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Intro to Trad

Learn How to Trad Climb

Traditional, or “Trad” climbing, involves placing your own protection as you go. This opens up a whole new world to explore, and enables you to climb thousands of routes that go without bolts whether it’s in Colorado or elsewhere. Learning to trad climb is exciting, fun and very rewarding as you learn to diligently problem solve. Once you’ve begun to master movement in outdoor climbing, trad offers an additional puzzle to figure out along your way - how do I stick these things in the wall? We’re talking trad gear; nuts, cams, slings, ropes and other tools of the trade! Racking gear is pretty satisfying, and we all love to jingle our way up the wall.

Join our AMGA guides and instructors in Denver, Golden, and Boulder for a two-day course that will help you build a solid foundation in the art of traditional gear placement, anchor building, multi-pitch logistics, terrain management, basic self rescue, and more. We’ll help equip you with the tools you need to tackle any “problem” you encounter on a trad climb - how to identify cracks and constrictions, place gear, read wandering routes, and properly protect them. What’s a twin rope? Why does this rope say it’s only a half rope? We’ll answer these questions and more.

A big part of a successful trad climb is building simple, safe, and efficient anchor systems for you and your partner. If you’ve done any sport climbing, you’re well familiar with bolts and how convenient it is to anchor to them. But in traditional “clean” climbing, there are none! We’ll work together to demonstrate multiple types of climbing anchors that you can use and adapt to your style, and develop that keen eye for choosing great belays.

Like your first time outdoor climbing, trad climbing can be intimidating! But Golden Mountain Guides is excited to help you crack the code and get you out there plugging gear.

Did you miss the climbing course you really wanted to take? We can always offer any course as a Private Day instead. Contact Us to set up a Private Day.

Learning how to trad climb near Denver, Colorado

Intro to Trad

Learn to trad climb by covering the basics and more. Gear placement, anchor construction, and leading are all covered in this 2 day course.

Intro to Trad

The Intro to Trad course is for climbers who have mastered the basics and want to take their climbing to the next level.  Throughout this two day course, you will learn the necessary skills to climb both single and multi pitch trad routes while learning new technical systems and practicing movement skills. There is a strong emphasis in this course on gear placement and anchor construction.

In this course, you'll have plenty of time to ask questions, practice skills, and apply them in new ways.  Practice makes perfect and we guarantee there will be lots of time to hone your new trad climbing skills under the watchful eye of an AMGA Certified Rock Guide.

Participants should have prior experience with lead climbing and be comfortable climbing up to a 5.8 on a top rope.  Previous experience with basic climbing systems such as belaying is required. We recommend our Gym to Crag Course and Learn to Lead Course, or schedule a privately guided day to catch up!


  • Learn from a pro! Our guides/instructors have undergone rigorous training and certification to be able to teach you

  • Learn the basics of trad climbing and take your adventures to new heights

  • Plenty of time to ask questions and practice new skills

  • You'll walk away from this course with an understanding of both single and multi-pitch trad climbing

  • Boulder Canyon and Eldorado Canyon offer a plethora of excellent trad routes

Topics Covered

  • How to properly place gear

  • Different types of protection and their uses

  • Natural and artificial anchors

  • How to protect a follower

  • Review of knots, lead belaying, and route finding

  • Terrain considerations and rope management

  • Climbing movement

  • How to rack trad gear, maintain, and store it

  • Introduction to self rescue

  • Differences between single and multi-pitch trad climbing

Price Includes

  • An AMGA Certified Rock Guide and Single Pitch Instructor

  • All necessary climbing equipment including harnesses, helmets, climbing shoes, belay devices, ropes, and protection

  • Professional guiding, instruction, and coaching throughout the entire day

  • Resources to further your climbing journey

Price Excludes

  • 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)

Course Dates & Price

Course Dates

May 6-7, 2023

June 10-11, 2023

July 22-23, 2023

August 19-20, 2023

September 23-24, 2023




Boulder Canyon & Eldorado Canyon

Course Length

8:00am to 4:00pm (daily)

Difficulty Rating
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