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Intro to Big Wall Climbing

  • Mazama Mountaineering Center 527 Southeast 43rd Avenue Portland, OR, 97215 United States (map)


There's nothing more exciting, or daunting, in rock climbing than standing below a huge steep bigwall. Forging your way up this massive cliff will require every technique you've gained at the crags, but the scope of the climb will pile on layers of difficulties never encountered on shorter routes. The reward, though, is commensurately greater! In Intro to Big Walls, veteran all-around climber Scott Bennett will get you thinking about why and how you might want to venture into this vertical ocean, and what skills you'll need to navigate it.

Scott learned the craft, like most, on the walls of El Cap and Half Dome, and has since blended that style with high-end Alpinism in  places like Patagonia, Greenland, and Pakistan. To prepare you for these remote ranges, we'll get hands-on practice in a controlled environment, covering big wall gear and vocabulary, aid placements and progression, ascending a rope, cleaning roofs and traverses, hauling, and more. 

Prerequisite: Intermediate/Advanced Climbing Skills

Required Gear: Harness, helmet, rock shoes, belay device, locking carabiner.

Optional Gear: Bring any aid gear you're psyched to use/ask questions about: ascenders, hauling pulley, daisy chain, etriers, etc. 

Instructor: Scott Bennett

Max. Participants: 8

Tuition: $65 (6-hour clinic)

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About the Instructor

Beginning in Yosemite, Scott’s first passion was pure rock. El Capitan became a crag, the perfect venue for moving quickly and overcoming fear of exposure. From there, he began to hear tales of a wild southern land, with just as much granite, albeit with something called “Snow mushrooms.” It was in Argentine Patagonia that Scott really became an alpinist, first setting foot on a glacier and first going ground-up on virgin rock. Over the course of three seasons, he refined the raw strength and stoke of rock climbing into the cautious determination of a mountain climber.

With first ascents, from Alaska to the Waddington range, the Cascades to Patagonia, Scott has established himself as one of the most active alpinists of his generation. Combining the raw strength and stoke with thoughtful planning, Scott excels at moving quickly and safely on massive objectives.