Outdoor Rock Climbing - Intensive Introduction

Overview

A climber enjoys the superb granite in Leavenworth.

A climber demonstrating the use of a hand jam to gain a hold in a crack. Most gyms lack the variety of cracks necessary to learn this technique.
Jason Martin

Whether you are new to rock climbing or have climbed indoors previously, outdoor rock climbing presents unique athletic and mental challenges, and demands a wide range of technical and judgment skills that can only be learned outdoors.

This course is designed as a comprehensive introduction to rock climbing, both for beginners who have never climbed before and for indoor climbers who want to transition into outdoor rock climbing or alpinism.

The course has three primary components:

  • Movement skills, including techniques that are hard to learn indoors, such as jamming and friction climbing
  • Technical systems, including knots, anchors, belaying, rappelling, and top-rope site management
  • Judgment skills, including route-finding, recognizing hazards, and risk management

 

Goals and Objectives

The Outdoor Rock Climbing course was developed to provide you not only with the experience of rock climbing, but with the technical skills required to go climbing without the oversight of an instructor or guide. By the end of the course, you will have the knowledge required to set up and manage your own single-pitch climbing site independently.

Indoor climbing gyms have made it possible for many people to try, and even master, the most iconic type of rock climbing – steep face climbing – without going outside. Outdoor rock climbing, however, demands a much larger repertoire of movement and problem-solving skills than gym climbing.

Outdoor rock climbs don’t announce themselves with colored tape and holds. Learning to route-find often challenges beginners and indoor climbers, who don’t yet know how to recognize usable rock features like underclings, parallel-sided cracks, and small irregularities of the rock surface. Gym climbers who have advanced to the higher number grades can still be stymied by outdoor climbs with features such as jam cracks, chimneys, and friction slabs.

 

Outdoor Rock Climbing - Intensive Introduction

Highlights and Curriculum

Program Highlights

  • Introduction to Equipment: Design, Care, Use, and Selection
  • Introduction to Knots and Hitches
  • Techniques for Belaying and Rappelling
  • Climbing Commands
  • Development of Full Repertoire of Free Climbing Technique for Moderate Ground
  • Introduction to both Passive and Active Traditional Protection
  • Anchor Construction
  • Techniques for Setting Up and Managing Top-Rope Sites

 

Locations

Basic Rock - Leavenworth

The end of another great climb in Leavenworth.  Margaret Utgoff

The Intensive Introduction course is offered throughout the winter season in Red Rock Canyon, NV, Moab, UT, and in Joshua Tree National Park, CA. During the summer season this course is offered in Leavenworth, WA, Mount Erie, WA, Squamish, BC , Eldorado Canyon, CO and in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

Red Rock Canyon is located just minutes outside the city of Las Vegas, NV.

Joshua Tree National Park is approximately an hour away from Palm Springs, CA and right next to the Marine base in Twentynine Palms, CA.

Leavenworth, WA is about forty minutes from Wenatchee or three hours from Seattle on the east side of Washington's mountains.

Mount Erie is an hour and a half north of Seattle, near Anacortes, WA.

Squamish is two hours north of Bellingham, WA and one hour north of Vancouver, BC.

Mammoth Lakes is in the eastern Sierra, fourty minutes north of Bishop, CA, and three hours south of Reno, NV.

Eldorado Canyon State Park is a mere half hour drive southwest from the city of Boulder

 

*NEW* Two-Day Option in Red Rock, NV and Eldorado Canyon, CO

Come join us for just the first two days. This course will run concurrently with the full length four day program and will follow the itinerary and curriculum of Day One and Day Two. See Red Rock and Eldorado Canyon dates for availability. 

 

Course Itinerary and Curriculum

Day One:

  • Meet your guide at the program location at 8:00am.
  • Selection, use and care of climbing gear.
  • Introduction to basic knots and hitches. Knots to be covered will include but not be limited to the figure-eight follow-through and the clove-hitch.
  • Introduction to climbing commands and belay technique.
  • Develop an understanding of climbing grades.
  • Develop techniques for climbing beginner and intermediate rock climbs.

 

Day Two:

A beginner climber works on movement skills while on top-rope in Red Rock

A beginner climber works on movement skills while on top-rope in Red Rock. Dana Hickenbottom

  • Review knots from the previous day and then continue the development of your knowledge of knots by learning the figure-eight on-a-bite, the munter-hitch, the overhand, the water-knot, the barrel knot and the autoblock hitch.
  • Introduction to climbing guidebooks and route topos.
  • Learn how to place and remove both passive and active rock protection.
  • Introduction to the concept of SRENE and 12-point anchors.
  • Develop the skills to build both pre-equalized and self-equalizing anchors.
  • Learn how to set up simple top-ropes using bolts.
  • Practice and discuss bouldering technique in an outdoor environment.
  • Introduction to basic rappelling technique.
  • Continue the development of movement skills for intermediate rock climbs.

 

Day Three:

  • Review knots from the previous days and then continue the development of your knowledge of knots with the double-bowline, the double-fisherman's knot, the mule-hitch, the kliemhiest, and the prussik-hitch.
  • Learn how to use traditional climbing gear to set up a simple top-rope anchor.
  • Develop the skills to belay a lead climber.
  • Learn how to follow a route that has been lead with traditional gear and clean the equipment off the route as you climb.
  • Develop advanced techniques for rappelling.
  • Continue the development of movement skills for intermediate rock climbs.

 

Day Four:

  • Review all of the knots and hitches from the previous days.
  • Use traditional climbing gear to set up a complex top-rope anchor.
  • Learn how to use a static rope or webbing to set up a multipart top-rope anchor.
  • Practice the rappel techniques that have been developed over the preceding days.
  • Continue the development of movement skills for intermediate rock climbs.

 

A note on enrollment:

Confirming this course at the regular cost and length requires at least 3 registrants.  With two participants, we can run the course as a 3 day itinerary without changing the pricing; with just one individual we will consider this a 'private course' and charge private rates. Red Rock location only has a minimum of 2 participants for both the 2 day and 4 day courses. 

Outdoor Rock Climbing - Intensive Introduction

Dates and Locations

The Intensive Introduction course is offered year round in a variety of locations around the Western United States and Canada.

Winter: October – April

  • Red Rock Canyon, NV
  • Moab, UT
  • Joshua Tree National Park, CA

 

Summer: April – September

  • Leavenworth, WA
  • Mount Erie, WA
  • Squamish, BC
  • Eldorado Canyon, CO
  • Mammoth Lakes, CA

 

Red Rock Canyon is located just minutes outside the city of Las Vegas, NV.

Joshua Tree National Park is approximately an hour away from Palm Springs, CA and right next to the Marine base in Twentynine Palms, CA.

Leavenworth, WA is about forty minutes from Wenatchee or three hours from Seattle on the east side of Washington's mountains.

Mount Erie is an hour and a half north of Seattle, near Anacortes, WA.

Squamish is two hours north of Bellingham, WA and one hour north of Vancouver, BC.

Eldorado Canyon is a mere half hour drive from the city of Boulder, CO.

Mammoth Lakes is in the eastern Sierra, fourty minutes north of Bishop, CA, and three hours south of Reno, NV.

 

Eldorado Canyon, CO

  • April 21 - 24, 2017
  • May 22 - 25, 2017
  • June 1 - 4, 2017
  • June 10 - 13, 2017
  • June 10 - 11, 2017 (2-day option)
  • June 15 - 18, 2017
  • July 15 - 16, 2017 (2-day option)
  • June 23 - 26, 2017
  • June 30 - July 3, 2017
  • July 7 - 10, 2017
  • July 14 - 17, 2017
  • July 21 - 24, 2017
  • July 28 - 31, 2017
  • August 5 - 8, 2017
  • August 5 - 6, 2017 (2-day option)
  • August 11 - 14, 2017
  • August 18 - 21, 2017
  • August 25 - 28, 2017
  • September 2 - 5, 2017 (Labor Day Weekend)
  • September 2 - 3, 2017 (2-day option)
  • September 8 - 11, 2017
  • September 15 - 18, 2017
  • September 22 - 25, 2017

More dates available on a private basis. Call for details.

 

Mammoth Lakes, CA

  • Jun 24-27, 2017
  • Jul 13-16, 2017
  • Aug 03 -06, 2017
  • Sept 23 -25, 2017

 

Red Rock Canyon, NV

  • Oct 21 - 24, 2016 
  • Nov 18 - 21, 2016 
  • Nov 18 - 19, 2016 - 2 day option (filling)
  • Dec 19 - 22, 2016 -registration closed
  • Dec 19 - 20, 2016 - 2-day option (filling)
  • Jan 27 - 30, 2017 - (filling)
  • Jan 27 - 29, 2017 - 2-day option
  • Mar 20 - 23, 2017 - Women's Only Course
  • Mar 20 - 21, 2017 Women's Only Course - 2 day option
  • March 28 - March 31, 2017 
  • March 28- 29, 2017 -2-day option
  • April 21 - 24, 2017 
  • April 21 - 22, 2017 - 2-day option

More dates available on a private basis. Call for details.

 

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

  • Oct 6 - 9 , 2016
  • Nov 5 - 8, 2016 (registration closed)
  • Feb 23 - 26, 2017 - (filling)
  • April 1 - Apr 4, 2017

More dates available on a private basis. Call for details.

 

Mount Erie, WA

  • Jul 1 - Jul 4, 2017
  • Jul 6 - Jul 9, 2017
  • Aug 19 - Aug 22, 2017
  • Aug 24 - Aug 27, 2017

 

Leavenworth, WA

  • May 25 - May 28, 2017
  • Jun 3 - Jun 6, 2017
  • Jun 8 - Jun 11, 2017
  • Sep 9 - Sept 12, 2017

 

Squamish, BC

  • May 20 - 23, 2017
  • Aug 5 - 8, 2017
  • Aug 10 - Aug 13, 2017

 

Moab, Utah

Dates available on a private basis. Call for details.

A note on enrollment:

Confirming this course at the regular cost and length requires at least 3 registrants.  With two participants, we can run the course as a 3 day itinerary without changing the pricing; with just one individual we will consider this a 'private course' and charge private rates. 

 

Outdoor Rock Climbing - Intensive Introduction

Cost and Details

$795 ($425 for 2-day option in Red Rock and Eldorado Canyon)

Max Ratio - 5:1 (Climber:Guide)

Capacity - 10

Minimum Enrollment - 2

Prerequisites

None

 

Rock Climbing Course Series

The Basic Rock Camp is the first part of a four part rock series. The second level of this course is  Learn to Lead - An Introduction to Traditional Rock Leadership. The third level is our  Big Wall and Aid Climbing Seminar. And the fourth part is our Rock Rescue Clinic. While it is possible to take all four of these programs in a row, it would make the most sense to climb independently between each program. The more practical time that you put in between courses, the more likely it is to retain new material.

Outdoor Rock Climbing - Intensive Introduction

Related Courses

Program Finder