Anchors School

Special Notice - As of mid-June 2021, the COVID-19 transmission status is at "Stage 2" or "Moderate" and trending in a good direction.  Consequently, we are moving forward with planning and registration for the Fall 2021 Anchors School with a limit of 10 students.  At this time we are not yet accepting payment of the $125 class fee online as we have a waitlist, however we do encourage you to register now to be added to the list. Those on the waitlist will be offered a spot on a first-come first-serve basis, with a short window to pay and complete enrollment. After the window expires, the next person on the list will be contacted. The normal class size is limited to 20 students; as the Fall date approaches, the status of the COVID-19 metrics will be evaluated and a decision made to potentially increase the class size beyond 10.

Anchors – The Next Step in Your Climbing Journey

This course is the next step for AMC Outdoor Rock Climbing grads. We will teach you how to safely and efficiently build anchors for rock climbing.  Combined with the knowledge learned in the Outdoor Rock Climbing School, you will have the skill set required for safe top-rope climbing.

LEARN: Anchor types, components, required knots and hitches, use of natural and artificial protection (stoppers, tricams, hexes, SLCDs), and critical elements of safe anchor construction.  Understand and apply SERENE and ERNEST principles in hands-on practice with individual instruction.

For instructional materials see Anchors Manual and Instructional Updates


Date Time Location
Thurs Nov 11 6:30pm – 9:00pm Virtual Classroom (Zoom)
Sat  Nov 13 8:00am – 3:30pm Phoenix location TBD
Sun Nov 14 8:00am – 4:00pm Sullivan's Canyon (Chino Valley)

Experience required:

AMC Outdoor Rock Climbing School graduate or equivalent, which must include:

  • Outdoor top-roping experience, including use of standard climbing calls and partner checks.
  • Knowledge and experience in current belay (PBUS) and rappel techniques, including use of autoblock backup.
  • Competency with basic climbing knots  (figure eight tie-in, figure eight on a bight, grapevine/double fisherman, girth hitch).
  • Self rescue techniques including use of prusiks to ascend a rope.


  • 2 non-locking “D” or Oval carabiners (bring more if you have them)
  • 3 locking carabiners (at least 3, one of which should be a parabiner)
  • 1 tube style rappel/belay device (Black Diamond ATC or similar tube style device)
  • 1 climbing harness
  • 1 ea – 4′, 6′, 10′ 6mm prusiks (untied length)
  • 1 ea – 10′, 20′ slings (1″ tubular webbing, untied length)
  • 1 personal anchor slings (commercial PAS or 4′ sewn nylon or Spectra runners or equivalent)
  • 1 20′ cordelette (20-foot length of 7mm accessory cord)
  • 1 double length (48”) sewn nylon sling (typically 11/16” wide)
  • 1 helmet (req’d for Sunday)

*NOTE – The 20' webbing, 20' 7mm cordelette, personal anchor, helmet, and harness are the only additional equipment needed over the AMC Basic Outdoor Climbing School requirements.

Helmets: Students will be required to bring and wear a certified climbing helmet during the Sunday session.

This class is designed to teach you how to set top-rope anchors. In order to become independent and set your own anchors, you should start acquiring anchor gear. These purchases will be limited by how much money you want/have to spend and how much interest you have in climbing independently. The following gear is not required for the anchors class, but if you have some, you will be able to practice setting it in a controlled, learning environment during the class. All of the gear recommended below can be used for the Lead School, and none of it will be wasted if you intend to set your own anchors. All gear should be marked prior to bringing it to class to prevent confusion between it and other people’s gear. If you don’t know how to mark gear, check with an instructor before doing so to avoid weakening equipment due to improper marking techniques.

OTHER GEAR that you may want to bring to anchors class:

  • Pro you might already own or borrow from a friend (hexes, nuts, camming devices, Tri-cams, etc)
  • Extra carabiners (regular D’s, ovals, lockers – avoid specialty carabiners at this time)
  • Extra slings (perhaps additional 20′ slings, untied length, 24′ sewn runners)

NOTE: don't rush out and buy Pro.  Generous Instructors will loan you all the cams, nuts, or tricams you might need during the class.

Cost:  $125.

  • Note: You must be a current AMC club member to register for this school.


  • Contact Scott Kuchman at to indicate your intent to register.
  • If you are a current AMC club member (i.e. your dues are paid for this year), great!!  If not, please go to the membership page at and complete the membership process.
  • Refund policy: The cost of the class is fully refundable if you decide to cancel before the start of class.  The Membership Fee is non-refundable.


  • Scott Kuchman at will contact those on the waitlist who have been selected for enrollment. Please be sure the email address above is not flagged as spam as you will only have a short window to complete your payment.

Anchors School Instructional Update

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