FAQ: What to know before your climbing trip!
Updated: Jun 1
Going rock climbing, especially for the first time, is an exciting endeavor. Let's talk about what happens on a climbing trip, and help you prepare for a day out in the mountains. In this article, we'll cover some of our most frequently asked questions:
Why should I hire a guide?
Guides and instructors are experts in outdoor climbing skills, risk management, terrain selection, and more. Getting into climbing is hard! Knowing how to use the gear, where to go on what day, how to find the crag, and what climbs to do gets complicated. Hiring a guide takes some of the risks out of planning the perfect day, and enables you and your group to have the best day possible out on the mountain. If you have some climbing experience, getting out with a guide is a fantastic way to build new skills quickly. Instead of learning from online resources, you can lock in your knowledge straight from the source. The best way to learn is through hands-on practice and receiving constructive feedback that you can trust. Even watching the way a professional guide moves through the terrain, manages risk, and works with technical systems is a great way to learn. Be like a sponge!
What can I expect when I book a trip with Golden Mountain Guides?
Once you've booked a trip with us, we will hand-select a guide or instructor who best suits your needs. We'll send you a digital waiver to complete, and confirmation of your trip date and time. Your guide will call you the day before
your trip to discuss logistics, see what gear you need, talk about the weather forecast, and answer any questions you might have for them. Now is a great time to talk about what you aim to achieve or what you want to learn. If you want additional information about your trip, check out our website - we have a ton of details available on the awesome places we are privileged to guide!
What should I bring for rock climbing?
Before the big day, your guide will reach out with details about the trip and discuss what gear you have, and what you should bring. We supply the big three- harness, helmet, and shoes - but it's up to you to bring an appropriate pack, clothing, and anything else you might need to be comfortable for a day out. Make sure to wear solid, closed-toed shoes for hiking and moving in steep terrain. Approach shoes, hiking boots, or athletic sneakers are great. Please bring water and snacks to keep you fueled for a day. On a full-day trip, we will take a break for lunch so pack what you need!
When choosing clothes for climbing, you want durable but mobile clothing. Since the sun is so strong in Colorado, consider keeping your skin covered even on hot days, to protect your skin from UV (and sharp rocks). A 10-30L pack is acceptable, and your guide will carry most of the gear for the day. Who knows when a pop-up storm could roll in over the next mountain, so bring a rain/wind layer no matter the forecast.
Read more about some of the basic gear needed for getting into rock climbing here
Who will be my Guide?
All of our team members are AMGA certified guides and instructors. We will assign your trip a guide when you book, so you will have a chance to learn more about them and ask questions. Many of them have decades of experience in the mountains across multiple disciplines. If you do want a specific guide, you can request them when you book your trip. They get an extra bonus when you request them! Learn More about our guides here.
What is the difference between a full-day and half-day climbing trip?
The obvious difference of course is the time! Whether you choose a full or a half-day of guided climbing depends mostly on your goals. If you want to try climbing or want to get out for a few pitches, then a half-day is a great choice for you. If you want to learn how to place trad gear and build anchors, that of course will take some more time, and we'd recommend a full day.
Both trips begin with meeting your guide at a predetermined meeting location, gearing up, discussing the plan for the day, and hiking to the crag. The trip is 100% customizable to what you want to achieve, and we're here to work with you to plan the perfect day.
Do I need to have prior climbing experience?
No experience is necessary! We will provide any gear you need. We offer trips to suit every level of physical fitness and experience.
Can kids climb?
Yes! Kids can climb with supervision from a parent/guardian.
Can I bring my dog or pet?
While we love our furry friends, we ask that you leave Fido at home.
Can I lead climb?
You can! It is up to our guides to evaluate your skills and make a decision based on their comfort, and your experience. We'll ask you to sign an additional waiver, and you're good to go.