Self Rescue Seminar

Earth Treks Self Rescue Seminar

Climbing is dangerous. Accidents happen. We hear about them all of the time, yet too few of us have the skills to save our partners. Pretty scary.

This series of seminars will help prepare you to handle such emergencies. It is taught from a climber’s perspective – offering practical solutions to real situations, involving the kind of gear you probably already carry. While we hope that you will never have to use these skills, we are certain that the knowledge gained will make you a safer climber (and better climbing partner). Happily, many of these skills are transferable to aid climbing and mountaineering.

Session 1 - Introduction, Knots, Anchor Basics, Essential Rope Skills

The first session will focus on the "foundation" skills of vertical self rescue. We will start with a framework for assessing a rescue scenario, then move on to learning knots and friction hitches used throughout the seminar. Anchor and top belay basics are covered as well as steps for escaping the belay. 


Session 2- Belay Escapes and Ascending

Learn how to escape the belay and ascend/descend a fixed line to assist an injured/stuck climber. Real-life scenarios allow practical application of these skills.

Session 3 - Haul Systems and Scenarios

An in depth exploration of hauling systems  including 2:1, 3:1, 5:1, and 6:1's.  We'll go from a belay escape to a hauling system and back again. Real-life scenarios allow practical application of these skills.

Session 4 - Rappel Rescues and Scenarios

Learn how to swoop down on an injured climber, attach them to our system and lower them to the ground. We'll also learn how to execute counterweight and two person rappel rescues. Real-life scenarios allow practical application of all skills from the earlier classes.

Session 5 - Add-on Multi-pitch Leader Rescue - Optional

Perhaps the most serious rescue is that of an injured leader who is more than half a rope length from the belay. This is a complicated task involving many of the skills taught in the earlier seminars applied in a multi-pitch scenario.


Participants should have the following equipment:

  • Climbing Shoes.
  • Harness with a belay / rappel loop and gear loops.
  • Belay Device. A tube type belay device like an ATC at minimum, preferably a Petzl Reverso or Black Diamond ATC Guide.
  • 4-5 locking carabiners, two of which should be HMS/Pear shaped lockers
  • 4-5 non-locking carabiners
  • Two cordalettes made from 20-22 feet sections of either 5.5 to 6mm high strength tech cord (such as Sterling Pro Cord) or 7mm cord tied into loops.
  • Two sections of 6mm cord 4 feet long (for autobloks/prussik).
  • 2 high strength 48″ sewn runners (double length runners)
  • Nut tool (recommended but optional).

Course Name

Self Rescue Seminar

Dates & Times

2016: October 19, 26, November 2, 9 - optional add-on class November 16 (Rockville and Columbia)
2017: March 8, 15, 22, 29 - optional add-on class April 5 (Timonium)
Contact the Private Program Department regarding private group classes.


$220.00 (Includes first four sessions)|Add-on class $55

Member Price

$180.00 (Includes first four sessions)|Add-on class $45


13 and up


Fall 2016 sessions offered in Rockville and Columbia. Spring 2017 session offered in Timonium


See detailed list above.


Basic outdoor climbing and belaying skills at minimum. Multi-pitch climbing experience is very helpful as many of the rescues taught are intended for multi-pitch scenarios.