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Learn to Lead Sport Climbs Outdoors

When first learning to climb many people stick with toproping for a significant amount of time. Leading really brings a new aspect to the sport of climbing. For many the excitement of being on the sharp end pushes them to their limits physically and mentally. There are many climbs that can't be reached from the top as well so the ability to lead climbs can be a great way to reach new areas and enjoy a different style of climbing. Sport climbing, where climbers clip permanent protection in the form of bolts, allows climbers to lead without having to learn to place gear so they can focus more on the climbing movement itself.

What You'll Learn

Climbers who want to move beyond toproping or may have lead indoors but realize it’s much different outdoors will gain some important knowledge during a sport leading class. In addition to clipping bolts outside participants will learn:

  • How to provide a solid lead belay that makes you a sought after climbing partner.
  • What equipment is needed to move from toproping or indoor climbing to outdoor leading on fixed gear.
  • How to correctly lead bolt protected routes and minimize safety risks to the lead climber.
  • How to properly communicate as well as assess safety systems and perform safety checks for lead climbing.
  • How to clean a route after the last climber including the choice of when to lower or rappel.
  • Outdoor climbing etiquette and ethics for new outdoor leaders.

After taking this climbing course participants should feel capable of leading bolt protected climbs at local sport climbing areas.

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.
  • Toprope belaying with a tube style belay device (eg. ATC or reverso type device).
  • Indoor lead experience is helpful but not required.

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

Best Places To Learn to Sport Climb

While many areas have a little sport climbing there are several venues, mostly in the Front Range climbing areas that feature well protected sport climbs and good hardware, here are a few:

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.

Ready to book your experience or have more questions?

Follow Up Classes

Learning to sport lead opens the door to all sorts of opportunities but there are plenty of other important skillls