Ohio Climbers Coalition’s(OCC) NE Ohio Regional Coordinator, Jill Gallagher came up with the idea to offer a free Anchor Clinic for climbers who are OCC members. Clinics are definitely needed as more and more climbers want to transition between gym and crag. Also, new anchors were added at Whipp’s in April, and as with anything new, there is a learning curve. I was hearing stories of some anchor set ups that were questionable, both in how they were being set up and the end result. We had a concern about climber safety due to lack of knowledge. Possible damage to the valuable anchor trees was also a concern, as new climbers were bringing out 200’ ropes and pulling half that across the tree from the permanent anchors.
The clinic was held on Saturday, August 10th, 2019 at Whipp’s Ledges. Jill Gallagher, PCGI & AMGA certified, conducted the clinic. We had two enthusiastic students and two new members to the Access Fund and the OCC. Both students had completed a basic Anchor Clinic with Cleveland Metroparks (CMP) and wanted to expand on that knowledge by taking this Anchor Clinic II. Jill first covered anchor building from trees and then moved on to how to set up on the permanent anchors, with each student performing hands on anchor building under Jill’s watchful and patient supervision. Then mock permanent anchors were set up away from the cliff edge so each student could practice cleaning the anchors. As is the standard anywhere we climb, we ask that you do not top rope off permanent anchors but use your own gear. Then, the last climber to climb the route, cleans the personal gear from the permanent anchors.
The students set up two top ropes and we had some fun climbing. Then the remaining student cleaned both routes. It was a great day, with the Ohio weather being much better than you would expect in August. This was my first opportunity to watch Jill instruct, an after doing so, I would recommend her Clinics to anyone. The local climbing gyms also offer instruction as well as CMP. Please take advantage of these clinics if you need instruction for outside climbing. Climb Safe!