• On The Rocks Climbing Guides

Choosing a Climbing Course

Updated: Jul 27


Choosing a climbing course can be confusing. First, take an honest look at your climbing experience, level and knowledge. Then, think about what you'd like to learn. Next, have a look at the list of courses below. If you have any questions, just email us at info@ontherocksclimbing.com!



Private bookings allow the greatest flexibility in scheduling and programming, but scheduled courses are lower cost for 1-2 climbers and are a great way to meet other climbers. You can lower individual costs with a larger group for some courses, but you may want to book an extra day to allow more practice and coaching (ask your guide). Most courses work a little better with at least 2 climbers.




Climbing Adventures

(1-6 climbers)

Looking to get out and try climbing or have a casual day at the crag? Climbing Adventures allows climbers to experience the joy and challenge of outdoor climbing in an open format. This option is great for groups or families looking for a day out, or climbers who want to maximize their time on the rock. Outdoor lead climbers wishing to sport climb should book Technical Coaching.

No previous experience or climbing equipment is required for Climbing Adventures.



Intro to Outdoor Climbing

(1-6 climbers)

For first-time or rusty outdoor climbers, an Intro course is a must, just to get a feel for the rock, safety protocols and equipment used outdoors. This can be a half or a full day course. This is helpful even for experienced indoor climbers, and allows you to move straight to more technical learning in your next course (if you like!).

No previous experience or climbing equipment is required for an Intro course.






Anchor Building/Top-rope Course

(1-6 climbers)

Learn all the skills to set up top-ropes independently. This course is a building block for future skills, such as Rappelling, Self-rescue or Trad climbing.

Previous outdoor experience or an Intro course is recommended (possibly 2).

Intro and Anchor Building courses are combined into the 2-day Top-rope Course.

No climbing equipment is required.






Outdoor Sport Lead

(1-2 climbers for 1-day course, 1-4 climbers for 2-day course)

Learn to lead bolted outdoor sport routes. 1-day course may be adequate for Indoor lead climbers, but new leaders or groups of 3-4 climbers will likely want 2 days (booked as Gym to Rock). This course is a building block for Traditional Climbing, Multi-Pitch Climbing, and Rock Rescue.

Climbers should be confident top-roping 5.9 in the gym or 5.8 outdoors.

New leaders will likely benefit from a 2-day course.

Padded, good-condition, well-fitted climbing harness required.



Rock Rescue

(1-3 climbers)

Avoid getting stuck if things don't quite go your way! Rock Rescue is a 1-day intensive course designed to help climbers make decisions when a climbing partner gets into trouble above or below you on a climb. This course can be tailored to a group's experience, and can also cover top-managed top-roping.

Climbers should be confident outdoor climbers and have (top-rope) Anchor Building skills.

Outdoor Sport Lead recommended, but not mandatory.

Padded, good-condition, well-fitted climbing harness required.

Some pre-course study recommended.



Traditional Climbing

(1-3 climbers for 2-day course, 1-4 climbers for 3-day course)

Learn to apply your lead skills to routes employing traditional (removable) protection. This 2 to 3-day course covers placements, trad anchors, strategy and more. To get the most out of this course, solid Outdoor Lead and Anchor Building skills are recommended.

Climbers should be confident Outdoor Sport Lead climbers and have (top-rope) Anchor Building skills.

Padded, good-condition, well-fitted climbing harness required.

If you're wondering if this course is right for you, email us!





Multi-Pitch Skills

(1-2 climbers for 1-day course, 1-3 for 2-day course)

Multi-Pitch Climbing opens the door to higher, more exciting climbs, in either sport or traditional style. The first day of this 2-day course covers planning, strategy, techniques and transitions both on the way up (climbing) and on the way down (rappelling) on longer climbs. The second day covers the self-rescue skills of Rock Rescue, applied to a multi-pitch setting. The 2 days can be booked and taken separately.

Climbers should have solid Outdoor Lead and Anchor Building skills.

At least one season of outdoor lead and top-rope climbing recommended.

Climbers should have their own helmet, harness and shoes.

Some pre-course study recommended to get the most out of the day.

If you're wondering if this course is right for you, email us!



PCGI Top Rope Guide Course

(3-6 candidates)

This course is a wonderful way to expand your skills and support other climbers in a top-rope setting. 3 days will be spent learning risk management strategies, self-rescue skills, group instruction, polishing anchor building skills and more! There is no lead climbing in this course, but climbers should be confident outdoor top-rope climbers. For climbers wishing to pursue certification as a PCGI Top Rope Guide, an assessment can be booked following the course.

Candidates should apply in advance, and must be accepted by the PCGI Mentor.

Climbers must be over 18, and have at least one year outdoor top-rope experience.

Climbers must have solid Anchor Building skills.

Personal top-roping equipment is required (suggested list on course page).

Some knowledge of trad gear anchors is helpful, not mandatory.

If you're wondering if this course is right for you, email us!



PCGI Single Pitch Guide Course

(2-4 candidates)

Learn to guide others on single-pitch trad and sport climbs! This course will cover risk management, client care, instruction, self-rescue, and more. Traditional and Sport climbs up to about 5.8 may be led during the course and (separate) assessment. Climbers should be confident at the grade, and have solid Anchor Building and Traditional Climbing skills. If climbers wish to pursue SPG certification, most will take a month or two to polish skills from the course before booking an assessment.

Candidates should apply in advance, and must be accepted by the PCGI Mentor.

Climbers must be over 18, and have at least 2 years outdoor lead experience.

Climbers must have solid Anchor Building skills, including traditional gear.

Personal guiding equipment is required (suggested list on course page).

Climbers should be confident leading 5.8 trad and sport climbs.

If you're wondering if this course is right for you, email us!



Technical Coaching

(1-2 climbers, ask about larger groups)

If you'd like to work on climbing technique or review/learn a skill not listed in one of the courses above, consider booking a Technical Coaching session. Let us know what you'd like to work on, and we can come up with a custom clinic or course for you.

Your guide will help you plan to achieve your goals and set reasonable expectations for the day.

Prerequisites depend on what you'd like to cover, just ask!

Padded, good-condition, well-fitted climbing harness usually required.







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