Mountain Project Logo

Request for Review: AAI Learn to Lead Course

Original Post
Glenn Sweeney · · San Francisco, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Apologies if this has been posted before - I didn't turn it up on a quick search.

I'm interested in learning trad lead, and stumbled across this course offering by AAI:

Has anyone taken this course or know someone who has? Was it worthwhile? My girlfriend and I have indoor lead (5.11), outdoor toprope (5.10), and outdoor toprope anchor building experience from other instruction and mentoring. Sport climbing is interesting and all, but we really want to enjoy climbing for what it is - adventure.

Finding mentorship seems to be getting harder and harder as the number of interested folks (like us) increase - so we're thinking of shelling out money directly to get the training and experience we need. Is this class a good place to start?


Nicholas Gillman · · Las Vegas · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 327

I took an intro to trad class with the AAI about 4ish years ago.. not this exact 4 day one ( mine was a private one day class) but I’d imagine the quality of instruction is still equivalent. So while I can’t speak to this exact class I would argue four days with any of the guides in the Vegas arm of the AAI would be a time/money well spent. 

Doug Foust , Andrew Yasso and Elaina Arenz comprise the Vegas AAI team (iirc) so my guess would be one or two of them would be teaching this class ...all top notch instructors. 

Andrew Yasso · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 215

Nicholas, thanks for the recommendation.

Glenn - I run our program here in Red Rock and would be happy to discuss the course or private guiding options. Often when a couple signs up together they can get a rate comparable to the learn to lead course and book something private. While there can be benefit to taking a course with other people (different ways to ask questions, new climbing partners, more belayers, etc.) the participants experience level can vary. If you have a specific goal in mind, often a private course is a better option.

If you would like, I can give you the email address of some folks who have taken the course from me or other AAI guides in the past. Get in touch through PM or



FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Glenn, if you can afford a private course, you would get much more out of it.

DavidTighe · · Cleveland, OH · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0

I took this course a few years back and I can recommend it.  I also second the recommendation to do it privately if feasible.

As others have said, the AAI guides in Vegas are all excellent.

Glenn Sweeney · · San Francisco, CA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks all for the great and thoughtful replies. I'll be reaching out and considering the best options for this! I'm excited that y'all think this is a good way for us to get out and climbing more.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Request for Review: AAI Learn to Lead Course"

Log In to Reply