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Domestic & International Trips & Courses with Professionally Trained Mountain Guides

Lead Trad Rock Climbing Course


This 3-Day course is for the intermediate climber wanting to learn how to place traditional rock gear for lead climbing the right way: from the ground up. Learn how to do it safely from our professional mountain guides. The course runs three consecutive days. Please note that you will only see the START date for the course when you are booking. If the date shows 0 open spots, the course is sold out and you may opt to join the waitlist for that course.


2024 Course Dates:

  • July 19-21
  • August 9-11 and August 31-Sept 2 (Labor Day)
  • Call or email for custom dates
$750 Per Person
3 Days
4:1, 8:2

Trip Information

Price based on 3-4 climbers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 |

Sport climbing is one thing, placing gear on lead is another. The act of placing protection while lead climbing is a skill set in itself and can test one's mental strength. In this course you'll be introduced, very systematically, to the progression required to become a safe trad climber, including gear placement, anchor building, and multi-pitch efficiency. The course has you place all kinds of gear on top rope, on mock lead, and on real lead. You will learn to trust your own work by falling into the gear you placed in mock lead situations and you will get a chance to hang into belays that you just built in the vertical arena.


Venues for the course are condition-dependent, with days one and two near North Bend if the weather is good. Day three will often be at Index, although Mount Erie and Vantage are great alternatives if needed.

Duration: 3
Ratio: 4:1, 8:2
Difficulty Level:
Click here to learn more about difficulty ratings.

Overall Difficulty: moderate

Skills Required: prior sport climbing experience

Fitness level: good physical fitness


Private Trips Available

Don't see a date that works for you? Pro Guiding Service offers any trip or courses on a private basis. We are flexible! Call or email to inquire.
Learn MoreView Dates & Availability


Course Curriculum


Introduction to Gear

  • Selecting trad gear
  • Racking trad gear on your harness
  • Principles of gear placement

Anchors and belay techniques

  • Static and dynamic belays while climbing trad
  • Equalized anchors
  • Self equalizing anchors

Leading on trad gear

  • Mock leading on trad gear
  • Falling into your gear
  • Leading on trad gear

Multi-pitch Climbing and Station Management

  • Building a hanging belay
  • Multi pitch climbing on trad gear
  • Belay station management

Rock rescue skills

  • Escaping the belay
  • Basic rock rescue
  • Knot pass

Private Trips

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest. Smaller, more intimate custom itineraries or instructional tours are available for any of our destinations. Tell us what you want to do, and we can create a customized plan for you.
View Private Trips


per person
Price based on 3-4 climbers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 |
View Dates & Availability
What's Included In the Trip Price
  • Guide fees
  • Mileage
  • Group gear (including trad protection, cordelette, and ropes)
What's Not Included
  • Gratuity for the guide
  • Camping fees, if applicable
  • Personal gear (including harness, shoes, helmet, and belay devices)
Payment Policy
If booking a domestic trip that is over 60 days away or an international trip that is over 90 days away, you can book your trip by paying a 20% deposit.  View Full Policy
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel for any reason 60 or more days before domestic trips or 90 or more days before international and Alaska trips, we will refund everything you have paid minus half of your deposit. No refunds will be provided if you cancel your trip for ANY REASON (this includes but is not limited to illness including CoVid-19, injury, or work-related issues) within 60 days of the start of domestic trips or 90 days of international and Alaska based trips.  View Full Policy

Equipment List

Base Layer
  • T-shirt - midweight or lightweight
  • Socks -  pair
Mid Layer
  • Windshirt or light soft shell jacket
  • Fleece or similar warm layer
  • Synthetic climbing or hiking pants
  • Shorts, if weather permits - longer shorts are better
  • Lightweight waterproof/breathable jacket
  • Warm hat - should cover your ears
  • Sun hat - baseball cap or visor
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Down or synthetic puffy-type jacket
Personal Gear
  • Pack - 25-30 liter
  • Hiking/approach shoes
  • Chalk bag/chalk
  • Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
  • Water - plenty for a long day in the sun
  • Lunch and snacks for the whole day
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
  • Lip Balm - SPF 15+
  • Small personal first aid kit - just the basics: blister care, ibuprofin, prescription meds, etc.; your guide will have a substantial group first aid kit
Technical Gear
  • Climbing Harness
  • Helmet - climbing helmet UIAA approved
  • Rock shoes - comfortable for all day climbing
  • Climbing Hardware:
      • 2 Locking carabiners - 1 large HMS style and 1 regular locker
      • Personal Anchor System - nylon or spectra
      • Belay device
      • 3 Locking Carabiners - 1 large style HMS and 2 regular lockers
      • 4 Non-locking carabiners - any type, we prefer wire gates
      • Personal Anchor System - consider a Connect Adjust Lanyard
      • Belay device
      • Cordelette - 7 mm diameter, 18-24 feet
      • 2 Sewn slings - 1 single, 1 double
      • Any trad gear you have - cams, nuts, hexes, etc.
Optional Items
  • Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
  • Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) - nice to have for approach
  • Electrolytes - tablets/powder/gel/blocks
  • Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebooks work well
  • Compass - adjustable declination a must
  • Altimeter
  • Belay gloves
  • Neck gaiter - for protecting your face from sun, wind, cold
Equipment Sales & Rental

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Should I tip my guide?

Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.

What does my climbing ability need to be?

You should be able to confidently lead outdoor 5.9 sport. Some familiarity with crack climbing is also good, but not a requirement.

What if it's raining?

The abundance of climbing in Washington means we can most likely find a dry crag on any given day of the trip. If there are no dry options, we'll work with you to schedule a make-up day.

Do I need my own trad rack?

If you have your own trad gear, it is best to bring it as different brands of cams and nuts will look different on your harness and feel different when you place them. However, your guide will have a full rack available for you to use, or to supplement your own gear as needed.

Why Book With Us? 

Certified Professional Guides & All Access
All of our guides have the highest quality training and certification in the industry, and you can be sure that we have the permits, licenses and insurance in every location we operate.
Safe, Well-Planned Tour Design
Every tour has a carefully thought-out guide-to-customer ratio. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us.
Pioneers In The Industry
You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on skills and routes in the industry. 
Read Our story

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