The Trad Rock Leader course consists of two days of intensive traditional rock climbing training with an optional “Plus Day” on an advanced multi-pitch climb. This is an ideal progression from Yamnuska’s Rock 2 Learn to Lead Outdoor Climbing Class, or Rock-Climbing Training Levels 1 & 2 Rock Evolution course, or for guests with equivalent skills.
Climbing on ‘gear routes’ where you construct your own anchors and place your own protection is far more challenging than using bolts. You can’t afford to make mistakes, as the consequences have the potential to be serious. The objective of this outdoor trad climbing instruction course is to work on natural (traditional) rock protection and belay systems and introduce traditionally protected lead climbing tactics on a variety of rock types. Considerations for multi-pitch gear climbing will be covered.
Day 1: Start at 8:00 am at Yamnuska Office then move to a local climbing area.
- Welcome, introduction, goals, and agenda
- Review of hazard evaluation and risk management at the crag
- Review climbing equipment fit and strengths/weaknesses
- Introduction to natural protection (cams and nuts)
- Placing and removing natural protection
- Assessing the quality of placements
- Building anchors using natural protection
- Review of the ‘Lead Climbing’ system
- Review of quickdraw use (clipping gear, direction, efficient clipping)
- Placing and removing natural ‘pro’ on top rope
- Simulated leads to practice the trad lead climbing system
Day 2: At Local Climbing Area
- Hazard evaluation and risk management at the crag
- Managing specific issues on a gear lead (using multi-directional pieces, managing poor placements, protecting crux moves, managing ‘runouts’ between gear)
- Simulated or real leads (dependent on both you and your guides comfort level)
- Setting up and assessing anchors
- Personalized coaching of movement skills and gear placements
- Debrief and instruction for further progressions for rock climbing
Stay for an extra day where you can join a guide-led team to climb one of the many great trad multi-pitch climbs in the region. We divide into compatible teams, choose a suitable multi-pitch route and spend the whole day climbing it. Climbs include routes on Mt. Yamnuska, Kid Goat Buttress, Tunnel Mountain, and Cascade. $285 plus GST. Available following ‘Trad Rock Leader’ program.
Meeting Time and Place
The course begins at the Yamnuska office at 8:00 am on Day 1. The Yamnuska office is located at 200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore. See this map for location.
Instructors and Group Size
Enthusiastic and extremely talented, your instructors hold climbing certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Your safety and enjoyment are paramount to them. There will be a maximum of 12 students. Instructor/student ratios range down from 1:6. The minimum group size is 3. On plus days 1:2 is the norm.
Participants are responsible for their own transport to Canmore and during the program. Canmore is a 1hour (100km) drive west of Calgary.
If you are flying from afar for the program we suggest that you rent a car for your visit. In addition to getting you to the climbing locations, it will allow you to explore our region a bit after program hours. For example, you can visit Banff and enjoy the hot pools and sample the numerous restaurants.
Please note that program venues may be within National Parks and/or Kananaskis Country. For programs where transportation is not provided by Yamnuska/Canadian Rockies Hiking by Yamnuska, guests will be required to purchase their own pass.
National Park passes are available both online at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/admission and in-person at National park gates and some information centres.
Kananaskis Country conservation passes are available online at https://www.alberta.ca/kananaskis-conservation-pass.aspx
Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation in Canmore is not included. A variety of accommodation options exist in both Canmore and Banff, including campsites, hostels, all levels of hotels as well as condo-style accommodation with kitchens or suites. We recommend that you book your own pre and post-trip accommodations well in advance as all levels of accommodations in the Bow Valley fill quickly.
Food is not supplied. You will need lunch and something to drink each day. Bring plenty to drink and lunch plus energy snacks.
Equipment and Clothing
The course fee includes the use of rock shoes and technical gear although you should bring any natural protection gear you already have.
The weather encountered on this program varies greatly, with the courses at the beginning and the end of the season more prone to cold conditions. The list below covers all possibilities. Should sunny warm conditions be forecast some items may be unnecessary. Remember that weather can change fast so even if the day starts out sunny you may still need rain gear in the afternoon. Conditions on the higher climbs on the multi-pitch days are often colder.
Clothing and Equipment List
- Lunch, snacks, and plenty to drink
- Daypack (large enough for spare clothing, your lunch & personal and group climbing gear)
- Sun cream
- Rain Gear
- Clothing allowing for the easy and complete range of movement
- Warm weather gear (fleece jacket, long johns, warm hat, etc.)
- Rock shoes, running shoes, or hiking boots (rock shoes available for your use at no extra charge, please let us know in advance if needing to use these)
- Harness, helmet if you have them
- Any rock gear you have.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment on booking.
We ask that you become familiar with our detailed booking instructions and conditions.
Risk is an inherent part of all mountain activities. We strive to manage and reduce it however, it is impossible to totally eliminate. Learn more about our safety and risk management approach here. Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the program. Please view our sample waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travellers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the national and provincial parks, however, costs such as air or ground transportation, long-term care, and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries, and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical, and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure trip.
$435 CDN covers instruction and the use of technical gear. Accommodation and meals are not included but low cost, easy options exist. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is extra. Optional ‘Plus Day’ $285 plus GST.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Please note you will be required to sign the Yamnuska Release of Liability, and Waiver of Claims prior to commencing the program. Please review the sample waiver prior to booking and call us with any questions.
Is it for you?
If you’re already seconding ‘gear routes’, leading indoor or sport climbing routes, and are comfortable climbing 5.7 then this would be the perfect program for you.