Reed has been involved in the teaching of techniques relative to the ‘vertical realm’ since the early 1970’s and is recognized as a knowledgeable technical rigger where understanding and safety are of paramount concern. In Southern California, his first activities dealing with rope were with the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter (Orange County Group) where Reed became a Hundred Peak, Rock Climbing and Mountaineering Section leader through training with the Sierra Club’s Leadership Section. He eventually moved into rope rescue instruction under nationally-recognized US National Park SAR ranger, Butch Farabee, at the Grand Canyon in Arizona between the years of 1981 and 1986. Butch is credited with having shaped Reed’s early years as a rope instructor.
In 1989, Reed was also instrumental in the preliminary testing of belay techniques alongside John Dill of Yosemite SAR and Arnor Larson of the British Columbia Council of Technical Rescue in BC, Canada. These tests still remain some of the most extensive ever attempted by a volunteer team of lay-researchers, the results of which were published in Response magazine in the highly acclaimed 1990 article “Are You Really On Belay?” by John Dill. Many of Reed’s hand-drawn illustrations accompanied this article. Reed now has attained recent Technician Level certification with the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) where he practices rope access procedures often on his back yard training and testing tower.