Category Archives: Uncategorized

2010 Outdoor Season News

The 2010 Outdoor SchoolSeason is in full swing! Our fantastic teams ofoutdoor instructors are bringing back some incredible stories and memories fromtheir weekend trips to local crags. The Earth Treks Summer Camps kicked offlast week as well. The kids are having a blast both in the gym and outside at the crags.

Gary reports that despite the occasional tornado warning,he’s having a great time taking folks out to Carderock and Seneca. The first Gymto Crag overnight trip was a huge success and the next trip to Coopers Rock inmid-July should be a hit.

Dan is back from guiding Earth Treks Expeditions’ participants to the highest peak in Africa and one ofthe 7 summits – Mount Kilimanjaro. The Wharton team (University of Pennsylvania’s MBA School)achieved a 100% summit getting all 30 expedition members to 19,341 feet!

We are all looking forward to a summer of great adventures at the local rock sites training folks from the Earth Treks community how to be safe and have fun at Carderock, Great Falls & Rocks State Park. Stay tuned for more photos and updates from the team as the summer progresses!

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Member Clinics July 2010

FREE Members Only Clinics! Check out the upcoming schedule for July 2010!


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 7pm-9pm


Slacklining is a balance sport that uses webbing stretched tight between two anchor points. Great summer activity to do on off days or on a climbing trip. Slacklining improves balance while increasing leg and core strength
Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 7pm-9pm

Olympic Rings

Strength training using Olympic rings through multiple body positions, push, pull, and core. It’s an excellent way to build stabilizer muscles and balance because of the rings’ natural multidirectional movement. Workouts ranging from beginner to advanced. With guest instructor Sven Eric Radhe, a member of the University of Maryland Gymkana program.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 6:30pm-7:30pm

Yoga for Climbers*

Whether you boulder, top rope, sport lead or spend your days on long multi-pitch routes, yoga has a benefit for you. Yoga deeply stretches the muscles, strengthens without adding bulk and enhances balance, stamina, and focus. BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 7pm-9pm

Movie Night

FREE Movie and FREE Popcorn! BYOB & a Crazy Creek Chair. This month’s movie: “Pilgrimage” featuring Chris Sharma, Nate Gold and Katie Brown
Check out the trailer on YouTube here.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 6:30pm-7:30pm

Yoga for Climbers*

Whether you boulder, top rope, sport lead or spend your days on long multi-pitch routes, yoga has a benefit for you. Yoga deeply stretches the muscles, strengthens without adding bulk and enhances balance, stamina, and focus.                           BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat.


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Cleaning Sport Routes

How does the rope get up there? How does it come back down without leaving all that gear? Learn techniques to get that gear back safe and sound Wednesday, July 7 8pm-9pm
Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Shoulder Strengthening

Dynos, side-pulls, and gastons oh-my! Do you fear the tear of a rotator cuff or experience pain in your shoulders after a long session of climbing? On Wednesday, July 14 from 8pm-9pm a shoulder strengthening clinic will be held for Earth Treks members and guests scared of the tear.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Building Climbing Endurance

Crisp air, changing leaves, and biting sandstone, the fall climbing season is only a few months away. Building climbing endurance is essential for sending that pesky route with the crux 60 feet up. On Wednesday, July 21 from 8pm-9pm we’ll talk about techniques for building climbing endurance.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Building Climbing Power

How do those guys climb upside down like that? Did you see Sharma use that foot-hold for a hand? Wednesday, July 28 from 8pm-9pm lets get physical!


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Monday, July 5, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Route Climbing: Rest Positions + Pacing

Milking a key rest often makes the difference between the send and another hang on the rope.  In this clinic we’ll talk about how to find places to shake out and recover in different types of terrain around the gym, as well as how to best pace the moves between rests.
Monday, July 19, 2010, 8pm-9pm

Training: Core Strength for Climbers

It’s true that the arm bone is connected to the shoulder bone, but how is the shoulder bone connected to the hip bone?  Through the core!  We’ll discuss how core strength requirements for rock climbers differ from those of other athletes, and learn exercises that will improve your ability to move through steep rock.  


Clinics are FREE to annual members. Clinics marked with an asterisk ( * ) have a limited number of spaces available and pre-registration is recommended (required for some clinics). Call the gym to pre-register.

Rappelling Basics and Its Different Types

Rappelling Basics and Its Different Types

The concept of rappelling is extremely simple, but it is, actually, a very complicated practice, especially for the beginners. As a climber, rappelling is the most important thing you need to learn. A majority of climbing accidents could occur during rappelling, hence it is important for you to get it right.

When done perfectly, rappelling can be the quickest and safest way of getting to the ground from the top. The standard method of rappelling — with a harness and a friction device, to move downward with the rope — can only take you so far. You need to be careful in certain situations, as different situations would require you to adopt different types of rappelling techniques. Here are a few rappelling basics that could save your life one day.


Beginners need to first practice on a short rock face, which need not be more than 10 feet high. In case you make a mistake, there has to be enough space for safe landing. Which means, you need to prepare yourself well before you even start, because, even a 10-foot fall can be grave. If you want to try it out, you can go for boulder training in any of climbing gyms managed by Earth Treks. Learn More about bouldering programs organized by Earth Treks.

Anchor Points

Tie the rope you are using to the anchor point. It is important for you to ensure that the anchor point does not obstruct the rope. Also, the anchor point should be devoid of any sharp edges or else it could cut through the rope while rappelling. Sharp edges could also cause you to compromise on the strength by rubbing it. The anchor point needs to solid and securely grounded for maximum safety. See that you are able to retrieve the rope once you get down.


It is always important to use hand gloves when rappelling to avoid rope burns. Proceed with a slow downslope, with small steps, to maintain a strong grip so as to avoid losing your footing while sliding down the rope. You can seriously damage your hands on the thick ropes used for rappelling.


In outdoor rock climbing, some people seem to glide down the face of a rock quickly, while others take much longer. Control your speed by adjusting the grip on your brake hand – the one that grips the rope below the settling device. The one holding the rope above the guidance device is designed to maintain your balance. Click here to know about outdoor courses offered by Earth Treks Climbing Centers.


Once you start moving downward, you should be able to identify the rate of how fast you can feed the rope to figure out if you can quickly move down the rope. As mentioned earlier, avoid going too fast or you might lose control.

Types of Rappelling

When the climber brings down himself off the ledge descending towards the ground, keeping his face up, and back towards the ground, it is known as a standard rappel.

A rappel happening over a beetling terrain, most commonly done by cavers, is known as a free rappel. In a free rappel, the person slides down the rope into an empty space as the rope keeps hanging free from the cliff.

When a climber faces downward instead of having their back facing the ground, it’s known as an Australian rappel. This type of rappelling can be very scary and dangerous.


Best Rock Climbing Exercises

Best Rock Climbing Exercises

Rock climbing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You need to possess both physical and mental strength, determination, endurance, and stamina to make an epic climb. You don’t really need to be ”well-built” if you’re a beginner, you just need to enjoy the sport. But, you’ll be able to climb better and enjoy the experience more if you work out every day. Your fingers and toes do play a very important role while climbing. However, it’s the larger muscles of your arms, legs, and torso that ease the upward movement. Therefore, it’s important that you work on your upper-body strength, power, and endurance to be successful in your future ascents.

Pull Ups

Pull-ups are indeed a good practice and clearly, it is the most common exercise performed by climbers. This exercise is helpful, particularly for people who lack pull body strength. That being said, some climbers emphasize too much on pull training, even though they could have performed better with regular rock climbing or by practicing wall climbing. Therefore, make it a point to consider climbing on a wall as a priority, then concentrate on your workout sessions with a few sets of pull-ups.

Hanging Leg Lift

You may practice this form of exercise on jugs of a hang board or a pull-up bar. While doing so, keep your arms straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep your legs straight down. Once you obtain a comfortable grip, lift your legs so your hips are at 90 degrees. Do not bend your knees. When you lower your legs down, try to maintain a balance as you might have the tendency to swing. Repeat this exercise thrice in sets of 15, resting for about a minute in between.

Sit Ups

Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees 90 degrees. Raise your body as if in a sitting position. Take a pause, and then slowly return to the starting position. You don’t have to sit up all the way, just until your shoulder blades are off the floor. This exercise involves a range of motion. It does not only work on your abdomen but works on your hips too. Therefore, sit-ups are great!


Bringing in a little variation in the pull-up exercises will help boost strength in your arms and shoulders. It works on different muscle groups in the shoulder girdle and is a key exercise for your climbing workout. Shoulder exercises can improve smoothness by working on the right muscles which aid in movement, climbing, and fitness of a trainer.

Knee Lifts

Stand with your feet together. Keep your abdominals engaged. Bring your knees to your chest. Keep the supporting leg straight while you lift the opposite knee. Keep the motion controlled as you lift your knees and return them back to the original position. This task works on the commonly overlooked areas of the abdomen to give you that solid mind-body connection.

These exercises should be performed for a robust rock climbing training program. Your arms, forearms, and shoulders are very important muscles to target. By doing these exercises, the most crucial muscles can be worked upon which can improve your climbing ability.


2010 SCS Divisionals

Congratulations to the Earth Treks Climbing Team for their fantastic performance at USA Climbing’s 2010 SCS Division 5 Championship!

Divisionals took place on June 12-13, 2010 at the Philadelphia Rock Gym-Valley. The climbing spanned over two days with some fierce competition from the Capital/New England Noth/New England South region’s best climbers. Proudly representing Earth Treks, our team turned out a great performance. We had 13 team members make it to finals and 11 qualify for Nationals in Atlanta!! For the full recap from Coach Mike, check out the Official Team Page.