top of page


Geotechnical and geo-stabilization workers are often required to access slopes and cliffs using techniques adapted from mountaineering. At times, access to the top for anchoring and rappelling may be difficult. The terrain can be extremely dirty and quickly foul complicated safety devices. Mountaineering techniques, when adapted to this environment, offer alternatives. The PCIA Slope Access Technician Courses (SAT) are designed to meet the training needs of those working in mountain-like conditions. Depending on the scope of the work to be done, mountaineering-based techniques can get the job done quickly, safely and for less money.


The SAT Track offers three levels of certification: 

Level 1 - Slope Access Technician

  • The SAT 1 course is an entry level course focusing on understanding equipment, basic techniques, safety practices and slope assessment essentials.  Participants will learn and practice a variety of knots, basic anchors, rappelling, ascending, belaying, knot passes, and simple self-rescue skills.  SAT terrain involves up to Class II slopes.  An SAT 1 works under the supervision of a Journeyman or Master Slope Access Technician.  A Level 1 challenge test is available for individuals seeking to demonstrate proficiency.


Level 2 - Journeyman Slope Access Technician

  • The SAT 2 (Journeyman) course broadens a participant's suite of skills to open access to Class III and IV terrain.  The course covers alternative tools for rappelling and ascending, complex anchoring needs, releasable systems, multi-rope systems, hauling and batwing systems, and partner rescue.  A Level 2 challenge test is available.


Level 3 - Master Slope Access Technician Educator

  • The SAT 3 (Master) course is for the experienced Journeyman and is the first step toward becoming a SAT course instructor.  The course reviews and expands the technician's breadth of knowledge in order to the SAT 2 to instruct individuals from a variety of technical backgrounds.  Complex anchoring, belaying, difficult hauling, and partner rescue are reviewed and explored.  The course also explores multiple tools and methods that can be used to perform similar tasks.  There is a significant emphasis on educational process, including lesson organization and practice teaching.  

bottom of page