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Learn to Lead Climbing Courses


Our Learn to Lead climbing courses are one of our most popular rock climbing courses. We run Learn to Lead climb courses in the Peak District, Yorkshire, the Lake District and Snowdonia.


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.


Having become a competent ‘second’ in a rock-climbing pair, the obvious next step is to learn to lead climb yourself. Whether sports climbing or ‘traditional’ climbing, the additional challenge of lead climbing brings extra reward, but also extra risk. Our lead climbing courses will help you to understand the additional risks and teach you how to manage them. We do this through both technical skills (for example using ‘trad’ protection) and through mental coping strategies.

During this course, you will gain these skills and knowledge in a progressive and structured way.  This means that you will never find yourself on the ‘sharp end’ of the rope before you are ready.

Instructor:client ratio

The ratio for a Learn to Lead climbing course is 1:2 (instructor:client), both as a minimum and maximum.

Other courses:

If a learn to lead rock climbing course is not right for you, then have a look at some of the other courses and guiding that we offer:

…or see what our clients say about us.

The hanging groove of the classic route Flying Buttress at Stanage during a Learn to Lead rock climbing course in the Peak District

Course Details

Who is the course for?

This course is for climbers who are ready to take on the extra challenge of lead climbing. They are probably experienced ‘seconds’, or already lead climb indoors, and they have a fair understanding of the risks. They can probably second or top-rope comfortably at around 5/5+ (indoor or sports) or have seconded numerous ‘trad’ climbs at around Severe, 4a.

Where is it held?

Learn to Lead rock climbing courses can be held in the Peak District, Yorkshire, the Lake District or Snowdonia. The Peak District around Hathersage is a popular choice that works very well and which we recommend.

How long is the course?

Courses are usually a minimum of two days long, and are often booked as a two-day weekend. We can also run the course for longer periods (3-5 days) for a more intensive experience and to consolidate your learning and let you practice under supervision.

What does the course cover?

  • Choice of equipment
  • Use of the guidebook and selecting climbs
  • Reading and planning your routes
  • Placing ‘trad’ protection – nuts, hexes, cams and slings
  • Building belays using solid anchors
  • Belaying a leader and a second
  • Rope management to avoid problems

What equipment is included?

You will need to provide: warm clothing including a waterproof jacket; approach shoes or walking boots; climbing shoes; and a rucksack of 30 litres or more. As an established climber, you are likely to have your own harness and helmet and possibly some of your own equipment.

We will:-

  • Provide ropes and all technical climbing hardware. We can provide harnesses and helmets if required.
  • Discuss an appropriate kit list when you book.

What does it cost?

“Open” courses are shown in the Calendar along with their prices. A typical 2-day weekend course costs £230 per person (based on a 1:2 ratio).

“Private” bookings for one day start at £230 for two people (i.e. £115 per person). From the 4th day, a discounted rate will apply.