|Silver Bay Climbing Guides|
We provide rock climbing instruction and guiding in beautiful northeastern Minnesota. This region includes the famous Palisade Head and Shovel Point areas, along with lesser known climbing areas such as Mystical Mountain, Sawmill Dome, Section 13, and Carlton Peak.
This course is for novices. We review climbing equipment, basic climbing knots, safety concerns, and start climbing! After some initial fun, when everyone is comfortable, we teach movement and balance techniques to improve climbing skill.
Belaying safely is of utmost importance. We review several techniques using a variety of belay devices. This course is paced according to the participants. If the basics are mastered quickly, we move on to belay escapes, top belay, what to do if you do not have a belay device.
The anchor course instructs climbers on safe, quick, smart, and environmentally sound construction of anchors. The course covers the use of natural and artificial protection, cord and webbing. In addition, some time is devoted to inspecting and assessing bolts and hangers.
Rappelling is a quick, fun, and very dangerous method to descend. This course is essential for climbers and is fun for non-climbers (there are people who merely rappel as a sport). This course is paced according to the participants and can also cover tandem rappels and simultaneous rappels.
Sport climbing relies on placing a quickdraw on a preplaced secure anchor, properly threading the climbing rope through a caribiner, and continuing upward. Special issues include: proper anchor construction to minimize wear on existing structures, belay techniques, and anchor cleaning.
Trad climbing relies on placing removable securing devices periodically during an ascent to ensure a safe ascent. This course covers proper use of nuts, cams, hexes, tricams, and other materials for the leader; safely switching from bottom belay to top belay; and cleaning techniques for the second.
Accidents occur everywhere, including climbing. You may be unfortunate or be present when a climbing accident occurs. Are you prepared? The rescue course covers climbing scenarios where you use special climbing skills self-rescue or to aid other climbers. The course does NOT cover medical aspects of wilderness first aide. For that, we recommend the Wilderness First Aid Course or Wilderness First Responder Course. This course is paced according to the participants. Techniques taught include belay escapes, haul systems, tandem rappels, counterbalance rappels, simultaneous rappels, and rope ascension.
Climbing and Environmental Ethics:
Scott and Bethany are Leave No Trace instructors and believe everyone should work to preserve the natural environment. Specific to climbing, this means minimizing erosion; packing out garbage and personal waste, keeping noise levels low for the benefit of endogenous animals and visitors; no hammering pitons or permanent anchor placements; and not defacing the rock with chalk.
Chalk effects the appearance of the rock; alters the local environment for microorganisms and animals; ruins routes by marking and caking/slicking holds; and is unsightly. We insist on using helmets and abandoning chalk on outdoor routes.