Pursue your climbing goals and learn new skills in a beautiful climbing area in the Rocky Mountain west. On this course designed for adults, you’ll learn the technical climbing and leadership skills needed to leave this course as a well-rounded climber. If you’re looking to grow as a climber, whether you’re new to the sport or have lots of experience, this is the course for you.
This course takes place in Unaweep Canyon, a geologically unique canyon that cuts across the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado, just outside of Grand Junction. Rocky crags, tall spires, and granite cliffs dominate the landscape, creating a rock climber’s dream.
Your course begins with basic camping skills—base camp set-up and maintenance, Leave No Trace camping techniques, cooking and stove use. You’ll also start with beginning rock climbing skills, such as belaying, tying knots, rope handling, communication, top-roping, and rappelling.
As your skills progress, you will delve into more advanced topics, including climbing ethics, placing protection, anchor building, “mock” lead climbing. Lead climbing may also be possible for those students who arrive with previous climbing experience and display the appropriate skill level. By the end of this course, you will have the skills and experience to enjoy a lifetime of climbing.
Throughout this course you will be introduced to the basic NOLS leadership curriculum and be encouraged to practice different leadership skills and roles, learning how to set yourself and your peers up for success in various ways. Interpreting and understanding the natural environment in your climbing area is also an important part of this course and you may go bird watching, do a service project, or go for a hike among the area’s many rocky crags.