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Advanced Mountaineering Course (AMP) is a 36 hour instructional rock climbing and mountaineering technique course sponsored by the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. It is taught by AMGA SPI certified instructors Dan Richter & Pat McKusky along with an ever growing roster of trained volunteers.  The course consists of four classes and is held twice a year in Spring and Fall.

The course begins with a three-hour orientation  where we present the basic safety systems involved in rock climbing and review the knots that students are required to know.

This is followed by eight-hour workshops the following two Saturdays held at Stoney Point in Chatsworth. The first is centered around belay techniques and starts with the standard device belay followed by more basic techniques suitable for a mountaineering setting and finishes with techniques for moving a large amount of participants up and down a rope quickly.  The second Saturday class is focused on rappelling techniques and safety considerations.

The last class is a full weekend at Indian Cove in Joshua Tree National Park.  One day focuses on anchor building and includes the opportunity to construct and use an anchor typical of a Sierra 3rd or 4th class climb.  Sunday the staff sets up a multistage course including a 3rd and 4th class climb with a top belay, traversing a fixed line, and finally rappelling back to the ground.  In addition there will be opportunities to review other skills and practice advanced techniques such as ascending the rope.

During each of the three outdoor classes there will be top ropes set up giving students the opportunity to climb with guidance provided by the staff.  In addition wherever possible students will be broken up into smaller groups allowing for personalized instruction.

The skills taught are all based on AMGA standards and are the perfect preparation for the Angeles Chapter rock checkoffs required to achieve the M or E ratings.  The goal is to produce safer climbers by exposing students to a broad spectrum of modern climbing techniques and skills. The enthusiastic responses from students indicate that the course is accomplishing this and so much more. Many students from previous courses continue on to lead for Sierra Club or successfully complete the Southern California Mountaineers Association (SCMA) Basic Rock Climbing Safety Skills Course and move on to multi-pitch climbing.



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Program Directors Dan Richter & Patrick McKusky along with Admin Director Mimi Phan and Director of When To Use The Color Green Matthew Hengst