Learning to Lead

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The Sharp End - The Most Comprehensive Lead course in the Mid-Atlantic (2-3 days)

Get Out and Climb!

Few experiences in the world of climbing can equal the excitement, fulfillment and joy of successfully leading a challenging technical rock climb. Perhaps it’s the final pitch to the summit of the mountain of your dreams, the sweetest crack system at your local crag, or the beckoning line of pockets and crimps of a difficult sport climb. No matter how you cut it, that lead can provide the ultimate climbing experience as well as memories to last a lifetime.

Learning to lead safely (it’s not affectionately called the” sharp end” for nothing) is the culmination of a progressive educational process. At SRMG we take the responsibility of guiding you through this phase seriously. Lead falls are the leading cause of injury in climbing. After decades on the rock we’ve seen the consequences of poor preparation and weak skills. And we’ve learned to develop strong, knowledgeable leaders with the ability to make good decisions based on experience—in other words, to exercise good judgment.

In this course you will use the complete range of current anchoring tools, from stoppers to spring-loaded camming devices, and are given the opportunity to make scores of protection placements in simulated (top-rope protected) leading scenarios. Your instructor provides an ongoing critique to insure improvement.

The multi-pitch leading scenarios also provide repeated opportunities for belay anchor construction, placement of directional anchors for the leader and second, complex belay station and rope management, self-rescue readiness exercises, and other skill sets such as route-finding and rock quality assessment.

Our indoor anchoring and leading walls insure that no time is lost to inclement weather, and provide additional training during evening clinics.

Ability to climb 5.5 and previous seconding experience are recommended.

Classes begin on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Course 1 person 2 person 3 person
Learning to Lead 2 Day $350 $300 each By Request Only - $250 each *
Learning to Lead 3 Day $450 $400 each By Request Only - $325 each **

* Any 3 Person 2 Day class can start any weekday except Friday

** Any 3 Person 3 Day class must start either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday

All standard weekday courses start on Tuesdays

Cancellation Policy


What Others are Saying


My climbing partner and I just returned from the Trad Fundamentals Course and it was an excellent and comprehensive first exposure to traditional climbing. A written description cannot do justice to my experience at Seneca Rocks. During our climb we saw the leaves rise through the heart of Seneca; the wind came though the valley and picked up the leaves lifting them hundreds of feet through the air, it was an amazing sight. Tom's school uses a mentorship approach to learning and the instruction is wonderful. Chief Guide, Brendan, was our instructor and he is very patient and understanding and that coupled with his genuinely kind demeanor made for a great three days. These guys guide and climb for a living and have the real deal bona fides to prove it. I put this experience off for many years being content to climb sport or go to the local climbing gym and all I can say is WOW I wish I'd have done it sooner!
Thanks, Morgan


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