The Intermediate Climbing Course is a multi-week, multi-discipline class covering the skills needed for traditional lead climbing, and party self rescue. These topics are described in more detail below.

A stand alone session of the Self Rescue module covering the same curriculum along with an abbreviated Rock module is also offered in the spring.


The rock portion of the curriculum covers everything you need to climb moderate multi-pitch alpine rock climbs. This includes:

  • Lead climbing technique

  • Proper gear placement using nuts, cams, and other traditional climbing gear

  • Anchor systems with trad gear

  • Multi-pitch climbing technique: belaying from above, swapping leads, rope management, etc.

  • Alpine trip planning

Rock I is your opportunity to practice placing gear on easy rock routes where the focus is on proper gear selection, organization, and placement rather than climbing technique. In addition to this you will be learning how to build trad anchors, manage ropes, and have the opportunity to simulate a multi-pitch scenario. After each mock lead climb you will rappel with an instructor and each piece of gear will be collaboratively evaluated.

Rock II moves onto more difficult and varied climbing terrain. Like Rock I, after each mock lead climb you will rappel with an instructor and each piece of gear will be evaluated jointly. The objective of the weekend is to do real leads on rock routes. The lecture prior to Rock II will go over Alpine climbing and trip planning as a rock leader.

Self Rescue

The self rescue portion will teach you how to improvise solutions to for rescuing yourself and your partner in vertical terrain. Specifically this covers things like:

  • Escaping the belay

  • Follower rescue

  • Leader rescue

  • Ascending the rope

  • Tandem rappels

  • Pully systems

  • Passing knots on rappel