A lead climber on some excellent varnished smith rock tuff

Learn to Lead Climb Seminar – 2 days

Want to get that top-rope out of your face? This two day seminar is designed for the climber that already has a solid grasp on belaying and and top rope climbing who has the desire to become a competent lead climber. Learning to lead climb will give you the ability to climb on routes where the anchors aren’t accessible by hiking, and it can open up a future of multipitch climbing.  Climbers often call leading, “getting out on the sharp end.” There will be extensive time spent “mock” leading on a top rope and learning the intricacies of placing gear on lead.  We’ll also cover proper clipping for sport routes and the strategies and psychology of lead climbing.

You will learn many fundamental skills, including:

  • Lead belay
  • Racking  gear efficiently
  • Avoiding (or managing) rope drag
  • Protecting traverses and downclimbs
  • Selecting stances for placing protection
  • Anchor-building
  • Top-belaying for multi-pitch climbing

This course incorporates mock leading techniques as a stepping stone between top-roping and leading so new lead climbers can practice the skills they learn in a controlled environment; this allows them to become comfortable with lead climbing techniques before they risk taking a lead fall. Our instructors choose from a handful of areas that are great venues for learning to lead. Our guides will take you to areas with solid rock, plentiful protection options, secure stances and fun routes that will give you a real sense of accomplishment as you work through the mock-leads on your way to your first real lead-climb.

If you are looking for the opportunity to step out onto the sharp end of the rope, this course is an excellent way to do so with a highly qualified guide who can coach you through all the aspects of a solid lead, and remove a great deal of the uncertainty that often accompanies your first time climbing above your gear.

This course can take place at Spiderman Buttress, Solar Slab, Cinnamon Slab or one of several sport climbing areas around Smith Rock State Park.

Smith Rock State Park
Year Round

$340 per person on scheduled dates, or in a group of 2 climbers

Trip Length: 
2 days
Trip Dates: 
Dates arranged on a custom basis.