Review Rating: ★★★★☆
My husband and sons have been trying to get me to go to Front Sight Firearms Training Institute for quite some time. To be honest, the idea of learning to shoot a gun out in the middle of nowhere Nevada just did not appeal to me in the slightest.
However, when I heard my husband and son talk about the ropes and rappel course, I was a tiny bit intrigued. At first, I felt dismayed when my husband suggested we use our fall break to attend the course. Yet, I have always loved to indoor climb and thought it would be great to learn how to set up my own ropes for outdoor climbing. I begrudgingly accepted the challenge.
I let my boys sign me up for the 4 Day Practical Rope and Rappel Course. We packed our car and headed off for the long drive to Pahrump, Nevada which is a little over 60 miles from Las Vegas. When you look out from the rappelling tower, it literally seems like you’re in the middle of nowhere. So glad we took the class during the fall. It would have been way too hot in the middle of the summer in the desert. I have to admit, rappelling off the tower looked fun.
Rappelling would have to wait. The first few days was spent both indoors and outdoors learning how to tie knots and set up our ropes. We learned about anchors and safety knots. In fact, we learned so much, my head hurt and I was sure I would forget it all for the rumored test we would have to take at the end of the class.
We couldn’t do the fun stuff off the tower until we practiced over and over going over the cement wall. By the time the first two days was over, I felt confident I could belay another person, rappel off anything, use my rescue eight to get myself off the wall and even use a prusik to climb a rope. Before I got to the class, I had no idea what a prusik was. In the class, I not only learned what it was but how to tie the right kind of knot to make one. I also learned the difference between a carabiner and a locking carabiner and which to use when. By the time the classwork ended, I knew I would be able to set up my own climbing system.
The last two days of the course is the fun part. We got to use the 55 foot tower to learn different types of rappels. It wasn’t just jumping off. We learned how to to a building entry where you rappel off the ledge and enter the building in the space below. It’s harder than it sounds. We also learned to rappel at an angle with our feet planted on the wall. I thought this was the hardest but my son practiced it enough that he got good on it.