Joshua Tree Trad Courses 2015


Join On the Rocks in Joshua Tree, California this February! This is the perfect excuse to escape the Canadian cold, learn to climb granite cracks and gain knowledge about the world of trad climbing!
Daily private guiding rates of $300 apply or $160/person for 2 or more. Flights, rental car, accommodations and park entry fees are extra but we can help you make arrangements.

Inquire at: / 705 888 TRAD

Hope to see you there!!

Thanks for another great season!!!

Thanks to everyone for making 2014 our most successful year yet! On the Rocks is officially closed in Ontario for the season. Trips to Joshua Tree, California are running in February and can be booked at We will open up for the Ontario climbing season on May 1st, 2015. See ya then!

Beaver Valley Climbing Festival 2014

What a day!!! Big thanks to Dennis Barnes for this amazing video and to all those supported.

2014 Beaver Valley Climbing Festival from Dennis Barnes on Vimeo.

Beaver Valley Climbing Festival

This is going to be an amazing event with all proceeds to support the Ontario Access Coalition and local access initiatives. Fun for the whole family!!! Climbing competitions, clinics, aerial silks performance, yoga, mountain biking, caving, camping, live music, and so much more!

Tickets on sale now at

Top Rope Guide Certification Course June 24-26

Professional Climbing Guides Institute

On the Rocks will be running a PCGI Tope Rope Guide Certification Course at Metcalfe Rock on June 24-26, 2014. PCGI courses are great for those interested in becoming a rock climbing guide and even climbing enthusiasts that want to perfect their technical skills and learn cool guide tricks. This course is also valuable for climbers interested in learning to perfect their traditional gear placements/anchors. PCGI Certified Guides are recognized across North America and select areas abroad. Must be 18 years old.

June 24, 25, 26, 2014 + optional Single Pitch Guide 1 day add on.
Exam dates are booked separately.
Custom dates available.
$450/person + course manual (3 days)

$200 exam (1 day, booked separately)
Group Rates Available.
705 888 8723

Joshua Tree TRAD Courses 2014

Joshua Tree sunsets

 On the Rocks is incredibly excited to now offer climbing courses and adventures abroad! Experience is the best teacher, and escaping the Canadian winters to climb and learn is an incredible opportunity for any climber. Leslie Timms, owner/head guide is now running custom climbing courses all over North America in amazing destinations like Joshua Tree, California.

Check out the custom trad climbing courses that we ran in Joshua Tree, February 2014...
Just another day at "the office" with Mary Ann (Left) and Pia (Middle), my students for the "Introduction to "The Art of Trad" Course .

Intro to The Art of TRad Course:
This 3-4 day course is the perfect opportunity to learn the art of traditional climbing in one of the best trad climbing destinations on earth. During the course you will learn the ins and outs of active and passive gear placements, traditional anchors, top managed belays, trad lead safety considerations, crack skills and much more. All courses can be custom taught to suit your climbing goals and level! Traditional climbing is the ultimate, and Joshua Tree is one of the best places to learn this amazing style of rock climbing.
Pia Thurlow picks out a good line for rappelling off The Chief 5.5
I had such a blast teaching this course to two incredibly brave women from the Alpine Club of Canada- Toronto Section. It was so cool to watch them both grow so much as climbers in such a short period of time. The highlight of the trip was definitely watching them both exceed their own expectations and lead their first ever trad climb with great gear placements the entire way. They continuously stepped out of their comfort zones, tried new things and most definitely reaped the benefits of their efforts!
All taped up and ready to battle some cracks!
Pia dances up the exposed crux of The Chief 5.5

Here is what Pia had to say about her experience: 

"It has been an amazing trip and has far exceeded our expectations. We learned so much and each checked off our first trad lead. Leslie you are always so encouraging and positive that you gave us the confidence to do this. I enjoyed it so much and had some good laughs as well. The weather has been absolutely perfect with sunshine and warm breezes and JTree is a fantastic place to climb. Thank you so much Leslie. We are definitely going to do this with you again in the future."
-Pia Thurlow

Mary Ann learns to crack climb on Trashcan Rock

Pia racked up and ready for her first ever trad lead

Mary Ann climbs her first trad lead with confidence
Beautiful Cap Rock
Mastering Trad Course:
This 2-4 day course is perfect for seasoned trad climbers that would like to further advance their skills. This course can be custom to help you reach your personal climbing goals with lessons and practice with traditional anchors, top managed belays, crack skills, intro to multi-pitch trad climbing and much more. Joshua Tree is a unique location in that you need a wide variety of trad skills to safely enjoy the majority of the climbing. Most climbs are traditional, without bolted anchors, requiring climbers to have the skills necessary to build safe gear anchors, top belay and descend by either technical scrambles or rappels. Most of the routes feature cracks of varying sizes too, creating a great opportunity to hone your crack skills. If you can trad climb safely in JTree, you are definitely set to climb anywhere!
Frank Hardy, the trad master in training, steps out of the comfort zone and leads the famous Joshua Tree handcrack, The Bong 5.5

Here is what Frank had to say about his experience:

"I was fortunate enough to be recommended to On The Rocks when I wanted to make the transition from top rope to sport with the goal of learning trad. Since then, my climbing skills have improved greatly and it has been such a joy to climb on the Niagara escarpment. But if you asked me just a couple of years ago about climbing in places like the Red River Gorge in Kentucky or Joshua Tree National Park in California I would have answered that those places were beyond me and my abilities. Now that I've been to both with On The Rocks I see so many more possibilities.
They made it such a pleasure, I felt safe, did not have to worry about finding the climbing routes,the whole experience was incredible. Absolutely wonderful. Can't wait for the next adventure.Thank-you so much Leslie! Your the best."
-Frank Hardy

Frank leads Circus, an exposed finger crack.

  I have taught Frank Hardy for several years now, watching him evolve from top rope climber and eventually to trad climber. It made me so proud to see it all come together for him in Joshua Tree. Although he found the crack climbing a tough adjustment (though an important one), he caught on really quick and his anchors, gear placements, rope management, top belays, and overall technical skills were truly solidified. It was amazing to watch him evolve into a seasoned trad climber, ticking off many stout and heady Joshua Tree classics, his first time climbing on granite too! Frank was truly in his element.
Having too much fun on the amazing granite jugs of Fote Hog, a classic 2 pitch 5.6

Frank walks the plank on Cap Rock

Frank masters 5.2 with this heady lead, Mastering 5.2

It's hard to call this amazing couple of weeks in Joshua Tree, California work as I think I had just as much fun showing these great folks around as they did. I most definitely look forward to making this an anual trip! Stay tuned for this and other courses abroad at:
and never hesitate to inquire about custom locations all across North America.