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Free ropes course training offered

Program sponsored in cooperation with Klickitat Valley Health Department

Cascade Mountain and Ropes of Trout Lake, in cooperation with the Klickitat Valley Health Department, is offering two free training opportunities to Skamania and Klickitat County residents this spring and summer.

The first training which will take place Saturday, April 28, is a one day training in low ropes activities taught by Jeff Albin.

Low Ropes also known as Adventure Education or Experiential Prevention is an approach to group development that involves fun and fast paced activities that engage people in intriguing group problem solving initiatives and other activities. Participants can expect to leave this training with a "tool kit" of activities to use with youth groups or other affinity groups.

Low Ropes activities are especially useful when they are used in drug and alcohol prevention, bullying prevention and conflict resolution. Participants in this training will learn how a single activity can be "framed" to meet a variety of learning objectives. Experiential Prevention provides a radical departure from the scare tactics and information approaches of traditional alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention programs. Activities are designed to keep youth and adults moving while they learn. Research has indicated that people of all learning styles retain information better when their brains and bodies are in motion.

The second training which is a three day training will take place June 20-22. This comprehensive course will train participants in how to be an instructor on a high ropes course.

High ropes courses are similar to low ropes courses in design and intention with the difference being that on a high ropes course participants are in climbing harnesses and literally "up in the air." The high ropes class will cover all aspects of working on both the Klickitat School course and the Dalles High School course. Areas of instruction will include belaying, knot tying, course set-up and facilitation.

Instructors for the high ropes training will be Bill Smith and Jeff Albin.

Smith, a retired master sergeant from the Oregon Army National Guard, has extensive experience in ropes courses and mountaineering. He is currently the owner and operator of Cascade Mountain and Ropes in Trout Lake. His company offers ropes course training and experiences, climbing instruction, gear sales and rental, wilderness survival and youth boot camps for severely at-risk youth. Smith is so enthusiastic about high ropes courses that he even set up a high ropes course in Israel during his deployment to the Middle East.

Albin, author of "Changing The Message, A Handbook For Experiential Prevention" has been involved in Adventure Education since he taught his first orienteering course at age 16. He will be the other instructor for the high ropes training. Albin wrote the original grant for the Klickitat High Ropes Course and has been instrumental in its ongoing implementation.

The Klickitat High Ropes Course may be one of Klickitat County best kept secrets. It's the only school based indoor course in the state of Washington.

The trainings are free thanks to funding provided from The Community Mobilization Against Substance Abuse (CMASA) through the Klickitat County Health Department.

Enrollment is limited and advance registration is required. No prior experience is necessary for either training opportunity.

Registration for the Low Ropes training is due by April 23. Registration for the High Ropes training is due by June 11.

to register or for more information contact Albin at or (509) 261-0275.

For more information about Cascade Mountain and Ropes contact Smith at 395-3620 or visit their website at


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