Getting started
Courses are delivered by approved providers who will introduce you to the skills and techniques required to lead sport routes on rock. You will have plenty of opportunities to practise these new skills as well as learning more about the environment and how to manage the risks associated with lead climbing.

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Participants get 15% off at Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock, in store and online. Ask the course provider for the discount details.

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Do you have additional needs?

Do you have a physical or mental impairment or disability which may require a provider to make reasonable adjustments so that you can take part in a training or assessment course? Find out more.

Rock Skills participant handbook

Rock Skills Participant Handbook

Connect with your Mountain Training account after your course

Your course provider will create a record of your training course on our Candidate Management System (CMS) - if you would like to view this record and start using our digital logbook, you will need to connect with your Mountain Training account.

Minimum age: 14.

Course length: 2 days.

Climbing experience required:
Have climbed 20 routes (indoors or outdoors)
Have belayed on at least 20 occasions
Completion of a Rock Skills Intermediate course
Course content
Background and Planning. Choosing suitable venues and routes, how to use guidebooks and mobile devices to find crags and routes, crag etiquette, the importance of the climbing partnership, the work of the mountaineering councils.

Climbing Skills. Safe and assured movement on the lead and optimising natural rests for clipping bolts.

Equipment. Ropes and technical equipment for sport climbing.

Technical Skills. Fixed equipment, anchors, ropework, belaying, holding/taking falls in a controlled environment, lowering, lower offs and abseiling.

Environmental Knowledge. The impact of climbers at the crag, ethics, access and environmental considerations for climbers.

Hazards and Emergency Procedures. Identifying hazards, decision making and managing risk, understanding common injuries, what to do in the event of an incident, managing common problems, how to get help and the role of the Mountain Rescue.
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By the end of the course you can expect to:

  • Have covered the course content in a safe and enjoyable outdoor environment and classroom-style setting;
  • Have climbed outside for a good proportion of each day on an appropriate crag; and
  • Be in a strong position to lead bolted sport routes on rock and indoors, using appropriate techniques and safe practice.
Rock Skills Learn to Lead Sport Climbs courses are typically 2 days, although some providers may deliver the course over 3-5 days.

There are approved tutors across the UK and Ireland. A variety of cost packages are available depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you.

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What next?

Progression from this course could involve gaining further climbing experience with friends or through a climbing club.

A Learn to Lead Trad Climbs course is the next step in the Rock Skills pathway.

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