Climbing & Mountaineering
You like to climb? It doesn't matter if you like six foot boulders,
fifteen hundred foot cliffs, steep snowy hills, frozen waterfalls, or wooded
western Pennsylvania crags, we've got you covered! The Pitt Outdoors
Club has a wide variety of climbing programs available to our members.
The vast majority of our climbing trips are free of charge, and we can
provide all the technical equipment necessary to scale all but the biggest
peaks and cliffs. If you've never touched rock, never pulled on plastic,
and couldn't tell the difference between a belay device and a bomber jam,
never fear. We'll teach you all the skills you need to know.
If you are a sick 5.12 leader and can crimp and jam your way up the thinnest,
scariest pitches, we can hook you up with people who will push you farther
than you ever though4 possible. Our programs include:
Face it, we live in Pittsburgh. We have good
climbing weather for most of the year (this season has lasted 7 months
already), but sometimes it's just too crappy to go outside and play.
When you're looking for a fun workout or an alternative to frozen digits
on a zero degree day, we run trips to the local climbing gyms,
The Climbing Wall and Climb
North. The Climbing Wall is located on Penn Avenue in Point
Breeze and accessible by bus from Oakland. Our members get a discount,
so pay your dues and climb for cheap!
Spring 2005 brought a new addition to the University. The Pitt Climbing Wall opened its doors to the faculty, students, and staff of the university. For really cheap ($1 if you have all your own gear), you can head up to Trees Hall and climb. If you have never climbed before, for $5 The Pitt Climbing Wall employees will teach you the proper knots required to top-rope, and how to belay. They will also provide all the needed gear, including shoes. We advise giving around an hour for this class. For more information about prices, and hours, please check the Pitt Climbing Wall website.
The majority of our climbing trips are focused around
top-roping. Top-roping means that the climbing rope runs from the
climber, up to an anchor at the top of the cliff, and back down to a belayer
on the ground. Having a rope above you means that if you let go of
the rock, you simply hang on the rope instead of falling. It is a
great way for beginners to learn to climb or for experts to hone skills
on the hardest routes possible. There are a variety of top-roping
crags within an hour or so of Pittsburgh, and in the course of a semester
we run trips to at least four or five local crags.
Multi-Pitch & Leading
So what happens when you can't get to the top to
build an anchor? You climb, fool! Lead climbing involves trailing
a rope behind you as you ascend a face and clipping that rope through pieces
of protection (nuts, hexes, cams, bolts, etc.) as you go. If you
fall, you fall, but if your protection is good, the belay system will keep
you off the ground. Multi-Pitch simply refers to climbs that are
too long to do in one rope length. Climbing in a small team, you
stop at the end of the rope, build an anchor, and move in up to 200 foot
segments (pitches) up a face. This is the type of climbing the POC
Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, and anywhere else where the rocks are big
and the cracks
are splitter. Multi-pitch leading is a skill that will take you anywhere
you want to go in climbing, as you are only constrained by your ability.
In the past, club members have led climbs in the Adirondacks, the Gunks, the New
River Gorge, the Red River Gorge, Red Rocks near Las Vegas, the Tetons, and even
Mountaineering & Ice
So you think you are hardcore? Hardcore enough
to tackle 40 degrees below zero in the dead of an Adirondak winter, to
deal with fifteen hundred feet of exposure on high peaks i. the Rockies,
to love the pain of frozen fingertips on a winter Seneca training trip,
and place all of your trust in twenty four little metal points strapped
to your feet and planted in frozen water? Then you might have what
it takes to climb in the mountains. The POC mountaineering program
is still young, but it only held back by the dreams and abilities of our
members. No matter how lofty your goals, chances are we can help
you get there.
Last but not least, we offer periodic training
programs in various disciplines of climbing, including how to build top-rope
anchors, multi-pitch skills demos, self-rescue workshops, and lead classes.
These programs allow a beginner climber to learn all the skills necessary
to be a potent force on the rock over the course of a few semesters with