One of the more adventurous classes available at SUNY Potsdam is Mark Simon’s advanced rock climbing course (WILD 170). Designed for those who aspire to lead rock climbing trips, students learn about site and risk management, climbing anchor systems, fall factors and belay techniques/rappel techniques. Students have been learning belaying and climbing techniques, how to tie knots, how to build top rope anchor systems and how to properly coil ropes.
This semester 12 students made trips to the Equinox Face at Azure Mountain and the South Colton climbing crag over two consecutive weekends to work on their climbing skills. All students enrolled in this course have previously taken the intro to rock climbing class (WILD 160).
Gabe Carbone, wilderness education student: “I've learned that the most important aspect of climbing is safety. This might seem intuitive, but climbing is a sport that can and often will push your physical and mental limitations…Before you go climbing make sure you know your skills inside and out, there is no need to rush, the cliffs will always be there.”
Mark Simon, wilderness education coordinator: “Many students move on from this course to run rock climbing programs and further develop the necessary skills to embark on climbing adventures of their own. Rock climbing is a life-long activity that many people engage in, well into their retirement.”
For a list of requirements for the wilderness education minor, visit: https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/wildernessed/courses