Vertical Skills Stage 4

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Vertical Skills - Stage 4 Competencies & Requirements

  1. I have tied a climbing rope into my climbing harness.
    • Scouts can tie a climbing rope into their harnesses using any appropriate knot.
    • The harness tie-in must be accomplished at a masterly level with the knot tied correctly into the proper location on the harness and the harness adjusted properly.
  2. I know the main safety rules for climbing or rappelling at an outdoor natural climbing site.
    • Scouts can demonstrate where and when to wear a helmet.
    • Scouts can demonstrate when to be tied in with a rope, anchored and belayed.
    • Scouts can demonstrate when it is safe to begin to climb and rappel. Scouts can demonstrate where to be situated to safely observe climbers.
  3. I know how (just before starting a climb) to perform an equipment safety check of myself, my climbing partner, and anchor and belay systems.
    • Scouts can perform a head-to-toe check of clothing and attire (no loose clothing, sharp objects in pockets, untied shoes, jewelry and helmet/harness is properly secured).
    • Scouts can perform a squeeze and visual check of all knots and carabiners before use.
    • Scouts can check that there are redundant, equalized and properly loaded anchor systems.
    • Scouts can establish there is a proper connection/anchoring and loading of belay devices.
  4. I know the communication calls and script to follow between a climbing and belayer.
    • Scouts can explain when and why the climbing communication script is required, including what specific words to say for the belayer and climber before starting climbing and when the climb is over; what to say if a rock falls; and how, why and what to ask for to change the rope tension during a climb.
  5. I have coiled a climbing rope (any method).
    • Scouts can coil at a beginner level.
    • The coil should be sufficient to be carried in a backpack and can be uncoiled in a short time freely without entanglements or knots.
  6. I know what makes a safe and unsafe climbing site.
    • Scouts can recognize and describe the hazards posed by loose rock, soil and vegetation.
    • Scouts can describe the hazards of flora and fauna: poisonous/thorny plants, tree sap, bees and ants, poisonous snakes, dead/rotted trees, hanging dead trees/branches, animals defending territory or that may kick down rocks.
    • Scouts can recognize and describe man-made hazards: power lines, telephone/communication cables, pipes and iron works, litter (such as glass and tin cans), standing water/fluid spills, other climbers above. Scouts can recognize and describe environmental hazards: lighting, rain/snow, waterfalls/flash floods and avalanches.
  7. I can belay using an auto-locking belay device. (Note: This is not a tube or auto-blocking type device.)
    • The Scout belayer can provide a continuous belay to a climber from the start to the finish (when the climber unties from the rope).
    • The knowledge and skill of attaching and detaching the belay device to the rope is not required.
  8. I can name and identify the use of three types of locking carabiners and three types of non-locking carabiners.
    • Scouts can describe the use of and the advantages and limitations of the types of carabiners. (i.e.—screw gate steel carabiners are good for setting up tope rope anchors, but they are too heavy to take along on multi-pitch climbing.)
    • Locking could include: auto locking, screw gate pear (HMS), screw gate D, etc.
    • Non-locking could include: aluminum oval, bent gate, wire gate, aluminum D, etc.