Like many sports, rock climbing has a steep learning curve when starting out. Many aspiring rock climbers begin their journey in an indoor climbing gym before trying their hand (and feet) at outdoor rock. Some climbers take to outdoor walls quickly, rapidly developing the skills and strength required for more difficult routes and are soon ready to attempt their first lead climb. But for each significant step to becoming an accomplished rock climber, the more skills are required to keep the climber and their partner safe. That’s when it’s worth investing in some training from a professional with a rock climbing course.
I’m ready to climb outside
As great as climbing gyms are for keeping up training during the winter and on rainy days, the real rock climbing experience is in the outdoors. That means purchasing the essential starter kit:
- 60m or 70m climbing rope
- belay device or ATC
- 4 x locking carabiners
Check out this video from smartrockclimbing.com for a full rundown on the gear.
Climbing outdoors should always start with top roping, where the anchor is first set at the top of the route. This usually requires linking into pre-installed chains or anchor points that often need to be equalized to make sure the two points are loaded equally. This is covered in the first rock climbing course offered by Mountain Skills Academy- Intro to Outdoor Rock and Leading. You’ll also learn how to safely belay and rappel, how to manage hazards and more efficient movements on the rock.
I want to climb higher (and further)
So you’re confident setting up a top rope system and have been gaining experience climbing more difficult routes and some sport climbs. But you want to explore routes that don’t necessarily have fixed bolts and are probably much higher than half the length of your climbing rope. This requires multi-pitching, which breaks down the route into a series of lead climbs, sometimes utilizing natural objects for anchors. In our Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing course, our instructors cover the specifics of racking techniques, ascending and descending strategies and more advanced rope management, as well as specialized belaying techniques. If you are new to trad climbing and using specific devices such nuts, cams and hexes, it’s best to take a rock climbing course specific to those tools. Check out our Intro to Trad Climbing to learn how to effectively place and remove protection on unbolted routes.
I’m embarking on a big climbing trip and want to be able to rescue my friends
Many popular climbing destinations are in remote locations, meaning if an accident does happen, it will be up to you and your party to rescue the victim. It’s best if all members of the expedition
party take this rock climbing course in case the most qualified climber in the group gets injured. Participants learn the how to best manage hazards as well as the most effective techniques to raise and lower victims in emergency situations in a high-angle rock environment. Our single day Rock Rescue course also covers the essential knots and utilizing modern belay equipment effectively for the situation.
I Want to Become a Rock Climbing Guide
Looking for a career of guiding on rock? Becoming a certified guide is a big undertaking, one that will require a hefty investment of time and money into training. Our Guide Training – Rock course is a springboard into guiding world by preparing candidates to meet the prequisites for International Federation of Mountain Guides (IFMGA) certification programs and the associated exams. This intensive, guide-specific three-day rock climbing course will also put candidates in the best position for acquiring guide practicums and employment upon completion.
Whether you’re a novice looking to level up your climbing game or an experienced rock climber ready to step into the guiding world, taking a rock climbing course is the best way to fast track you towards your goals. See our full range of courses here.