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Ability to lead 5.10d overhanging, thin finger cracks is not one of our requirements for membership. In fact, if you're a 5.4 climber, you know that is your level and you can climb it safely, you can become a member of our club. When you first contact us and and get put on our mailing list,  you've made an important first step!

Our membership requirements are:
(1) To have climbed with at least one member of our club on a club trip. A signed Liability Release is required before participating in CCC Climbing.

(2) To be a safe climber. During your first climbs with the club, your level of safety will be watched carefully, and the club member that you are climbing with will be trying to evaluate both your safety and judgment. We refer you to the article "Are You Safe". We do not require that you know all of the material in that article, but it would sure be of benefit to you if you did. At a minimum, you should be aware of what you know and don't know, and act accordingly. Most intermediate rock climbing instruction teaches material up to the level that we require.  

(3) To be interested in participating and contributing to the club. You should get to know the club and its members well enough to decide that you wish to participate in club events. And contribute by organizing trips and events, and helping with campsite reservations, or at least be enthusiastic enough that we know you would do so if called upon.

(4) To be recommended by a member for membership. When you indicate your readiness to become a member, you need to be recommended by at least one club member and your recommendation will be discussed at a club business meeting. Your recommender(s) will be the member(s) that you have climbed with. Some people become members within a month and some take a couple of years, average would be about a year.

That's all!
A word of caution new members do not necessarily lead climb! Most have had some experience at the "sharp end", but some have had none. So for non-members, you can't call up any member and expect them to be able to lead you up "Astroman" (very few members could!), or even "Munginella".

Here is my opinion on how to do this best. Send us an email telling us about yourself and your interest and experience in climbing and how members can contact you.  Get on the email mailing list and sign a liability release prior to climbing. Come to a couple of social meetings and come to Berkeley Ironworks Gym or Mission Cliffs in San Francisco with members. Climb out of town with us on two or three different weekends. Be outgoing looking for partners or use me (the Chairman) or the trip coordinator to help find you partners. Climb with a different person each day, and climb a couple of climbs a day (4-6 pitches, usually in the 5.5 - 5.8 range). Negotiate with your partner for a couple of leads on easier pitches, if you are ready. Don't do anything unsafe, such as poor belaying, poor anchors,  knocking off loose rocks, etc! Volunteer to help out whenever possible with club events. At that point you are an ideal candidate for membership!