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Indoor Learn to Lead Courses


We offer indoor Learn to Lead courses as well as other indoor and outdoor climbing courses near Leeds. These are for everyone from total novices to aspiring leaders.  Our Learn to Lead courses are usually held at The Big Depot, Leeds.


In general, we do not schedule these in advance, as we like to make each one bespoke. This is how we adapt them to cater for different levels of ability and experience. However, we do have a limited number of  ‘open’ courses which are available to book on. These are shown in our events calendar.


For many people, the additional thrill and challenge of lead climbing is the obvious, natural progression to their climbing. Being able to lead climb not only adds extra dimensions to your climbing, but quite simply opens up a greater number of routes. This is especially true of big overhanging walls which are not easily protected by top-ropes and auto-belays.

Lead climbing brings extra risk, however, and before embarking on this stage of your climbing journey, it is sensible to learn how to lead climb properly. How to clip, where to clip, how to belay a leader, how to fall, how to hold a fall – these are all essential parts of an indoor learn to lead course. In addition, you will gain a good understanding of the forces involved in falling. You will discover just how far you could fall if a belayer isn’t doing their job adequately, and therefore how to belay safely so this can’t happen to you.

Instructor:client ratio

This course is usually run at a ratio of exactly 1:2.

Other courses:

If an indoor learn to lead course is not what you are looking for, then have a look at some of the other courses that we offer:

…or see what our clients say about us.

A climber leads through an overhang, as you can learn on our learn to lead climbing course in Leeds

Course Details

Who is the course for?

An indoor Learn to Lead course is for the experienced indoor climber who can climb and belay on a top-rope effectively. This means they can regularly climb (on a top-rope) routes graded at least 6a cleanly (no falls or rests).

Where is it held?

We usually hold our Learn to Lead Courses at The Big Depot, Leeds but they can also be held at other climbing walls in the north of England by arrangement.

How long is the course?

This course is generally a single 6-8 hour course. However, it can also be delivered in a number of other ways. For example, two half-day sessions each of 3-4 hours; or a number of shorter 2 hour sessions (three, or perhaps four, sessions).

What does the course cover?

The Learn to Lead course aims to make you an independent lead climber on indoor walls, and a competent lead belayer. However, there is no pressure put on you to lead until you are happy to do so. Nor is there any guarantee that you will become a competent leader within any particular timeframe. That said, our progressive series of exercises and drills will help you to overcome all the hurdles and in all probability you will be leading climbs before you know it.

The course will cover:

  • Understanding the risks and benefits of lead climbing
  • How and where to clip quickdraws
  • Avoiding problems associated with clipping (back-clip, Z-clip)
  • Clipping top anchors
  • Reading and planning the route
  • Belaying a leader, including where to stand
  • Falling and holding falls
  • Understanding the forces in falling and how to avoid ground-falls

What equipment is included?

As an experienced climber, you are already likely to have everything that you need. However, we are able to loan certain items if required.

We will:-

  • Provide lead climbing ropes.
  • Discuss an appropriate kit list when you book.

What does it cost?

A single 6-8 hour course costs £210 for two people (i.e. £105 per person) or £190 for just one person.

Different prices apply to courses broken into several shorter sessions.