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trad climbing instruction?
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By T Gryckiewicz
From Centennial, CO
Apr 13, 2014
profile pic

Hello all,

I'm looking to get some solid instruction in traditional lead climbing in the greater Denver area. In June, I'll be starting a new job in Centennial and after I get settled I'm planning to start climbing the routes in the local area. I have 3 years of experience leading sport routes in the outdoors but have never placed any of my own protection. Before shelling out money on a beginner trad rack and trying to learn on my own, I'd like to get solid, hands-on instruction with a guiding company or professional instructor.

Any recommendations?

Thanks,

Tony


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By James Dean Anderson
From Denver, CO
Apr 13, 2014
Indian Creek

Mike Lewis from Colorado Mountain School is great guy. You could certainly learn a lot from him.


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By BoulderCharles
Apr 13, 2014

Second vote for Colorado Mountain School. I've climbed with Andrew Councell and can definitely recommend him.


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By Tommy Layback
From Sheridan, WY
Apr 13, 2014

Eli Helmuth (IFMGA guide) - Climbing Life Guides


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By Eliot Augusto
From Boulder, CO
Apr 14, 2014

I haven't had any personal experience with them, but to parrot other posters: The CSM has been referred to me as a great company by climbers in Boulder.


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By Kyler R
From SLC
Apr 14, 2014
Castleton Tower

I'll probably get heckled for this but there is not really a need to go with an expensive AMGA guide unless you're a tourist who wants to go up some famous line once and never climb again.

Get to know the local climbing scene. Meet new sport climbing partners etc etc. Sooner than later you will know who the local Trad guys or gals are. Ask to rope gun for them some time. BAM! You're in for the cost of beers and nachos.

The way I learned and still am learning is from my sport partners who also love gear. I rope gunned for them and followed them cleaning gear and learning how to place gear and what to look for etc etc. After following for a while I asked to lead some easier pitches on some of the multi pitch stuff we were doing. From there work your way up by plugging less gear or climbing harder or both.

I am glad you want to get into this cautiously as there certainly is an added element of danger if you fail to learn the discipline properly. However the way I see it is you could buy an all time creek rack or aid rack for the cost of paying guides time and time again to learn things properly and work your skills and proficiency up. Spend the money on eventually down the line a nice rack and some beers for the bros who help teach you.


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By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Apr 14, 2014
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow

One more vote for Eli Helmuth (www.climbinglife.com). He teaches courses throughout the summer. My wife, 14yo & I had a midweek private version of his intro to trad last summer and it was exceptional. We hire him for a day each time we are in Colorado...we don't think of it as guiding (we've all climbed for 4+ years) we think of it as highly condensed private lessons.


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By david doucette
Apr 14, 2014
Top of Intersection Rock, Joshua Tree NP.

no need to do one on one. you'll learn more in a group/course setting. i'd recommend looking for these two classes, usually done as a two day per course:

Anchoring Class - this will be the MOST valuable class you ever take. this is the foundation for everything else that follows. take a 2 day class.

Leading Class - you'll take what you learned in the Anchoring Class and see how it's applied to trad climbing. you'll be "leading" while on top rope but it's a great introduction as you can get good critique on your gear placements, etc. again, i'd look for a 2 day here as well.

i don't know what courses are offered in the denver area, but maybe someone else has recommendations.

good luck!


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By T Gryckiewicz
From Centennial, CO
Apr 14, 2014
profile pic

Hey guys, thanks for all of the replies and for the folks who sent emails. I'm psyched to be part of this community and get such help. I'll be in touch with a few of the recommendations once I get to Denver in June and start climbing.

Thanks again!
Tony


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