track from talking about different climbing materials and hardware, through basic station management, anchor construction, gear placements, rescue techniques, and ends with a mock exam or "celebration of knowledge" as we like to call it.
Working through rock rescue scenarios

We have based the course curriculum on the AMGA Single Pitch course, with the hopes that students who have participated in the Summit will be well prepared to enter either the AMGA SPI or RIC courses. Usually by the end of the week students can walk through all the steps required on the SPI exam.
Rope management is always tough task!
For me, this week of instructing leaves little time for actual climbing, though I do get to wear my harness for 6 days! This year we did have the opportunity to get some climbing in on the last days and I got the chance to take 2 participants on their first multi-pitch climb and rappel, as well as help 2 others with their first trad lead climbs! It was great to see the stoke on their faces with these firsts, and it is these types of interactions that keep me coming back to teach at the Summit year after year.

-Steve Banks
 IFMGA Guide

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