The Art of Traditional Climbing

The Art of Traditional Climbing
From AUD $825.00
  • Duration: 3 Days (approx.)
  • Location: Blackheath, New South Wales
  • Product code: ATC Art of Trad

Traditional Climbing 

(Introduction to Trad Lead Climbing) 


Traditional (trad) climbing involves placing removable protective equipment in the rock, allowing you to venture into uncharted territory. This course covers the essential knowledge and skills required to place trad gear and tackle all the extra considerations that come with the territory. It carries these skills into the Multipitch environment.


This course will enable you to: 

  • Securely place, assess and remove trad gear 

  • Assess and utilise natural features like threads, bollards and chocks 

  • Build basic multi point anchors using natural and removable gear 

  • Recognise specific trad climbing hazards and address them 


Key facts: 

  • 3 days 

  • Small group (max 4 participants) 

  • All personal equipment provided including ropes, helmet, harness, climbing shoes, belay devices and carabiners.   Traditional gear provided: cams, hexes, nuts/wires, prussiks, slings and a variety of other software and hardware 

  • Meet at 8am in Blackheath, Blue Mountains  


Day 1 

A chock-full day of placing gear in a range of natural features and building a variety of anchors. 

  • Revision of pre course notes and pre course quiz 

  • Basic belaying/safety assessment 

  • Refresher of Single Pitch Lead Climbing 

  • Introduction to gear placement and removal 

  • Assessing and rating gear placements 

  • Principles of multi point anchors 

  • Building, directing and equalising multi point anchors 

  • Racking up and how to avoid dropping trad gear on lead and seconding 

  • Practice placing gear on lead, protected by a top rope belay 


Day 2 

Trad climbing is a long and rewarding process of refinement and small advances.  Today is the beginning of that journey.  


  • Practice placing gear on lead 

  • Preventing the “zipper” when using trad gear 

  • Assessing a route – racking, stances, rests, placements and seconding 

  • Retrieving stuck gear 

  • Belay considerations in trad climbing 

  • Practice with in depth feedback from your instructor on the quality of your gear placements 

  • Limitations of the systems covered so far 


Day 3

Putting it All together. 


  • Planning a Multi Pitch Trad route

  • Packing and racking for the route

  • Protecting the second

  • Cleaning the route to setup for Swinging Leads

  • Swinging Leads at the Belay

  • Practice with in depth feedback from your instructor on the execution of your plan

Before the course starts we’ll send you some pre-course notes. The notes can either be used to brush up before the course, or as reference material.

Topics covered include: 

  • Overview of trad gear 

  • Appropriate equipment selection and understanding equipment limitations 

  • Planning for trad climbing including crag and route selection 

  • A review of the key safety checks 


Throughout the course your instructor will give you personalised instruction on developing your skills and technique, covering areas such as: 

  • Moving efficiently over rock 

  • Optimal body position 

  • Getting the most out of different types of holds 

  • Finding creative stances to rest while climbing 

  • Other useful applications of skills covered in the course 

  • Recommended next steps and routes to tackle after the course 


All of our courses cover: 

  • Basic principles of cliff edge safety 

  • Development of climbing technique 

  • Climbing ethics  

  • Caring for the cliff environment  



Multipitch Climbing Course or evidence of equivalency 

While this course has no other specific requirements, we take the time to talk to all of the participants prior to the course to ensure that they are at an appropriate skill level before joining. We’ll ask you about your experience, interests, abilities and aspirations to make sure that the course is right for you.