FT4--Rock Evaluation Student Info (updated 4/6/12)

Prerequisites:  Completion of field trips FT1, FT2, FT3

Preparation:   Practice any techniques in which you are not proficient.  Review chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 in Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills (MFotH), 8th Edition, covering knots, belaying, rappelling, and rock climbing.  For minimal reading necessary, please see the Course Curriculum FT4 line items for this field trip (a link to download an.xls version of the Course Curriculum is at the bottom of that page).  

Equipment:     Be sure to bring all the gear listed below. Mark your equipment so that you will be able to identify it when it gets mixed in with other gear.

  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Belay device
  • Belay gloves
  • 1 large, locking pear-shaped carabiner ("HMS" or "Pearabiner")
  • 2 locking and 6 non-locking carabiners
  • 3 single and 2 double tied runners; 2 sewn runners (120 cm and 60 cm)
  • Hero Loop
  • Backpack
  • Mountaineering Boots (rock shoes are NOT allowed for this fieldtrip)
  • Rain jacket and pants, insulating layers and warm non-cotton base layer clothing for climbing outside in cold, and possibly wet weather



In the Knots area, you will demonstrate your ability to tie the following knots in a pass/fail manner with no assistance:

  • overhand knot (fig 9-4)
  • water knot (fig. 9-7)
  • slip knot (fig. 9-20)
  • clove hitch (fig. 9-18)
  • Munter hitch on pearabiner (fig. 9-26)
  • girth hitch (fig 9-19)
  • Prusik Hitch (fig 9-23)
  • Mule Knot (9-21)
  • Butterfly Knot (9-17)
  • double fisherman (fig. 9-10)
  • figure 8 knot on a bight (fig. 9-11)
  • figure 8 knot, rewoven (fig. 9-12)
  • single bowline on a fixed anchor (fig. 9-14)
  • double bowline (on a bight) (fig 9-15)
  • butterfly coil (fig. 9-3)


You will be expected to climb 3 or more low 5th class top-roped routes on the south wall climbing towers.  Students will be belaying other students.  You will be graded pass/fail on:

  • Hazard Awareness
  • Balance/control
  • 3 points of contact
  • Climbing in mountaineering boots on up to class 5.4 moves
  • Explain/demo correct protection cleaning
  • Explain/demo correct gear management
You will be given guidance and graded proficient/needs improvement on:
  • Friction climbing
  • Face climbing
  • Crack climbing
  • Stemming/Chimney climbing
  • Mantle
  • Lie Back
  • Under Cling
  • Traversing
  • Down climbing
  • Low angle without hands


You will need to demonstrate back-over, sit-and-spin, and low-angle arm-wrap in a pass/fail manner with no assistance.


  • Be sure to connect your PAS as soon as you reach the rappel ledge and before announcing "off belay".  
  • DO NOT disconnect your PAS until the Instructor on the ledge has checked your rappel connection and given you the go-ahead to rappel
  • On all rappels use the proper rappel signals, “On Rappel” and “Off Rappel.”  

For the back-over and sit-and-spin:

  • Demonstrate correct rappel setup with both your belay device and carabiner brake. Munter Hitch ( For Munter rappel instruction, watch this video)
  • Make 1 carabiner brake Munter hitch and 1 device rappel
  • On one rappel, tie off mid-rappel using a leg wrap, then resume
  • On one rappel, wear your pack
  • On one rappel, use an auto-block
  • Perform a fireman belay 


In the Belay area, you will demonstrate safety and competency in a pass/fail manner for:

  • Belay concepts (stance, brake hand positioning, helmet & glove)
  • Personal Anchor System usage 
  • Belay anchor connection (2 anchor points AND a powerpoint on a cordelette)
  • Belay technique (with both belay device and munter hitch)
Belay Tie-off and Escape (pass/fail)
  • Belay tie-off with a mule knot (belay device and munter hitch)
  • Performing belay escape (belay device and munter hitch)  See description here.



  • Know the whereabouts of your pack at all times. Keep the items you’re not using in your pack.
  • Make sure instructors have signed your grade card where needed before leaving a station.
  • Always use a personal anchor at the top of ALL climbing routes when not on belay or rappel.

Come Prepared and Have Fun!!