Learn to Lead: Trad Climbing

Trad climbing skills are foundational to any climber who aspires to climb Connecticut's classic routes, multi-pitch lines in the Gunks or alpine rock routes in New Hampshire, the Cascades and beyond.

We'll practice placing protection, building anchors and belay systems for single and multi-pitch terrain. We'll also introduce basic self-rescue skills to help you avoid and escape sticky situations on the cliff.  You'll start on low-stress leads with a top rope backup as you develop your skills and progress under the supervision of an AMGA certified instructor.

You'll learn:

  • Selecting and placing traditional climbing gear

  • Anchor skills and assessment

  • Belay systems for the leader and follower

  • Leader security and station management

  • Intro to self rescue - lowering and raising a follower


Climb 5.8 or higher, extensive top rope belay experience.


Private (1:1) $350
Semi Private (1:2) $200ea
Small Group (1:3+) $150ea

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New Trad Leaders
We recommend booking two days of instruction to give adequate time to learn and practice the myriad skills.
20% discount after the first day.

Experience Leaders
Experienced leaders are welcome to book a single day or refresher course where we build on the skills you already have.

We recommend a 1:1 or 2:1 student to guide ratio for lead courses to ensure the best learning outcomes. Max ratio is 4:1.

Scenes from recent trad courses