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learn how to lead climb indoors and out

This combined course offers new indoor lead climbers the skills to also lead single pitch sport climbs outdoors. Lead climbing outside requires skills and considerations that aren't present in the climbing gym. Sport climbing requires technique, practice and a little boldness, but opens a world of possible climbing adventures!

 This course is right for you if you are ready for the thrill, challenge and freedom of lead climbing. 

How is the course structured?

First, learn indoor lead climbing through your climbing gym, taking time to get confident with your skills in this more controlled environment. Then head outdoors with On The Rocks to work on outdoor-specific techniques and practice on real rock!

What will I learn?

Clipping Methods/Considerations

Cleaning a Route

Threading / Cleaning an Anchor

Stances for Clipping / Efficiency

Safety Tips


Rope Management

Lead Belaying & Falling

Route Selection & Risk Assessment 

Rock Respect Climber's Code

  • Intermediate Climbers seeking to build their skill 

  • Those who are interested in leading climbs

  • Climbers must qualify for participating gym's lead climbing course

  • Must have basic knowledge of rock climbing and qualify for lead course of gym hosting course

  • Be comfortable climbing 5.9 on top rope (or as required by climbing gym)

  • Instructor will contact climbers before course to help determine if this is the right course for you, and also to determine group compatibility for group courses (experience, weight ratios, etc.)

  • Outdoor session scheduled to fall after indoor course to allow for indoor lead practice

What's Included?
  • Indoor Lead Course (2+ sessions, timing and length may vary)

  • 1-day Outdoor Sport Lead Course (8 hrs), taught by a certified climbing guide

  • 4:1 Maximum guide to participant ratio 

  • Climbing equipment for outdoor session provided (climbers should have padded harness in good condition)

book a course

Book a Gym to Crag Sport Course with a participating gym. Make sure to check with your gym to ensure you are ready to start sport climbing, and understand the course requirements and risks. Gyms may require participants to book course with a climbing partner, or certain weight ratios between climbing partners. Once the Indoor Lead Course is booked...

Book a date for your Outdoor Sport Lead course with On The Rocks. Email us to ask about availability!


Course is booked through participating gyms. Prices and indoor lead course may vary from gym to gym.

For Outdoor Session with On The Rocks:

All climbing equipment for outdoor session is included, however climbers should have padded climbing harness.

Additional park entrance fees for Rattlesnake Point.

Climbers are required to sign On The Rocks Course Waivers (provided) before course outdoor segment.

Gym to crag

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