Climbing Employment & Certification


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Climber on cliff.

Climbing staff is responsible for the safety and instruction at the UMD climbing walls and outdoor rock and ice climbing locations.  All climbing staff serves as volunteer instructors for at least one semester before they may apply to be paid.

Contact Person: Lucas Kramer 218-726-6257 or lkramer@d.umn.edu

Certification Courses

Professional Climbing Instructors’ Association Certification Courses PCIA certification courses are ideally suited for top rope instructors who work at camps or schools in our region or in climbing instructional settings around the world.

PCIA Base Managed Climbing Instructor Course

The thirty-hour (3 day) course builds upon the existing skills of competent recreational climbers taking an in depth look at site selection, equipment, knot selection, anchor building, rope systems, Leave No Trace practices, rescue and assistance skills as well as key instructional skills. Participants are considered PCIA Assistant Instructors upon completion of the course.

Base Managed Certification Exam

Those seeking certification must pass this one-day field exam and written test. A skill consolidation period following the Instructor Course is recommended but not required.

PCIA Top Managed Climbing Instructor

Course and Exam: This one-day, 10-hour addition to the Base Managed Climbing Instructor Course is designed for those who work in settings, like sea cliffs, at which the belayers are at the top of the cliff. Skills include managing top belays, rescue and raising systems, belay escapes and cliff top safety.

PCIA Single Pitch Instructor Endorsement

This endorsement is taught concurrently with the Base and Top Managed Climbing Courses. Certified instructors must complete a demonstration lead climb to receive this endorsement