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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

Trad leading classes are available anytime the weather is nice. We generally recommend this as a two full days so we can cover as much of the skills as possible and leaders can be confident in their skills. Even more experienced climbers may benefit from a couple full days with a guide and can advance their technique and other climbing skills. This is also a good course to combine with learning to build Toprope Anchors and is a logical first step on the way to learning Self Rescue and Multipitch Climbing techniques.

1 Instructor Half Day (4 hours) Regular Day (6 hours) Full Day (8 hours)
1 Student $179 $229 $279
2 Students $159 $199 $249
3 Students $129 $159 $189
4-6 Students $99 $129 $159

Rate Information:

Previous guests enjoy a 10% discount on all our services. All rates are per person, e.g. 3 people for a regular rock climbing day would be $159/person for a total of $477. Half Day trips generally run from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 2:00 PM- 6:00 PM​ from May through September.

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.
-Understand 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