Trad Climbing Course Intro: Banff & Canmore Alberta
MSAA
Banff / Canmore

Intro To Trad Climbing

Trad rock climbing and techniques in Squamish BC and Canadian Rockies

Summary

 Summer
  • Cost:
  • $169

Location: Canmore and Banff, Canadian Rockies   Duration: 1 Day   Fitness: Good   Ability: Intermediate   Prerequisites: Outdoor Lead Course  

Trad climbing, or traditional rock climbing, is a style of rock climbing in which climbers set and remove a route as they climb. This allows climbers to access routes that do not have a top rope set up and are un-bolted. Our Intro to Trad Climbing Course is targeted at intermediate to advanced top rope climbers who want to expand their reach and learn the skills required to take on some of the incredible single pitch climbs the Rockies have to offer.

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Course Information

Intro to Trad Climbing

Trad climbing, or traditional rock climbing, is a style of rock climbing in which climbers set and remove a route as they climb. This allows climbers to access routes that do not have a top rope set up and are un-bolted.

Our Intro to Trad Climbing Course is targeted at intermediate to advanced top rope climbers who want to expand their reach and learn the skills required to take on some of the incredible single pitch climbs the Rockies have to offer.

If you aren’t comfortable on top roped outdoor single pitch climbs, we offer an Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing course that will get your skills up to scratch and ready to learn trad climbing. Alternatively to go from zero to hero in a single week, check out our Rock Climbing Super Course.

Learning to Traditional Climb

This 14 lesson, 1 day accelerated program is designed to meet the needs of climbers with previous outdoor climbing experience or indoor lead climbing experience. You will learn the principles of trad climbing, the fundamentals of building traditional rock anchors and placing and removing your own gear for protection while you lead climb. You will also learn the basics of seconding multi-pitch rock trad climbs and the assessment and use of natural anchors such as trees and boulders. After the course, participants will have the skills to safely lead single pitch rock climbs.

At the same time, we cover all essentials, such as equipment, movement skills, outdoor climbing strategy, belaying and rappelling, safety protocols, hazard management, trad climbing terminology, trad route selection, trad climbing grades, and more. The result is a strong foundation that will permit rapid progress.
Trad climbing is not only an important aspect of climbing on its own but is also the foundation for alpine climbing.

In this fully comprehensive and fast paced course we have paid careful attention to include crucial trad climbing principles such as trad protection physics and SRENE (Solid, Redundant, Equalized, No Extension) placement/anchor criterion.

Participants can expect to build a strong foundation that will permit rapid progress of their trad climbing skill.

Taking your Trad skills to the next level

The natural next step in your climbing progression once you’re comfortable lead climbing and trad climbing is to learn how to ascend multi-pitch climbs. Multi-pitch climbing is the breathtaking culmination of your practice and gives you the skill set to take on stunning routes that rise hundreds of vertical metres right here in the Bow Valley and around the world.

Our Introduction to Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing Course combines a day of learning the required skills and practicing technique with a day taking on one of the Rocky Mountain’s classic multi-pitch climbs. This course will not only provide you with the requisite skills but give you a taste of the incredible routes you’ll be able to tackle.

Day One

  • 08:00 Meet and greet, sign waivers, discuss current weather and local conditions, objectives, gear check
  • Lesson 1
  • Drive to local rock climbing area: Carpooling recommended when possible
  • Lessons 2 – 15
  • Lunch at around noon
  • 16:30 End of day. Debrief, discuss next steps
  • Course closure

Clothing

During the summer months weather conditions are constantly changing. Be prepared for both hot or cold days and even rain. There are several rain protected climbing venues. So please dress according to the forecast for the course days.

We recommend the following:

  • Climbing pants or sweatpants
  • T-shirt
  • Mid layer fleece
  • Rain jacket
  • Puffy or warm jacket
  • Warm hat
  • Thin gloves for belaying
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
  • Backpack large enough to carry personal and group gear.
  • Lunch and snacks

Outdoor Rock Climbing Equipment

  • Rock shoes
  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Belay device
  • Locking carabiner
  • Chalk bag

We have rental equipment available if needed, but we highly recommend using your own gear so you can get comfortable with it under the guide’s instruction.

All group climbing equipment will be brought along for this course by your guide.

  • Lesson 1 Equipment: Overview and fit for trad climbing equipment
  • Lesson 2 Environment : Leave no trace and wildlife discussion.
  • Lesson 3 Onsite safety: Current hazards and safety protocols.
  • Lesson 4 Introduction to Trad Protection: Cams, nuts, pitons etc.
  • Lesson 5 Introduction to Trad terminology, principles and physics: direction of pull, passive vs. active, etc.
  • Lesson 6 How to place and remove different pieces of trad protection
  • Lesson 7 Building Anchors: Using the IDEALS & SRENE acronym for a solid anchor
  • Lesson 8 Building Anchors: Using appropriate soft materials for anchors
  • Lesson 9 Lead Climbing Strategies: Racking up for your lead
  • Lesson 10 Simulated Leads: Placing and removing protection on top rope
  • Lesson 11 Building and Assessing Anchors: When toping out on your trad climb
  • Lesson 12 Trad climbing multi-pitch seconding technique & considerations
  • Lesson 13 Natural anchors- assessment and use
  • Lesson 14 Trad leading session (for those with previous leading experience)
  • Lesson 15 Climbing: Professional Coaching and Application

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Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance upon booking and Emergency Evacuation insurance.

Emergency Evacuation and Medical

This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by National Health.

We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance. Emergency evacuation insurance is also compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All course prices are quoted in Canadian Dollars and are exclusive of a 5% Federal GST. Prices are subject to change.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA through our online payment portal. We also accept Credit Card payment over the phone, bank transfer and cash.

Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.

Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.

Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability. *Does not apply to First Aid and WFR courses.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 24 hours: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, no reschedule.
  • Outside of 24 hours: $25 rescheduling fee per booking or full refund.
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.

Minors (under the age of 18 for our courses based in Alberta and 19 for those based in BC) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where the parents/legal guardian are not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well as must sign a waiver and have their parents or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.


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