In its pilot stage, First Ascenders core program will be a six-week intensive introduction to the world of rock climbing through experiential learning. First Ascenders will meet once a week on the weekends to allow for maximum opportunities to prepare for, participate in, and debrief the climbing experience.
The first two sessions will take place at an exclusive indoor climbing facility in which trained and licensed guides will introduce participants to some of the basic techniques and safety procedures required for the sport. This period of time will also provide the participants and staff with an opportunity to develop a comfortable and trusting group dynamic that will enable them to take emotional risks and excel in their climbing.
Beginning in the 3rd week of the program, participants will be taken to local outdoor climbing sites by licensed guides and First Ascenders staff. They will be taken to these locations where they will spend the day learning about their environment, tackling new climbing routes, and reflecting on their experiences. A critical element of our program will be the individual and group analysis of the climbing process through the lens of problem solving and goal setting. Through these discussions, participants will be able to not only refine their climbing ability by learning from their mistakes and those of others but also understand how they can apply their experiences climbing to all other aspects of their lives.
In the future, First Ascenders would like to extend programming to include a long-term support structure for participants that would allow members to maintain their relationship to the outdoors and the sport of rock climbing. Other services would include academic tutoring, 1 on 1 mentoring, establishing rock climbing and outdoor clubs at schools and community centers, and generally fostering a multi-faceted network of supporting individuals.