The School For Mountain Leadership

The School For Mountain Leadership

2. Assault Climber

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Our guiding section:
The Mountain Guide
Activity   Military

Because of the provisions of the South African Foreign Military Assistance Act, these courses are only available to the South african National Defence Force or other organs of the South African state unless specific permission is obtained to present these courses to the the defence forces of other states.

1. Outline
The SANDF currently has no single, integrated set of courses for Mountain Warfare aimed at the soldier on the ground. While the Special Forces do receive some training, other units who also operate in mountainous environments are excluded from this training and thus have no awareness of what mountains entail or capability to function, travel and fight in the mountains.

This is the second in a series of 3 courses aimed at developing skill in the mountains with a view to enhancing survivability and combat-effectiveness in mountainous areas. The courses are:

  • Mountain Orientation
  • Assault Climber
  • Military Mountain Leader

    With proper training and appropriate equipment it is possible for soldiers not only to survive but also to retain combat efficiency in conditions that are well outside the normal range of comfort. Knowing what techniques to apply and what equipment to use under specific circumstances is a fundamental part of this and is the foundation upon which experience is built. If the SANDF ends up operating in mountainous environments without proper training the casualty count will be a great deal higher than necessary both because of environmental injuries as well as the inability of soldiers to function properly and the associated loss of combat efficiency.

    2. Course topics

  • Climbing training structures and qualifications in SA\
  • Basic physics for abseiling and climbing
  • Equipment construction, use, limitations and care
  • Knots
  • Theory of the rock climbing process
  • Placing protection
  • Using in-situ protection (bolts & pitons)
  • Constructing stances and anchor systems
  • Locking off non-locking abseil devices
  • Abseiling with a self-belay
  • Group abseils: Fixed vs releasable abseil
  • Group abseils: Solving the ‘stuck-abseiler’ problem
  • Ascending with prussiks
  • Ascending past a knot
  • Changing from ascent to abseil
  • Abseiling past a knot
  • Abseil rescue – the pick-off
  • Climbing communications: calls and rope-pulls
  • Learning to lead:
    1. Reading route-guides
    2. Gear placement considerations
    3. Deciding when to make a stance
    4. Techniques for making stances
  • Leading single-pitch routes
  • Supervising and improvised rescue:
    1. Escaping and re-entering the system
    2. Z-hauls and other pulley systems
    3. Solving the ‘refusal’ problem when belaying from above
    4. Solving the ‘refusal’ problem when belaying from below
    5. Solving the ‘second unable to follow the leader’ problem
    6. Solving the ‘second climbs past protection’ problem
  • Multi-pitch climbing
    1. The use of double-rope techniques
    2. Rope management at stances
    3. Swinging the lead
  • Multi-pitch climbing practical
  • Traverses and chimneys practical
  • Abseiling for climbing
  • Rescue structures in SA
  • Accident assessment and calling for rescue
  • Multi-pitch climb with improvised rescue scenarios
  • Installing rope bridges
  • Installing fixed lines with intermediate belays
  • Installing hauling systems
  • Basic casualty evacuation on over cliffs - raising and lowering

    3. Duration:
    This course lasts 3 weeks of long days and occasional nights.

    4. Numbers
    This course would be run for a maximum of 12 students at a time.

    5. Equipment
    Equipment can be rented if necessary on a per-group basis.

    6. Location
    The bulk of this training (up to Multi-pitch climb with improvised rescue scenario) is best conducted in the Magaliesberg. This location has areas highly suited to the conduct of climbing training. The rock is solid and the routes are well known, making instruction easier. In addition this area has a variety of routes with different characteristics which facilitate instruction of various techniques.

    The remainder of the instruction can take place at a location where there is a Narrow kloof or gully approx 10-30m deep and 5-30m wide with good anchors either side as well as a small climbable cliff (10-30m) with suitable anchors at the top and a return route from bottom to top.

    7. Costs per course
    Using clients equipment:

    Option 1: Magaliesberg
    No accommodation
    Self catering
    R 65,000 per group of 12

    Option 2: Magaliesberg
    Self catering (learners to provide own bedding)
    R 86,000 per group of 12

    Option 3: Magaliesberg
    Full board (learners to provide own bedding)
    R 103,000 per group of 12

    Rental of all equipment required for climbing R 12,000 per course.

  • Type   Full time Course
    Cost  P.O.A

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