The AACZ has a long history of self-guided mountaineering and we pride ourselves in travelling safely through the mountains together without needing a trained professional to lead us. However, it is also easy to use this philosophy as an excuse not to learn new skills.
With that in mind, Ven Popov is spearheading a series of skill-transfer workshops throughout 2022 where experienced members of the club will pass on more specialized skills (e.g. ice climbing and piton climbing) or reinforce important basics (e.g. rope rescue and first aid) to other club members through weekend sessions in the mountains.
The first skill-transfer workshop was February 11th-13th in the Engadin where participants had the opportunity to better their ice climbing skills under the watchful eye of club veterans. On Friday the group gathered in the Pontresina gorge for single-pitch climbing on everything from moderate waterflows to an overhanging pillar, while on Saturday and Sunday participants split into teams of three to tackle objectives throughout the Engadin.
During the weekend some people swung ice tools for the first time ever, some did their first ice lead, and others used their experience to pilot teams up long multipitch routes. It was a very rewarding experience seeing club members diversify their skillset and bond over a full weekend of great mountain experiences.
A special thank you to Ven Popov for his work in organizing this, and to the ice leaders who shared their wisdom throughout the weekend:
(Text: Tim Aiken)