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Fri, Sep 11


Sorrows End

Advanced Self Rescue

Take your Self Rescue skills a step further for those bigger wall adventures

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Advanced Self Rescue
Advanced Self Rescue

Time & Location

Sep 11, 2020, 8:00 AM – Sep 13, 2020, 5:00 PM

Sorrows End, Halifax, NS, Canada

About the event

While not required, it can be beneficial to take this course with a frequented climbing partner.


  • Must have led a minimum of 5 pitches of traditional climbing 5.7 or above.
  • Must have led or seconded, a minimum of 3 multi-pitch climbs.
  • Participants should be comfortable with common techniques of single pitch climbing as well as building a traditional gear anchor, administering a top-belay, setting up a rappel, managing a belay station, and using a number of common climbing knots.

Course Description:

This course is designed to help participants answer that age old climbing question “What if?”  “What would I do if my partner was injured by rockfall?, What if we had to get down fast? What if my leader gets knocked unconscious?” These questions and many more lay just beneath the surface of most climbing expeditions and the potentials they imply can mean the difference between a tough day on the rock, or an all out epic.

Under experienced supervision, participants will work to develop the skills necessary to handle the many unexpected and complex scenarios that can arise in the dangerous world of rock climbing.  By learning fundamental techniques that are universal to most Self Rescue scenarios, students will not only be prepared for common risk potentials, but a variety of unexpected and unique situations.

Techniques will be isolated, demonstrated, and worked hands-on by participants, and then applied in a contextual high angle scenario to work through the reality of their applications.

Skills and techniques covered in this course will address these examples of potential scenarios:

You are alone belaying a new climber on a single pitch Top-Rope set-up. The new climber has climbed high up the route, onto a ledge, and has become frozen with fear. They refuse to move, even as bad weather begins to roll in.

You are about to start leading the 5th pitch of a climb when one member of your party of 3, is stung by a bee and starts to show signs of difficulty breathing.  After a quick search, your party realizes that the Epipen is in the pack at the base of the crag.

While bringing up your second on the strenuous 90’ long pitch #8, unexpected rock fall from above leaves them seriously injured and unconscious.

You are belaying a leader on the 5th pitch of a trad route.  As the leader nears the crux at the top of the slightly traversing 150’ pitch, a broken hold causes a wild upside down fall, leaving the leader dangling unconscious from the rope.

While climbing out the steep roof of pitch 4, your inexperienced second blows the move and is left dangling in space.

You’ve just completed another successful multi-pitch climb and are heading down for the day. While rappelling down the steep blank walls of pitch #7 you are finding it hard to find the next set of rap bolts.  As the knotted ends of your ropes begin to draw near, you realize, there are no bolts in sight.  You’ve misjudged the descent route.

Course Skills: 

Course information will include but is not limited to the following skills, as well as a look at the non-technical aspects of Self Rescue Preparedness.

  • Basic/Core Skills:
    • Application/Use of Load Transferring Knots
      • Munter-Mule-Overhand
      • Mariner
    • Application/Use of Friction Hitches
      • Prusik
      • Klemheist
      • Autobloc
      • Bachman
    • Application/Use of basic haul/assist systems
      • 3:1 assist
      • 5:1 haul

Self Rescue Skills/Applications:

Passing a knot while lowering/rappelling

Rappelling with an injured climber

Lowering two climbers simultaneously (tandem)

Lowering from an auto blocking device

Transitioning from a weighted Top-Belay to a Counterbalance rappel

Transitioning from a lead belay to rope ascension

Instructor: Brendan Konowal

Brendan was first introduced to the sport of climbing at an early age and has been both a student and teacher of climbing for nearly 20 years. He caught the serious “climbing bug” around 2000’ with his first foray into traditional lead climbing in the hills of West Virginia’s Seneca Rocks, an experience he can recount to this day. Brendan believes that to be the best climber you can be, you must be well acquainted with all forms of climbing. Over the years he has taught in many climbing venues from indoor rock gyms to multi-pitch summits.  His professional teaching/guiding experience is focused around top-rope, sport, and multi-pitch traditional climbing up to grade III-IV. Brendan holds a B.S. degree in Parks and Resource Management, has held certifications from a variety of organizations including the AMGA, SOLO, and the American Red Cross, and has spent many years reinforcing his skills with real life experience.


  • Advanced Self Rescue Course

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