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Learn to Lead Class with Richard Bothwell of Outdoor Adventure Club

Are you ready to take the next big step in climbing and start leading? This class will get you started leading. The focus is on leading on trad gear, but we'll also cover sport leading, too.

It's an entirely different program when you are on the "sharp end" of the rope. The thrill goes up, the sense of accomplishment increases and you develop the freedom to climb anywhere, without being limited to top-rope only routes. Lead climbing also involves greater risk as you are exposed to greater fall potentials. There are more things to consider than simply where the next foothold is.

To lead climb safely, you need to know how and where to place protection, how to rack your gear efficiently, how to build anchors, how to clip the rope into protection, how to minimize rope drag, zippering, fall factors, lead belaying, protecting the second, cleaning the pitch, rappelling, the list goes on and on.

In this all day class, we'll teach a number of concepts crucial to lead climbing and we'll give you opportunities to apply them as you "mock lead" routes while tied in to the safety of a top rope. You and your gear placements will be under the watchful eye of one of the professional guides of the Outdoor Adventure Club. We'll critique your placements, and steer your through the start of a new phase in your climbing career.

The climbs we select should be easy for you to climb. This will not be a test of how hard you climb. We want to make sure you are climbing safely, understanding and using sound techniques. Once you learn the techniques, you'll be able to go out and apply them with more confidence.

This will be a very "hands on" class. We'll be presenting many concepts on the ground, but you'll be utilizing those skills on actual climbs. You'll be climbing and belaying, as well as learning on the ground.

This will be a full day class, going from 9:00-5:00 or so. We can go later if needed.
The class is going to be taught by Richard Bothwell, owner of the Outdoor Adventure Club. Richard is passionate about teaching climbing skills, is a patient instructor, trained by the AMGA, and has been teaching climbing courses for over 16 years. The Outdoor Adventure Club is a professional guide service, insured and permitted, and has been guiding trips since 1996. 


Climbers should be able to climb[masked] outdoors comfortably, and have taken a gear/anchor class or have experience setting up anchors. Contact [masked] if you aren't sure if this class is right for you.

Cost: $99/person (the Outdoor Adventure Club normally offers this class for $179)

Registration instructions:
1.To register for the class you need to RSVP here, then pay for the class on the Outdoor Adventure Club website, using the Paypal button at the bottom of this page: 

You are not confirmed in the class until you make payment arrangements on the Outdoor Adventure Club site.
2.The minimum number of attendees is 2 people for this class to take place
3.The maximum number of attendees is 6 for one instructor and 12 for 2 instructors.(the class is likely to have 4-6 people) Thus when waiting list becomes long, the class may open for more attendees, depending on availability of instructors.
What to bring:
4.Climbing harness, shoes, belay device.
5.Helmet- We are happy to provide helmets if needed. Just let us know.
6.Feel free to bring your own rope and gear if you wish, but don't feel obligated. We'll have everything you need for the class. If you do bring your own gear, please make sure it is well marked
7.Lunch/snacks & water
9.Appropriate clothing for the weather
10.A desire to learn and be an active participant.

Note: Climbing is serious & dangerous so if you choose to attend climb at your own risk. GYCO or is not liable or responsible for any injuries you may incur.

Questions? Suggestions?
If you have any questions about the class, please contact Richard through the meetup or via email at [masked]

For more information on Richard's classes through the Outdoor Adventure Club, go here:


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great job, Richard! It was great to meet everyone. Looking forward to Trust Your Gear & Multi-Pitch class.

    1 · April 17, 2014

  • Maddy

    Richard was a fabulous instructor, offering sound advice with no resistation. He is a total pro and instills confidence! I'd be eager to take another class with him.

    April 7, 2014

  • Richard B.

    Great class, everyone! I was really psyched to see how motivated and engaged you all were, all day long. Stay in touch and let me know if you have any questions as you're working with the material we covered.

    April 9, 2014

  • Brian

    Hi Richard, it looks like it may be raining in Berkley on friday. Will the rock be ok to climb on for Saturday?

    April 1, 2014

    • Richard B.

      Hey Brian, The rock at Cragmont is much more durable than rock at Diablo or Castle Rock. You could climb at Cragmont in the rain, if you wanted to. If it rains on Friday, but not on Saturday, we'll be fine

      April 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    The class' date isn't listed on the OAC site? Do we just sign up for the appropriate class and pay the appropriate $ without worrying about the date listed?

    March 28, 2014

    • Richard B.

      hey Toby, We'll be updating that page soon. In the meantime, you can select the learn to lead class date that is on that page. JEnnifer in our office will know what it means.

      March 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thnx. Already paid.

    1 · March 28, 2014

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