Learning to lead climb outdoors is an exciting and empowering thing! Once you are able to comfortably lead a climb, you are able to explore new terrain and climbing areas. This 2-day course will help you transition from being a competent top-rope climber to a lead-climbing rock star. The goal here is to help you build confidence, and make progress in outdoor climbing with the help of some technical skills.

Lead climbing outside is all about route reading, body position, and specific technical skills. Under the watchful eye of your guide and instructor, you’ll get on the fly feedback as well as the chance to play with new skills. We’ll cover the proper way to clip quick draws, basic anchor building, how to clean an anchor, and how to safely bail off of a route. Once you’ve completed this course, you will be ready to lead on your own outdoors!

Another important component of lead climbing outdoors is giving your partner a solid belay. We get it, if you’re used to top-roping, lead belaying might seem a little bit tricky. But with the guidance of our instructors, we will show you how easy it can be. Giving the perfect belay not only makes your day easier and safer, but it will also keep your climbing partners feeling confident so they can climb their best. Everyone loves a nice soft catch.

There is plenty of sport climbing near Denver, and we can get you out there clipping bolts! This course will show you the necessary skills need to lead sport routes. Everything from back-clipping to bailing off a route is covered in this two day course. The goal is for you to walk away with the skills and confidence to lead a route by yourself. There are many chances within this course to practice skills, ask questions, and work through common problems while leading.

This is a hands on class where you will have plenty of time to practice, ask questions, and apply skills in new ways.  Instructor demonstrations coupled with hands on experience is a great way to put it all together. Practice makes perfect and we guarantee there will be lots of time to hone your leading skills under the watchful eye of professionally trained and certified guides and instructors.

This Learn to Lead Climb course is an excellent prerequisite for other courses such as our Intro to Trad and Intro to Mountaineering courses.


Participants should be able to comfortably climb 5.8 outdoors on a top rope as well as have experience with basic climbing systems such as belaying.

If you’re not quite there yet, our Beginner Climbing Tour and Gym to Crag courses are an excellent way to get up to speed.

Course Dates Price Location Course Length Difficulty Rating
Course DatesApril 6-7, 2024 Price$415 LocationClear Creek Canyon Course Length8:00am to 4:00pm Difficulty Rating4/10
Course DatesJune 1-2, 2024 Price$415 LocationClear Creek Canyon Course Length8:00am to 4:00pm Difficulty Rating4/10
Course DatesAugust 17-18, 2024 Price$415 LocationClear Creek Canyon Course Length8:00am to 4:00pm Difficulty Rating4/10
  • Learn from a pro! Our guides/instructors have undergone rigorous training and certification to be able to teach you
  • Instructor demos and tons of hands on experience help set you up for success with lead climbing
  • Plenty of time to ask questions and practice new skills
  • Learn about lead climbing in one of the best sport climbing destinations in Colorado
Price Includes


  • A professionally trained and/or certified AMGA guide or instructor
  • All necessary climbing equipment including harnesses, helmets, climbing shoes, belay devices, ropes, and protection
  • Professional guiding and instruction throughout the entire day
  • Resources to further your rock climbing journey


  • Transportation. You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from a designated meeting area
  • Gratuity
  • Personal items such as food, clothing, backpack, etc.
  • Entrance fees and parking fees (where necessary)
Topics Covered
  • Climbing equipment necessary to lead a sport climb
  • Review of climbing knots, hitches, and top rope belaying
  • Lead belaying
  • Bolted anchor construction
  • How to protect yourself while leading
  • How to properly clip quickdraws
  • How to clean anchors
  • Falling while on lead
  • How/when to bail off a sport route
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