Courses | Basic (Climbing 101)

You’ve always wanted to try rock climbing and now you’re ready, so let’s get started.

Our intro course gives students a solid foundation in the fundamental knowledge and critical skills needed for outdoor climbing. We combine the highest quality instruction with the spectacular beauty of Seneca Rocks resulting in the experience of a lifetime.

This three-day course is geared toward people with little or no climbing experience. It is also available in an abbreviated two-day version, but if you can swing three, we highly recommend it.

During this course we cover the following topics:

Essential knots
Climbing movement and technique
Climbing equipment
Belaying: Top rope and lead
Communication skills
Building ground anchors
Rappelling: Single and multi-pitch
Seconding a leader
Moving in a multi-pitch environment
Hazard assessment

All necessary equipment is provided.  If you have your own equipment and wish to use it, by all means bring it!

Prior to use on a course, an instructor will evaluate all equipment to ensure its safety and suitability.

Course Details
Rates & Dates
Maximize Your Experience

Course Details

The following is a general description of our Basic climbing course. We routinely customize courses based on our students’ needs and wishes. If you don’t see a technique or skill that you would like to learn, contact us. We will do our best to make it happen.

Day 1

The first day focuses on fundamentals. Students are introduced to basic climbing equipment and their properties, basic knots, simple anchors, voice commands, belay techniques, top rope climbing, movement skills and rappel techniques. After a full day of practicing these new skills, students will participate in a flat land demonstration of multi-pitch concepts to prepare them for day two. When time allows, students often end the day by seconding the instructor up a traditionally protected climb and rappelling down.

Day 2

Students get to try their hand at multi-pitch climbing and seconding skills. This includes removing artificial “chocks” and “cams”, personal anchoring techniques, additional safety concerns and evaluation. The amount of multi-pitch climbing depends on the ability and interest of the students but many groups climb to the South Peak of Seneca to experience a true technical summit.

Day 3

The third day is dedicated to cementing skills through further practice. Students also have time to experience different positions on the rope team which can be quite informative. If time allows and the group is up for it, we can also begin adding a few additional tools to the tool box. One of the most often requested skills is to begin learning the basics of top-rope anchor construction.

Though this course is also offered in an abbreviated two-day version, please note the enormous amount of information to be learned is best suited to a three day course.

This course is taught with a maximum of a 3 to 1 Ratio.

Rates & Dates

View our Rates Page or click Register Now and fill in the course duration & party size to get the rate

Our courses are available 7 days a week, from mid-March to mid-November.

Maximize Your Experience

Get the most out of your course by preparing ahead of time.

No reading is required for our Introductory Climbing Course, but we highly recommend some preliminary reading so you can get the most out of this class. Check out:

Knots for Climbers by: Craig Luebben, Globe Piquot Press 2002

While all the knots featured in this book are useful for climbing, it’s most important that you focus on the following:

Figure 8 2
Figure 8 on a 4
Clove 6
Girth 11
Double fisherman’s 13 16
Overhand 25

If you master these knots and would like to try more before your class, or have interest in learning to set up top rope anchors, we suggest that you add these knots to your list:

Water 9
Double 22
Prussik 33