See the rest of the Outdoor Adventure Skills.
The Outdoor Adventure Skills program is an invitation for Scouts to try something new—to be outside more, testing themselves with progressive challenges while always staying within their capabilities to stay safe. In short, it’s about having life-changing experiences.
Each Outdoor Adventure Skills pathway is divided into nine stages with a badge awarded for each stage.
Check out Vertical Skills by Topic for a breakdown by common topics of each stage with increasing knowledge, accomplishment, and responsibilities as stages increase. It may help in planning sessions/activities and organizing resources.
Vertical Skills - Stage 1 Competencies & Requirements
- I know the safety rules for climbing on rocks, trees, fences and man-made structures.
- I have been to a jungle gym playground and know how to play safely and cooperatively with others.
Vertical Skills - Stage 2 Competencies & Requirements
- I have been climbing on an artificial wall or natural rock formation.
- I know the safety rules for being at the top of or the bottom of a cliff face.
- I can properly put on a climbing helmet.
- I can identify and name the parts of a carabiner.
Vertical Skills - Stage 3 Competencies & Requirements
- I have correctly tied a figure-8 follow-through knot.
- I know when and where I should have a climbing helmet on.
- I know the safety rules for climbing/rappelling on an artificial climbing wall.
- I know how to care for, handle and store a climbing rope, harness, helmet and climbing webbing.
- I know the basic outdoor Leave No Trace rules for an outdoor climbing site.
- I have completed a climb to the top of an artificial climbing wall.
- I can put on and adjust a climbing harness.
- I know the safety rules for participating on an aerial/ ropes challenge course.
- I know the difference between: a. single-pitch, b. multi-pitch, c. top-rope, d. lead climbing e. seconding climbing methods.
Vertical Skills - Stage 4 Competencies & Requirements
- I have tied a climbing rope into my climbing harness.
- I know the main safety rules for climbing or rappelling at an outdoor natural climbing site.
- I know how (just before starting a climb) to perform an equipment safety check of myself, my climbing partner, and anchor and belay systems.
- I know the communication calls and script to follow between a climbing and belayer.
- I have coiled a climbing rope (any method).
- I know what makes a safe and unsafe climbing site.
- I can belay using an auto-locking belay device. (Note: This is not a tube or auto-blocking type device.)
- I can name and identify the use of three types of locking carabiners and three types of non-locking carabiners.
Vertical Skills - Stage 5 Competencies & Requirements
- I can tie these knots: water (tape), double fishermen’s, prussic, clove hitch and bowline.
- I can coil a climbing rope using a butterfly and a mountaineer method.
- I can perform a safety inspection of a climbing helmet, harness, rope and carabiners.
- I can belay using a friction, (non-moving part) belay device such as a tube or auto-blocking device.
- I have attached a friction (non-moving part) rappel device to a rope and harness and used the device to rappel.
- I can lower a climber on a top rope down to the ground.
- I have constructed and climbed in a “Swiss seat” improvised climbing harness made with tubular or tape webbing.
- I know the safety rules for bouldering.
- I can set and use passive and natural climbing protection to build both top and bottom climbing pitch anchor point systems.
- I know the climbing-specific principles of Leave No Trace.
- I have set up a 3:1 (or greater) rope pulley system.
- I understand the concepts, principles, physics and consequences of shock loading in climbing.
Vertical Skills - Stage 6 Competencies & Requirements
- I have tied and used a Munter hitch (also called an Italian hitch) as a belay method.
- I have constructed and used an improvised “Parisian Baudrier” chest harness.
- I can maintain the correct foot, body and hand positioning for rappelling.
- I know the Yosemite Decimal climbing grading system and how to use it.
- I have belayed a rappeller from above a rappel site.
- I have set up a climbing anchor systems using active protection.
- I know how to assess and use in-place climbing bolt anchors, bolt hangers and fixed permanent rappel and belay stations.
- I have completed a mock lead climb as the climber on an artificial climbing wall.
- I have set up and used a tube, auto locking and auto blocking belay device.
- I know the different types of climbing webbing/ slings and the uses of these.
- I understand the concept, principle, physics and consequences of fall factor in climbing.
- I know how to identify what is an approved rope for climbing and what sizes of rope are available.
Vertical Skills - Stage 7 Competencies & Requirements
- I have completed a climbing route over a 30 degree incline, either on an ice climb, glacier or frozen snow field.
- I have constructed and used a highline (also called Tyrolean Traverse or Aerial Runway).
- I have been caving or on a via ferrata.
- I have completed a single pitch mock lead climb on a natural (not constructed) climbing site.
- I have used utility cord and a friction knot/system as protection on a rappel.
- I know the difference between a dynamic and static climbing rope, and where and when these ropes types are used.
Vertical Skills - Stage 8 Competencies & Requirements
- I have climbed at a natural (not constructed) top rope climbing site where I set up all the anchor and belay systems for the routes I have climbed or rappelled on.
- I have seconded on a multi-pitch rock climb of grade 5.7 or higher.
- I have seconded on an ice climb of WI3 or higher.
- I have assisted with setting up a top rope climbing site and assisted with managing beginner climbers learning to climb at that site.
- I have assisted with setting up a rappel site with a belay from above, and assisted with managing beginners learning to rappel at that site.
- I have taught younger Scouts to tie these seven knots: follow-through figure-eight, double fisherman’s, water knot, bowline, Munter hitch, prussik and clove hitch.
Vertical Skills - Stage 9 Competencies & Requirements
- I have set up a top rope climbing site and managed/ instructed beginner climbers leaning to climb at that site.
- I have set up a rappel site with a belay from above the rappeller and managed/instructed beginners leaning to rappel at that site.
- I have completed a lead climb on one of the following multi pitch climbs:
- Rock climb grade 5.7 or above
- Ice climb grade WI3 or above
- Mountain alpine climb grade III or above
- Caving that requires climbing ropes and harness
- I have set up and used a Munter mule combination hitch to facilitate the rescue of beginners learning to rappel.