Rock III: Introduction to Anchoring

This program is for climbers looking to become comfortable building anchors in top rope and/or multi-pitch settings. The fundamentals are the same, and we will cover considerations for both.

We will focus on gear, equipment and natural and artificial anchoring principles. You will leave with the knowledge to feel comfortable outside, and the confidence to discuss anchor systems with climbing partners. You will better understand different anchor configurations and be capable of their evaluation. Though we may climb, we do not spend time on climbing and movement skills during this course.


This program takes place in the Mammoth area in the summer and fall and the Bishop area during the colder months. Common locales include Horseshoe Slabs in the Lakes Basin above Mammoth, Benton Crags, or the Buttermilk area near Bishop. The location varies depending on weather.



We value the professional training provided by the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) and your guides will be AMGA certified or involved in the certification process.


Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.

Return to SMC Rock Climbing School

The day will be spent working with gear and equipment: placing and removing it in a “laboratory” setting and connecting placements together to make anchors. We will also work on belay stance management and increasing our proficiency and efficiency levels so we can move smoothly and easily on the longer routes.

In a controlled on the ground setting we examine the following:

  • Active and passive protective placement
  • Protection removal
  • Anchor construction with webbing, rope and cordelettes
  • Belay management
  • Natural anchoring
  • Stance management and organization
  • Rope management

Program Prerequisites:

SMC Rock II or equivalent.

You should feel comfortable top roping, tying in and belaying.

Program Inclusions:

Price includes guiding, permits and all climbing gear. If you have your own equipment by all means bring it.

Local accommodation is not included in the program.

Please Read before you go

We feel the following information is essential... (links open as PDF in new window)

  1. Details, itinerary, and equipment list for your trip
  2. SMC Cancellation Policy
  3. Suggestions on preparation - get the most out of your trip!
  4. Tips on physical training for your trip
  5. LNT - Let's work together to protect our precious mountain environment.

Rental Equipment:

Need to rent equipment for your trip? We can help.