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Trad Climbing 101 @ Smith Rock

A 1-day introductory course for learning how to trad (a.k.a. traditional) climb taught by Matthew. Students will learn numerous skills that are necessary in multiple climbing disciplines such as alpine climbing, adventure climbing, and single pitch trad routes.

All necessary gear (draws, slings, trad gear, anchors, rope, etc) are provided.

Trad climbing will take place on on nice and easy 5.4 to 5.6 climbs.

The day will start with explanation and discussion of gear, technical aspects, and more. Then we will practice placing all types of gear and learn to evaluate placements. Then we will learn how to build SERENE, 3-point, natural anchors. Next, you will get to mock-lead a trad climb at 5.5 and test each placement by hanging all your weight on it. Once familiar with the route and the placements you will have the ability to do the entire climb on lead.


Cost per student: $99
Includes professional instruction, lunch, and gear.


Ability to climb 5.6 comfortably. Outdoor climbing experience is not required.
Transportation (carpools could possibly be arranged)
Hiking/Approach shoes
Plenty of water - 1 liter+

Intro to Trad Climbing Course Curriculum

I. Trad Protection

Active trad gear
Passive trad gear
Understanding sizes, manufacturers differences
Route selection/assessment
Guidebook beta/information
Evaluating placements using a four-point rating system
Evaluating rock quality
Issues with falling on gear

II. Placing Trad Protection

Cams vs. nuts
Learning to see best placements
Surface contact
Cam Position
Direction of pull
Placement depths
Cam "walking"
Horizontal cracks and other features
Backing up placements

III. Using Slings and Extender Draws

Placing directionals for first placements to offset rope pull/drag
Equalizing a sling on two "less-than-bomber" placements

IV. Cleaning Trad Gear

Removing trad gear
Recovering stuck cams
How to use a nut tool
Rappelling with an auto-block

V. Belaying for Trad

Discussion of issues relating to belaying trad
Preventing the "zipper effect"
Proper amount of slack
Belay position

VI. Building Natural Anchors

"S.E.R.E.N.E." anchors
Self-equalizing and Pre-equalized anchors, and when to use them
Components of a natural anchor

VI. Basic Crack Climbing Skills

Hand/fist jamming
Foot jamming
Finger jamming

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  • Steve

    Does this group have any free outings? Seems like the 3 meetup groups in Arizona have group outings 2 or 3 times a week, and I haven't found anything similar to that in Oregon.

    1 · August 25, 2013

    • Steve

      yeah, most of the people that attend in AZ are beginners, and the handfull of people that can lead set up top ropes for the group

      August 25, 2013

  • Amber

    Wedding next weekend, but this is exactly the kind of climbing meetup I would RSVP to in the future.

    August 25, 2013

2 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Trad Climbing 101 @ Smith Rock

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • you can cancel at least 3 day(s) before the Meetup

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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