Women’s Trad Climbing Clinic

Stuck clipping bolts? Continually reading about stellar trad routes across the grand Sierra landscape? This is the course for you! Geared towards the advancing sport climber, our single pitch trad clinic teaches the skills needed to take on some of the amazing classics you’ve been eying, from Joshua Tree to the High Sierra.

This course will move you into the traditional climbing realm. You will learn how to use passive and active gear, different climber and belayer techniques, how to build and clean anchors, and descending techniques. Discussions will include trad climbing ethics and deciphering guidebooks.

Our ideal location in Bishop, CA offers the best granite crags in the eastern Sierra including Pine Creek Canyon, Rock Creek and Benton Crags, allowing for ideal and varied learning environments.



We value the professional training provided by the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) and your guides will be AMGA certified or involved in the certification process.


good-great-awesome mammoth-area-rock-climbsThe best guidebooks are “The Good, The Great and the Awesome” by Peter Croft or Mammoth Area Rock Climbs.
Get them from Maximus Press

We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000 feet) 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

Day 1: After meeting at the SMC office, we will carpool to the days location. For this day, our main focus will be building on the
basic climber/belayer foundation, ensuring everyone is adept at lead climbing and belaying (both with plate style and assisted
braking devices). Then we will focus on different types of active and passive gear: how to place and remove them, and leading
and following considerations. In a ground school, all will learn the various ways to construct an anchor on bolts and gear as well
as the different cleaning methods depending on the anchor set-up. Discussion topics will include crag etiquette, interpreting guidebooks and on-line info, and variability with rock type and gear.

Day 2: After meeting we will head out to build upon and reinforce skills. Each participant will also build a trad anchor, clean a route at a bolted station, and then descend via rappel.

We have a wide range of locations in a close area, and where we go will depend upon weather at the time. Some of our locations include:
Pine Creek: A wide range of both sport and trad routes at all grades, just a short drive from Bishop.
Benton Crags: Our favorite high elevation crags, a scant two minutes walk from the vehicles. Here we have numerous trad climbs and top ropes as well as routes we can split into short pitches to focus on the techniques of setting up anchors and belay change
The Buttermilks: Although known as a bouldering area, there are also routes here and it is also an in deal place for “ground school”. Here we can work on placing and removing protection and building anchors at ground level.


Program Prerequisites:

Previous indoor and outdoor sport climbing experience and a basic knowledge of knots and climbing techniques. You should feel comfortable leading up to 5.9 sport climbs outdoors.

Program Inclusions:

Price includes guiding, permits and group climbing gear. Please bring you own personal climbing equipment if you have 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 for your trip
  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.