*Rescheduled* Climbing Instructor Level 2 and Level 1 Training Assessment – Saturday, 4/28/18 – Sunday, 4/29/18 at Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area’s Buzzard Rock


Climbing Instructor Level 2 and Level 1 Training Assessment

*Rescheduled* Saturday, 4/28/18 – Sunday, 4/29/18 at
Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area’s Buzzard Rock

NCAC Climbing Committee’s opens the Spring 2018 Climbing Instructor Training schedule Saturday, 4/28 – Sunday, 4/29 at Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area’s Buzzard Rock! Training begins 9am Saturday, 4/28 at Buzzards Rock climbing area and concludes at trail parking lot on Sunday, 4/29.

  • Dates: Saturday, 4/28/2018 – Sunday, 4/29/2018
  • Fees: $40.
  • Accommodations and Food: Participants should prepare for a one-mile hike to the campsite. Meals will not be provided.
  • Location: Elizabeth Furnace, Buzzards Rock Climbing Area. Campsite is located one-mile from parking and climbing area is two miles ot the saddle and peaks viewable from the road. 6 miles total hiking.
  • Course Duration: 24 hours of online, in-class and hands-on instruction.
  • Registration: Interested participants contact the Course Director directly to register for the event via email at ncac.climbing@gmail.com, or JamesMillerEsquire@gmail.com. Note all participants must deliver current health forms, complete climbing health intakes and waivers forms prior to commencing training and evidence of completion of examination online at:
  • Age Requirements: Climbing Instructors Minimum Age 21 (age 18 level 1 instructors); Climbing Instructor-in-Training (IIT) Minimum age 16 (or with Director approval).
  • Required Gear List
    • Personal climbing gear–shoes, harness, helmet, ATC belay device, grigri.
    • Cordelette, prusik loops or mechanical ascenders (short, medium and long length prusiks)
    • Personal food, water for duration of training
    • Anchoring materials (recommended)
      • 60′-100′ of static rope or webbing
      • 4- 6 locking carabiners* Participants without anchoring or other gear should contact the course instructor.

Course Objectives:

On the successful completion of the course, participants will receive a

  • NCAC certificate of training as a level 2 climbing instructor valid for three years from issuance with;
    • Endorsement for NCAC Top-Rope kit rental; and
    • Endorsement at Elizabeth Furnace Buzzards Rock natural rock site.
  • Level 1 participants will receive certificate of training as a level 1 climbing instructor

Successful completion of NCAC Level 2 Climbing Instructor training provides BSA registered leaders a certificate of training required for certain BSA related climbing activities. Level 2 climbing instructor training participants typically have several years of climbing experience indoors and outdoors, understand basic climbing equipment, and are preparing to independently lead climbing events without assistance or direction. The course will include instruction and assessment of the fundamentals of setting up top-rope climbs and leading BSA groups including constructing safe anchors, safely approaching and working the edge of climbs, and identifying risks and strategies in identifying routes and staging areas for small and large groups of participants. For more on training, planning Unit events, gear and other concerns read:


Level 2 candidates are encouraged to invite interested colleagues with little or no climbing background to attend for Level 1 training on belaying, knotcraft and other basic instructor skills. Other climbing endorsements are available with supplemental training on the Goshen Scout Reservation Climbing Tower, NCAC Mobile Climbing Wall and at other Natural Rock Sites.

NCAC Climbing Committee events and policies for course instruction, assessments, and certifications of training that hope to reduce burden and maximize value for participants may be found at: https://www.ncacbsa.org/council-committees/outdoor-adventuring/climbing-and-cope/

Unit leaders interested in supplemental skills training in advance of the course may RSVP James Miller to attend sessions at Troop 1076 Moose Lodge Meeting Hall (7701 Beulah Street, Alexandria, VA 22315) Mondays from 7-8pm or “Monthly BSA Climbing Meetups” at SportRock Alexandria and other climbing gym locations.

A summary syllabus is available below and further information is available on the NCAC Climbing Instructor I Online Course Portal at: https://climbncac.gnomio.com/course/view.php?id=2

General Logistics:

Participants should plan to arrive at 8am at the trailhead parking (participants are encouraged to carpool) and hike to the campsite 1 mile from parking lot where you may drop camp gear and pull a bear bag, and hike to the climbing area. Trails are well maintained and generally not especially steep. Camping Friday 4/6 is welcome in the area. George Washington National Forest permits both open fires and dispersed camping. Pumpable water is near campsite–depending on rainfall. Be prepared for packing all personal camp gear or pooling tents and gear with other participants. There are no facilities at the site or parking area. We will practice LNT throughout the event.

Participants should bring a climbing helmet, harness with a belay loop, shoes, a cordellette, prusik (short and longs), and a set of lockers. Three 10.5 dynamics and several hundred meters of static will be available but toprope setup gear will also be available for rental. Participants are welcome to bring any ropes, pro, or other personal climbing gear to discuss, review or use in training. Setup will focus on natural rigging techniques with some discussion of artificial protection for experienced trad leaders.

Ensure you have presented via email or bring a signed approval form and a copy of your health forms and waivers, and complete the online exams prior to the event.

Please contact James Miller at 571-331-0674 with any urgent issues.

Topos, Direction and Hiking Details:




Take I-66 West to Route 55 West towards Front Royal. Stay on 55 West until the town of Waterlick. Turn left onto Powells Fort Road (Route 678). Drive about 1.2 miles on 678 then turn left onto Mountain Road (Route 619). You will pass a fish hatchery. Stay on the road for 1.2 miles. You will come to a Buzzard Rock trailhead parking lot on the right. After parking follow the hiker sign and begin the two mile hike to Buzzard Rock. Follow the white trail blaze. When you reach the top of the ridge, the climbing trail descends to the right.

GPS coordinates for the trailhead parking lot are 38.93773, -78.28855. The parking lot can be crowded on weekends and a vehicle with low clearance may have a hard time getting up the small hill to the “upper” section of the lot. The lot only holds 10-15 vehicles!

The itinerary for the two days will include:

Saturday, 4/28

  • 08:00-09:00
    • Depart trailhead parking discussion of LNT / Trash collection on trail
  • 09:00 – 13:00
    • Morning session setting and managing top and bottom managed toprope
  • 13:00 – 14:00
    • Lunch and Review on trail (Natural Fires discouraged)
  • 14:00 – 17:30pm
    • Afternoon session applied anchors and climbing
  • 18:00 – 20:00
    • Chow and Review
  • 20:30
    • Campfire, cracker barrel and review

Sunday, 4/29

  • 08:30
    • Breakfast and Review
  • 09:00 – 13:00
    • Morning session at Buzzards Rock applied anchor setting and management
  • 13:00 – 14:00
    • Lunch and Review
  • 15:00 – 16:30
    • Afternoon session roadside crag
  • 17:00
    • Review and disperse