Intro to Rock Climbing Course
If you’ve never rock climbed, only been in the gym a few times, or have yet to experience outdoor rock climbing, this course is a great way to learn the basics and receive a low stress introduction to outdoor rock climbing. In this course we focus on basic rock movement and fundamental climbing systems. We begin with friction climbing to develop your balance, and then incorporate both face and crack climbing techniques before progressing to more challenging climbs. You will learn standard climbing protocols under the guidance of AMGA Certified, experienced, and supportive instructors.
We consider rock climbing to be the foundation of mountaineering and alpine climbing. Gaining proficiency in rock climbing will aid in your ability to progress towards more challenging rock climbing objectives and venues, and will also help you to develop a well-rounded understanding of the basic safety principles and mechanisms that all climbers utilize – whether they are rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, or mountaineering.
For fixed date courses, the venue for this program is Boulder, CO and the classic Eldorado Canyon which offers a wide variety of terrain and climbing routes of various difficulty. We can also offer this course in both Ouray and Durango, CO on a private/custom basis.
Participant Goals for the Course
At the conclusion of the 2 day Intro to Rock Climbing Course participants will have gained proficiency in the following skills:
Competently tie a Figure 8 follow through
Belay with an ATC and GriGri style devices
Utilize effective communication and commands
Demonstrate a basic level of climbing technique
Application of additional common climbing knots & hitches
Build a top rope anchor using bolts and natural features
Clean a top rope anchor to a lower or rappel
Rock climbing gear considerations and selection
2017 – 2018 Dates
September 23 – 24
September 30 – October 1
October 7 – 8
April 7 – 8
April 14 – 15
April 21 – 22
September 28 – 29
October 5 – 6
October 12 – 13
April 12 – 13
April 19 – 20
April 26 – 27
$419 per person
No Hidden Fees
- Guiding and instruction with an AMGA Certified/Trained Guide
- All rock climbing gear (harness, helmet, rock shoes, etc.)
Intro to Rock Climbing Itinerary
Meet your guide at 0800 at the entrance to Eldorado Canyon State Park. Your Course Leader will give you a quick briefing, help you fill out a couple forms, and fit you in whatever demo equipment you might need.
A short hike will take you to the rock climbing venue where you will begin the days instruction. We’ll start with an introduction to basic climbing gear (helmets, harnesses, carabiners, rock shoes, etc.) and move straight into knots and belay/rappel setups. The day will progress with plenty of climbing and “hands on” application of the topics for the course. The day will finish up no later than 4:00 pm.
Course participants will meet at 0800 at the entrance to Eldorado Canyon State Park. Review fundamentals from Day 1, then the group will move into the topics of anchoring, top rope setups, additional knots/hitches, and of course – plenty of rock climbing. At the conclusion of the course, your instructor will give you personal feedback regarding your potential next steps in the climbing progression.
We have honed our curriculum and itinerary through many years of ice climbing instruction. These courses offer a great way to introduce yourself to the sport of rock climbing in a fun, more affordable group atmosphere.
Rock Climbing Equipment List
|The Osprey Mutant 38 represents an excellent all around performer for Ice Climbing trips in the Ouray Ice Park and surrounding San Juan backcountry.|
|Water Bottles||Description||Guide's Pick|
|We recommend wide mouth Nalgene (or similar) water bottles for the majority of our programs. Two 1 liter bottles is the standard for days in the mountains.|
|Personal Food||Description||Guide's Pick|
|Lunch begins when breakfast ends and ends when dinner begins. Bring what you like to eat and consider the length, relative difficulty, weight, and other factors when deciding what to bring in the mountains with you. A variety is always best. Don't be afraid of Mr. T.|
|Essential for all of our programs. SPF 30 would be our minimum recommendation. Typically a 4 oz. bottle will suffice but consider trip length when deciding how much to pack.|
|Belay Device||Description||Guide's Pick|
|A belay device is a required item on any of our technical climbing or mountaineering courses. While not necessary to have the Guide ATC specifically, we think owning one of these offers additional versatility as you progress and gain additional knowledge about the various levels of functionality provided by a device of this type.|
|The BD Aspect Harness is a great all around performer for all types of climbing - ice, rock, alpine etc. The adjustable leg loops and integrated ice clipper loops make this a solid investment as your do-all harness.|
|Locking Carabiners||Description||Guide's Pick|
|We recommend at minimum 2 - 3 personal locking carabiners on our climbing courses and any technical private guided program. We prefer classic screw gate carabiners over other types of locking mechanisms.|
|Climbing Helmet||Description||Guide's Pick|
|A versatile, hybrid-shell helmet for lightweight protection in any discipline, the Vector features excellent ventilation and a ratcheting adjuster.|
Training & Follow Up Climbs
As always, being in excellent physical shape is an important component of our our programs. A good mixture of cardiovascular fitness, muscular fitness, and especially core strength will help you to maximize the potential rewards that are possible on a great climbing trip.
Specific to Rock Climbing – it is a great idea to experience rock climbing in a gym first prior to your first experience outside!
Before Your Trip
Familiarity with basic climbing principles such as knots, belaying, rappelling, and other climbing techniques can be very helpful for our Intro Course participants. Though not required, prior gym climbing experience will help you to acquire and assimilate the information covered in our rock climbing course progression as quickly as possible.
Follow Up Climbs
- Intermediate Rock Climbing Course
- Private Rock Guiding
- Intro to Alpine Rock Climbing Course
- Intro to Ice Climbing
Boulder, Colorado: Getting There
Boulder, Colorado is located in the Northeastern part of Colorado and approximately 30 minutes from Denver International Airport. A mecca for climbing, hiking, cycling, and foodies; make sure you plan to spend some time in town before and after your SJMG trip. Boulder, CO serves as the launching point for all of our rock climbing courses and climbs in the Front Range.
*If you are planning to combine additional days of climbing in Eldorado Canyon or The Flatirons then Boulder, CO is also a logical place to base your lodging for your trip.
The best option for flying to the area is to fly into Denver, CO. Many airline options exist, and because Denver is a major airline and travel destination there are typically many one-way flights to choose from.
You will likely need a to organize a rental car to drive to Boulder, CO from Denver. Typically in the summer months you can choose any type of vehicle but in the spring and winter months please consider that weather can change rapidly in the mountains so an All Wheel Drive or Four Wheel Drive vehicle is worth considering. Below are some approximate driving times to get to Boulder, CO.
- Denver, CO: 30 minutes
- Estes Park, CO: 45 minutes
- Colorado Springs, CO: 2 hours
Boulder, CO also has a number of great hotels, suites, and vacation rentals for you to stay in while you’re in the area. Give our office a call at 800-642-5389 if you have any questions about what would suit you best for this trip!
Registration & Cancellation
Advance Registration is required for this program. You have the option to either call our office and register via phone or utilize our secure Online Reservation System. All participants must read and sign an Assumption of Risks/Liability Waiver and agree to our Reservations and Cancellations Policies.
- Guiding and Instruction with an AMGA Certified/Trained Guide
- All rock climbing gear (harness, helmet, rock shoes, etc.)
- Transportation to Boulder, CO
- Hotel costs before, during, or after the program
- Guide gratuity
- Lunch food or snacks
- Personal hiking/climbing clothing
- Trip Cancellation Insurance (recommended)
- Costs associated with weather delays or other variables beyond the control of San Juan Mountain Guides
Book This Trip!
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