Learn to Lead Trad Climbing


Important: Pricing is based on a four-person minimum. If the course has less than four people, we have pricing options available to run it with less than four people. Please inquire at (720) 242-9828.

Join our experienced guides for a two-day traditional climbing course in Boulder. Learn the art of gear placement, anchor building, trad climbing logistics to tackle any challenge on a trad climb.


The art of traditional climbing, also known as “Trad” climbing, involves placing your own protection as you ascend. This presents a vast new realm of climbing opportunities, as many beautiful climbing routes doesn’t have bolts, whether in Colorado or elsewhere. Learning to trad climb can be an exhilarating and enjoyable experience that offers great rewards as you sharpen your problem-solving skills. As you become more adept at outdoor climbing, trad climbing provides an additional layer of complexity in terms of figuring out how to secure your gear in the wall using nuts, cams, slings, ropes, and other tools of the trade.

Join our experienced guides and instructors for a two-day course that will establish a solid foundation in the art of traditional gear placement, anchor building, terrain management route planning, equipment and more. We will provide you with the tools you need to tackle any challenge you may encounter on a trad climb, such as identifying cracks and constrictions, placing gear, reading wandering routes, and protecting them properly. We will also clarify questions you may have, what are hexes and tricams, why is a rope labeled as a half rope, and more.

One critical aspect of a successful trad climb is constructing simple, secure, and efficient anchor systems for you and your partner. If you are accustomed to sport climbing, you are familiar with bolts and the convenience they offer for anchoring. However, traditional climbing does not have this luxury! We will demonstrate various types of climbing protections that you can employ and adjust to suit your need and help you develop a discerning eye for selecting excellent protection placements.

Like your initial experience of outdoor climbing, trad climbing may be daunting. But Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides is enthusiastic about assisting you in cracking the code and embarking on the adventure of plugging gear.

Additional information

Trip Dates

May 20-21, 2023, June 10-11, 2023, July 15-16, 2023, September 23-24, 2023, August 26-27, 2023


  • Different types of protection and their uses
  • Gear selection, racking, and maintenance
  • Properly placing gear for protection while lead climbing
  • Protecting traverses for both leader and follower and finding stances for placing protection, utilizing extended runners
  • Review of knots, lead belaying, and route finding, understanding route-finding issues, evaluating hazards thoroughly, and tips and tricks for route-finding in crack systems
  • Climbing movement, resting while leading, and bailing from a route
  • Developing a lead climbing “head”
  • Deciding what gear to carry on the route and how to properly remove gear

Trip Details

Two full days at a climbing crag, potential locations are Boulder Canyon or The Flatirons.

Included in our rates: The services of a professional rock climbing guide, any rock climbing equipment (helmet, harnesses, shoes, belay devices).

Not included in our rates: Park entrance fees, which are $10 per person daily for Eldorado Canyon State Park and $15 per person daily for Rocky Mountain National Park. Entrance fees are paid directly to the Parks upon entrance, gratuities for your guide are also not included (while the amount is at your discretion, the recommended gratuity is 20%).

Difficulty Description: Moderate

What to Bring: Food and water for the day, personal climbing gear, approach shoes, sun protection.

Meeting Location: Meet at climbing location or at Trailhead

Prerequisites: Experience with outdoor sport lead climbing.



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