Learn to Lead - Trad Rock Climbing Leadership

Overview

A climber starts up Tonto (5.5) in Red Rocks, NV

A climber starts up Tonto (5.5) in Red Rocks, NV.  Jason Martin

For many the thought of being out on the sharp end of the rope sends shivers up the spine. "What if I fall? What if my gear doesn't hold? What if something happens?" Our Introduction to Traditional Rock Leadership course will answer these questions and more. The objective of this program is to introduce climbers to the techniques required for leading single and multi-pitch traditional rock routes while advancing technical and movement skills.

The Introduction to Rock Leadership course addresses each of the components required to safely and successfully lead a traditional rock climb.

Course highlights include:

  • Care and selection of traditional climbing gear
  • Introduction to modern traditional technique
  • Anchor building techniques and management
  • Leader safety in both a single and a multi-pitch environment
  • Technical free climbing movement for a leader

 

Introduction to Rock Leadership is offered throughout the winter season in Red Rock Canyon, NV and in Joshua Tree National Park, CA. During the summer season this course is offered in Leavenworth, WA and in Squamish, BC.

Course participants are encouraged to bring their own traditional gear. However, if they do not have any, they will be able to use AAI equipment. Helmets, harnesses, and rock shoes are required equipment and are available for rental if needed.

Learn to Lead - Trad Rock Climbing Leadership

Curriculum

The curriculum for Learn to Lead varies considerably with the abilities and desires of the group. Our goal is to assess the baseline abilities in the group and build on them as much as possible. Below is a sample curriculum. 

Day One:

Efficient and effective gear placement is a crucial skill to master while learning how to lead.

Efficient and effective gear placement is a crucial skill to master while learning how to lead. Eric Smith

  • Meet your guide at the program area in the morning (8:00am or 11:30am depending on location and date)
  • Selection, use and care of traditional gear
  • Discuss traditional racking techniques
  • Practical applications of both passive and active protection
  • Introduction to traditional anchors for leaders
  • Practical applications of different lead belays
  • Introduction to the autoblocking device
  • Introduction to simple rescue techniques

 

Day Two:

  • Introduction to multi-directional anchors
  • Introduction to anchor and rope management
  • Introduction to single- and multi-pitch leading procedures

 

Day Three:

  • Cleaning anchors and rappelling
  • Techniques for rappelling multi-pitch lines
  • Discussion of lead climbing strategies, both physical and mental
  • Guided example of a short multi-pitch line
  • Mock single- and multi-pitch leading practice

 

Day Four:

  • Discussion of falling, fall factors, and how they apply to the leader
  • Continued mock leading practice
  • Optional falling practice on gear and/or bolted anchors
  • Optional student-led climbs in single-pitch setting

 

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. 

Learn to Lead - Trad Rock Climbing Leadership

Dates and Locations

The Learn to Lead course is offered year round in a variety of locations around the Western United States and Canada.

Winter Locations: October – April

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

Moab, UT is near both Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park in south east Utah.  It's the gateway to endless climbing on red rock formations in all directions.  

Joshua Tree National Park is approximately an hour away from Palm Springs, CA and right next to the Marine base in Twentynine Palms, CA. The climbing at Joshua Tree is very high quality, and because of its legendary parallel-sided cracks it is ideal for people who want to learn to lead climb on granite walls like those of Yosemite.

 

Summer Locations: April – September

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

Mount Erie, WA is climbing area in scenic Anacortes, WA.  It is located on Fidalgo Island in lush green PNW forest just off the coast of the Puget Sound.  Several mountain ranges and the sound can be seen from the climbs.

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, forty minutes north of Bishop, CA, and three hours south of Reno, NV.

Dates

Boulder, CO

  • Sept. 5 - 8, 2024

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

Red Rock, NV 

  • Mar. 8 - 11, 2024
  • April 5 - 8, 2024 - Women's Only
  • April 26 - 29, 2024

Additional dates are available on a private basis. Call for details.

Joshua Tree, CA

  • Mar. 4 - 7, 2024

Additional dates are available on a private basis. Call for details.

Leavenworth, WA

  • May 12 - May 15, 2024
  • May 26 - May 29, 2024
  • June 09 - June 12, 2024
  • June 23 - June 26, 2024
  • July 07 - July 10, 2024
  • July 21 - July 24, 2024

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

Squamish, BC*

 

 

  • Aug 04 - Aug 07, 2024
  • Aug 18 - Aug 21, 2024
  • Sept 01 - Sept 04, 2024
  • Sept 15 - Sept 18, 2024
  • Oct 3 - Oct 6, 2024

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

* All participants in Squamish-based courses must first rendezvous at the AAI Offices in Bellingham and the group must cross the border together. We can not meet climbers in Squamish. 

 

 

Mammoth Lakes, CA

  • Sept. 19 - 21, 2024

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

 

Moab, Utah

  • Dates available on a private basis. Call for details.

 

Rock Climbing Course Series:

Below is the progression for our rock climbing course series:

  1. Outdoor Rock Climbing Intensive Introduction
  2. Learn to Lead
  3. Technical Self Rescue for Climbers
  4. Multi-Pitch Skills Course

Climbers have a number of potential options for their continuing education, including, but not limited to, the Aid and Big Wall Climbing course and Private Guiding.

Learn to Lead - Trad Rock Climbing Leadership

Cost and Details

$995

Max Ratio - 4:1 (Climber:Guide)

Capacity - 8

Minimum Enrollment - 3

A note on enrollment:

Confirming the 4-day 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. 

Private Courses:

A private Learn to Lead course can be arranged with the location, length, and dates of your choice.  Though the group course is generally preferable for learning, a customized course can be superior for some climbers.  The cost for a private course is determined by the private rate for the location.

 

Prerequisites:

Participants should be able to follow 5.8 (indoors or outdoors) and have some experience in outdoor top-roped climbing.

 

Cost Inclusions and Exclusions:

Inclusions: Included in the course cost is group technical climbing equipment, climbing permits, and the guide fee.

Exclusions: Not included in the course cost is all personal clothing and climbing gear, gratuities to guide, transportation, lodging/camping fees, meals while on the course, or travel insurance.

Learn to Lead - Trad Rock Climbing Leadership

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