top of page

Intro to Trad Climbing

Prepare to tie into the sharp end and expand your knowledge of traditional "trad" climbing. This course focuses on the fundamentals of single pitch trad climbing with a heavy emphasis on gear placement and anchor building.




Pricing: $225/climber; min. of 3 climbers

Note: If there are less than 3 climbers, we can run the course with the below pricing schedule. Since we understand that the increase in price can be a barrier, refunds and rescheduling options are available for climbers who do not want to go on the trip with less than 3 climbers.

  • 2 climbers - $300/climber

  • 1 climber - $475/climber

How to Book: A calendar with public dates are not available. Email or call us with your available dates. We will then match you with other climbers who have similar available dates. We're available weekends and weekdays​ and dates do not have to be consecutive.

Course Length: 2 days | 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (16 hrs.)

Course Size: 1:6 guide-to-client ratio with a maximum number of 6 clients

Instructor: Instructed by guide Chadd Sechler, who has 30+ years of climbing experience and completed the American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch Instructor course (scheduled to take the assessment exam).

Course Location: tbd

Lodging OptionChiques Rock Outfitters

Special Note: The Intro to Trad Climbing course is not certification a course

Recommended Experience:

  • Familiarity with the following climbing knots and hitches: figure 8 follow-through, figure 8 on a bight, bowline, bowline on a bite, double fisherman, munter, girth hitch, clove hitch, prussic, auto block, klemheist. Please refer to for reference.

  • Ability to top rope climb 5.8

  • solid top rope belaying technique

  • Experience building anchors using natural features and artificial gear

  • VTS Climbing Anchors 101 & 201 courses or similar experience

  • VTS Intro to Sport Climbing or similar experience  

  • Prior outdoor rock climbing and rappelling

Day 1

Day 1 consists of mostly ground school where climbers practice, among other things, placing and evaluating each other's gear placements, building and evaluating other participants' anchors, making alpine draws, clipping draws to gear, and clipping rope to draws. Climbers also learn about the intricacies of lead belaying, belaying from the top as a leader, and other aspects of trad climbing, such as lead climbing strategies, risk awareness, equipment selection, and use and racking gear as a leader and follower.

Day 1 usually concludes with a least 1 mock trad lead, which is when the climber lead climbs a trad route while tope rope belayed to gain experience placing gear while climbing. A mock lead climb provides the climber the security of being on top rope belay so they can apply the newly learned trad climbing gear placement skills without the risk of taking a lead fall on gear. The Instructor delivers and reviews a lot of information on day 1 and it can be difficult to retain the information and apply the skills and techniques by yourself. Hence, day 2, the reinforcement day.

Day 2

Day 2 begins with a review that transitions into a Question, Answer & Demonstration. The day progresses with participants lead belaying, mock lead climbing, top site belaying, and also following, cleaning, and retreating from a trad route. Day 2 is all about building confidence.

Topics Covered

  • Review of climbing knots

  • Lead climbing strategies

  • Equipment selection

  • Gear placement and anchoring

  • Following single pitch trad climbs

  • Mock leading single pitch trad climbs

  • Racking gear as a leader and follower

  • Top and bottom belay station and rope management

  • Belayer and climber communication

  • Assistance and lowering

  • Rick management

  • Terrain assessment

  • LNT principles and climbing ethics

  • Route identification


Didn't find what you are looking for?

bottom of page