In our Level 1 Rescue Drill, we’ll explore four topics: Load Transfers, Escaping the Belay, Fixed Line Ascension, and Counter Balance Lowers (the ‘pick-off’).

This is not meant to be a comprehensive training on these topics, rather we’re simply scratching the surface of what is possible. If you can understand how these skills work, and more importantly how they can work together, you will have the foundation to solve a number of complex problems.


  • Load Transfers.

The load transfer process is designed to secure the climber to a new belayer whilst the original belayer is still in the system. When done correctly, the climber should neither move up nor down, seemingly unaware that any transition has happened at all. 

  • Escaping the Belay.

In order to safely escape a belay, you must first transfer the belay/load to another person or anchor. Learning to escape the belay is an incredibly useful skill, and could be the difference between providing help to an injured climbing partner in an emergency, or feeling completely paralyzed/helpless and locked into your position, unable to assist your partner. 

  • Fixed Line Ascension.

While there are many new tools on the market to make rope ascension more efficient, it’s in no way an easy skill to master. We will break it down into a very basic and simple format utilizing equipment that you should have with you in most every climbing scenario. 

  • Counter-Balance Lowers.

Counter balancing your weight with your partner’s weight is something that takes practice. In an emergency, you may find yourself having to attach yourself to your climbing partner and lowering them down the rock cliff along side you. You’ll have to manage both of your body positions over a ledges, boulders, flakes, and overhanging features. This takes practice and an understanding of the systems in play. 


Confidence in self and partner rescue is instrumental to your development as a climber. The Level 1 Rock Climbing Anchor and Rescue Workshop will teach you the basic skills needed for each of these topics, and will provide the foundation required to understand more advanced rescue skills (which we offer in our Tier 2 and Tier 3 workshops). In addition to learning the skills for basic self and partner rescue, you’ll also see the equipment needed, and how to utilize it. This will help you make good decisions regarding what basic equipment you should have with you at all times when climbing, even if it’s a seemingly harmless day of top rope climbing at your local crag.


Our Level 1 Rock Climbing Anchor and Rescue Workshop covers these four basic rescue skills: Load Transfers; Escaping the Belay; Fixed Line Ascension; Counter-Balance Lowers. We require that you understand and demonstrate these basic skills under the watchful eyes of our instructors, prior to entering any of our Tier 2 workshops. 

Our Tier 2 and Tier 3 Advanced Level workshops move beyond these basic skills and cover new, more complicated topics.

Interested in exploring our Advanced Level Workshops? Here are a few links that you may find useful:




We’d love to have you join one of our upcoming workshops. We offer these educational workshops in both Southern California (Los Angeles and San Diego) and in the San Francisco Bay Area.