Rock I: Introduction to Rock Climbing


If you have never climbed before, we offer one day trips to give you a taste of what rock climbing is all about! The aim is simply to have fun on the rocks. This program is designed for individuals, families with kids, or a group of friends. All you need to bring is lunch and enthusiasm; we will provide everything else. We offer daily programs by request year-round. If you have your own gear, please bring that so you can gain comfort in using it. This program is the first in our progression of rock climbing courses. The information learned serves as a foundation for other courses we offer, as well as for your own personal climbing in the outdoors.


Our scheduled one-day programs take place in the Mammoth area in the summer and fall and the Bishop area during the colder months. The most likely places are Horseshoe Slabs in the Lakes basin above Mammoth and the Benton Crags or Buttermilk area near Bishop. Location can vary depending on weather.


Our guides are American Mountain Guides Association trained so you can expect the highest level of climbing and safety knowledge combined with solid instructional skills and professionalism.


mammoth-area-rock-climbsThe best guidebook is “Mammoth Area Rock Climbs” by Marty Lewis.

Get it from Maximus Press.

You can also get our detailed unpublished SMC Guide to Horseshoe Slabs here.

We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000′) just prior to the trip. Spending a night in Mammoth would do the trick. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.

Return to SMC Rock Climbing School

Our goal is to have fun and familiarize you with the basics of climbing which will include:

  • Rock climbing equipment & use
  • Belaying/ Managing Ropes
  • Movement on rock
  • Lots of climbing practice!

Program Prerequisites:

No prior experience is required though you should be in fair to good physical condition.

Program Inclusions:

Price includes guiding, permits and all climbing gear. If you have your own equipment by all means bring it. Local accommodation is not included in the program.

Please Read before you go

We feel the following information is essential... (links open as PDF in new window)

  1. Details, Itinerary, and Equipment List
  2. SMC Cancellation Policy
  3. Suggestions on preparation - get the most out of your trip!
  4. Tips on physical training for your trip
  5. LNT - Let's work together to protect our precious mountain environment.

Rental Equipment:

Need to rent equipment for your trip? We can help.