Introduction to Trad Climbing: 2-Day Experience


$189 for REI Members

$209 for non-members

Registration closed


  • Fitness level 2 Easy Active
  • Skill level 2 Intermediate
  • Group size 6 people

Before bolts there was trad gear. In this two day hands on seminar, you will learn to lead climbs while placing removable traditional gear such as cams or nuts. On day one, your rock climbing instructors will teach you how to build trad anchors and place removable gear (cams and nuts) in an outdoor ground school setting. Day two will be spent on the rock, providing you opportunities to practice your new skills from the safety of a mock lead. This class is designed for experienced climbers wanting to gain the skills necessary to lead trad climbs. Participants should be comfortable top roping climbs at a 5.8 difficulty and have been climbing consistently for 1 year. Additional climbing anchors or technique classes serve as an excellent primer for trad leading.

  • Refine climbing technique including rope management, route finding, efficient climbing movement, and fundamentals of safety
  • Evaluate proper placement of cams and nuts
  • Learn to lead Trad climbs and lead belay while on top rope
  • Learn to build Trad Anchors

What to bring with you


Meet the group at Tom's Thumb Trailhead. Saturday Session: 8am - 2pm at Girlie Man climbing area. Sunday Session: 8am - 2pm at Rosetta Stone climbing area.

Map image of Tom's Thumb Trailhead - McDowell Sonoran Preserve

More directions and information

CLOSED TOED SHOES REQUIRED. There is no water available at Tom's Thumb Trailhead. From N Pima Rd and the Loop 101, take Exit 36 for N Pima Rd and travel 4.8 miles north. Turn right on E Happy Valley Rd for 4.3 miles. Turn right on Ranch Gate Rd and proceed 1.3 miles. Turn right on N 128th St and travel south for 1.5 miles to Tom's Thumb Trailhead. Call 520.477.7344 with any questions day of course.