Rock Climbing Course


The program was everything I expected and more! I received and learned the information I was looking for and more. My guide really made this the course the most informative program I have ever attended. I have been with other groups and all I have to say is that every guide who I have met through Alpine Ascents is genuine and professional and a pleasure to be around. I can't say that for the others. - Cary M.

Course Overview
Rock climbing is currently one of the fastest growing sectors of the outdoor industry – and for good reason.  It is a fun and rewarding experience, in addition to being an excellent way for the mountaineer to improve footwork and prepare for more technical summits.  Our five day rock climbing course is designed for beginner and intermediate climbers; this is a great course for a budding outdoor climber or an avid gym climber looking to take their skills outside.  Due to the small group sizes, the guides are often able to structure the course to meet the needs of each individual climber, while placing a premium of safety and safe climbing practices. Our locations are chosen with minimal approach time which will maximize our time climbing and developing skills.  Although the days are long, our graduates often find this to be a very enjoyable course; a refreshing change of pace from our demanding glaciated climbs.

This course is a crucial part of the necessary skillset needed when approaching challenging mixed terrain climbing. Whether one has an existing background in glacier climbing, sport or gym climbing, or is an avid hiker, this rock course will change the way you view and assess variable terrain.

Students who complete the five day training course should walk away with a firm understanding of the basics of rock climbing including the ability to tie knots, belay and rappel safely.  Furthermore, most of our students learn about the materials and equipment used in rock climbing, are confident in setting up their own top-rope anchors, understand the mechanics of lead climbing, improve their risk assessment, practice basic rescue systems, and enhanced movement skills.  Although not the focus of this course, we usually attempt at least one multi-pitch climb to familiarize students with longer climbs.

Course Locations
Leavenworth (This is our primary locations).  We also use Vantage, Mount Erie, & Exit 38 depending on the weather and needs of the group.

Course Objectives
The purpose of this course is to improve terrain assessment and climbing skills of the students.  This includes the actual movement skill on technical rock routes in addition to a base understanding of the safety systems that are used in rock climbing.  These are all very transferable skills to snow and ice and many of our graduates find this course to be extremely beneficial for their future mountaineering objectives such as Denali, The Matterhorn or Everest.

Some key components of the course are:

Learning balance and energy efficiency in rock climbing.  Slab, crack and face climbing techniques will be employed throughout the course.
Learning a variety of knots and hitches that are common in climbing.
Belaying and Rappelling.
Safe Anchor construction from pre-established bolts, traditional gear and natural placements.  
Evaluating top rope sites and establishing top rope climbs.  Helping climbers visulalize the route, how it unfolds and managing potential risks.
Basic Rock Rescue techniques including escaping the belay and passing a knot.
Ascending a fixed line.
The mechanics of lead climbing and mock lead scenarios.
The theory and practice of multi-pitch climbing.

Physical Conditioning
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition is required. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Multiple sessions at a rock gym will prove very valuable when preparing for this course. Comprehensive training information can be found here.

Environmental Responsibility
Alpine Ascents is deeply committed to maintaining ecosystems at home and around the world. With each expedition, trek and course, we not only attempt to leave the environment as we found it, but strive to assist the local population in protecting the land and people indigenous to that region. Alpine Ascents reaches for the highest ethical business practices at home and abroad. Each staff member is dedicated to environmentally sound alpine ascents.

Environmental stewardship remains one of our core values, and we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices seriously. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. On every one of our courses and climbs, we teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Our commitment to environmental stewardship can be seen on our programs around the world. Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Our Wag Bag® program made a pioneering step in human waste management for the National Park System and Forest Service in the North Cascades. On Aconcagua and Mount Vinson, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information, most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment.

Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.

Private Groups
We regularly organize private climbs for individuals, corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these climbs early, to help us be better able to fit these climbs to group-specific desires. Contact us to further discuss the benefits of private courses.

Alpine Ascents International is an Equal Opportunity recreation provider under the Special Use Permit from the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan National Forest, Wenatchee National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Goat Rocks Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park.

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