Overview Rock climbing courses are geared toward different interests and levels of ability. In order to help with selecting which course is right for you we have outlined some of the major differences between different types of climbing.
Top-Roped versus Lead Climbing In top-roped climbing the climber is tied to a rope which passes through a solid anchor at the top of the climbing route. The top rope protects the climber against falling. In lead climbing, the climber clips the rope through protection points while climbing. Lead climbing requires the ability to climb confidently and safely.
Bolted Climbing vs. Trad Climbing Bolted or sport climbing routes are routes with permanent man-made hardware allowing the climber to focus almost exclusively on the actual climbing. Traditional or trad. climbing routes do not have permanent hardware and the climber must use natural features such as cracks to place temporary pieces of hardware to protect against falling.
Free Climbing vs. Aid Climbing In free climbing, the climber's weight is supported exclusively by direct contact between the climber's body and the rock, with the rope and climbing hardware serving only as a backup in case of a fall. In aid climbing, the climber attaches specialized hardware to the route to support body weight and move upward. Crag climbing course offerings do not cover aid climbing but there is a seminar offered by the Mountaineers which does.
Crag Climbing vs. Mountaineering The Mountaineers also teaches rock climbing as part of its broader, mountaineering-oriented Basic Climbing and Intermediate Climbing courses. The Crag Climbing Course is not a mountaineering course and will not prepare you for a backcountry experience.
Courses for 2014 (Sign Up usually opens 3 months in advance)