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Learn to Lead Traditional Climbs

Not every climb is protected by bolts. Because many climbs do not need them and can be protected with removeable protection such as cams or stoppers. This helps preserve the rock but also some of the most classic climbs around the world on rock faces as well as backcountry mountain climbs require these skills. Places like Eldorado Canyon, Yosemite, Moab, and many more have some of the most classic traditional climbs that can only be climbed by people who know how to place gear correctly. With many crags across Colorado being perfect training grounds there are plenty of opportunities to learn and improve your trad leading skills with the help of knowledgeable guides who can teach you the best techniques for leading trad climbs.

What You'll Learn


Climbers who want to climb in some of the most amazing places in Colorado like Eldorado Canyon or Unaweep Canyon should think of this course as the basis for starting in those places. During this Trad Leading course participants will learn:

  • How to provide a solid lead belay that makes you a sought after climbing partner.
  • How to place different types of protection such as cams, stoppers, and tricams.
  • How to utilize removable protection that increases the safety of both the leader and the follower and evaluate the hazards and ratings of different climbs.
  • How to utilize fixed anchors for descending or when and how to build strong anchors and utilize walk-offs.
  • Assessing safety systems and performing safety checks for lead climbing and how to avoid bad habits and evaluate all the hazards of trad leading.
  • Outdoor climbing etiquette and ethics for new outdoor leaders.

After taking this climbing course participants should feel capable of leading and descending climbs using removable protection such as cams, stoppers, tricams, and other forms of removeable protection.


Climbing Instruction Rates and Availability

1 Instructor Half Day (4 hours) Regular Day (6 hours) Full Day (8 hours)
1 Students $309 $369 $429
2 Students $249 $309 $369
3 Students $199 $249 $309
4 Students $149 $199 $249
2 instructors to keep low ratios for the best experience!
5-8 Students $119 $149 $199

Rate Information:

Rates are per person, e.g. 3 people for a Regular Day would be $259/person for a total of $777. Trip start times are custom but generally we recommend 8AM starts for most rock climbing May through September to avoid heat, crowding, and afternoon thunderstorms.

Discount Information: We appreciate our guests but discounts are limited to the following and cannot be combined with any other offer.

Early Bird Discounts and Last Chance Pricing: Book early and save! Schedule any rock climbing trip a month or more in advance for a 10% discount. Any trip booked with less than 48 hours notice incur a $100 convenience fee.

Bundle Pricing: The ultimate way to get started climbing! Purchase 3 or more days of climbing guiding or instruction at once for a 10% discount. Schedule at your convenience.

Best Places to Learn Trad Leading


Colorado has some of the best traditional lead climbing areas. Oh the places you will go:

Ready to book your experience or have more questions?

Required Skills


Participants should be capable of the following prior to participating in this course:

  • Basic outdoor self care. What to wear, how much water and snacks, etc.
  • Putting on a regular climbing harness, shoes, and helmet without assistance.
  • The ability to toprope belay is required. Lead belaying is very helpful but not required since we can accomodate this in the custom nature of the class.
  • Understanding of basic climbing terminology and lingo.
  • The ideal participant will be able to confidently climb at a 5.8 level. While some areas can accommodate those with less climbing experience or ability this is a good starting point.

Participants without the required skills may be asked to book additional days to ensure the best learning experience.

Follow Up Classes