Traditional Lead Climbing 101

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Nothing beats the freedom and adventure of placing your own gear as you lead up classic North Carolina trad routes. By enrolling in our two-day Traditional Lead Climbing class, you will gain the confidence and independence to start exploring world class granite out on the sharp end.

Our unique educational approach ensures that we are able to meet all of your climbing goals starting with a one-on-one conversation, well before you even reach the cliff. Once at the cliff, we will cover: what gear to buy first, how to create “bomber” gear placements, advanced anchor building skills, managing fear while leading, and so much more. On the second day of the course, you will get a chance to start leading traditional climbing routes and receive personalized recommendations to achieve your climbing goals.

Don’t have your own gear yet? No worries! We will provide you with all the gear needed for climbing that day.

Who is this for: Climbers should be able to confidently belay and top rope 5.7 outdoor climbs


     1-2 people = $300 per person

     3 people = $270 per person

     4 or more = $230 per person

     *Curious on pricing? Contact us to find out how many people are already registered.

Client to guide ratio: 4:1 

Trip Length: This is a two-day course. Participants are expected to make proper meal and lodging arrangements prior to the event. We would be happy to refer you to campsites or hotels.

2018 Dates: October 6th-7th, November 3rd-4th and December 1st-2nd. Want more dates? With two or more students we can provide custom dates.  

Location: Table Rock North Carolina (October), Pilot Mountain (November), Crowder’s Mountain (December). Want more locations? With two or more students we can provide teach at a location of your choice.  

Topics Covered:

  • What gear to buy first and what is an NC “standard” rack
  • Pros/Cons of active and passive gear
  • Best placement options for each style
  • Creating efficient stances to place and clean gear
  • Traditional gear racking techniques
  • Protecting for the primary and secondary forces seen on gear
  • Building traditional gear anchors
  • Mitigating risk for the follower
  • Lead belay techniques specific to traditional climbing
  • How to safely bail off a route
  • Reading guide books and choosing the best routes
  • Rope management
  • Climber to belayer communication
  • Managing fear while leading
  • Risk management
  • **Time permitting; Top managed belay techniques

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Thrifty Adventures,
1173 Whitson Branch Rd.
Bakersville NC 28705
Phone: (828) 260-4505
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Thrifty Adventures has reached a milestone! We are growing rapidly!  We thank you for your continued support! In case you missed it, Thrifty is moving their center of operations to Hidden Holler Farm in Red Hill, Bakersville WNC. The farm is 7.5 acres, circa 1890’s and is rich with history! It is located a short walk from the North Toe River!

What to expect 4-1-2019! The new TA office and Tiny Hike Shop will be located in one of the many tobaccos drying barns. The hike shop will include items like water, snacks, sunscreen, river shoes, rain gear and other items typically needed for folks on our trips!

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