trad climbing - learn to lead

Develop your traditional climbing skills and learn to place gear, build belays and progress into first leads on rock

3 Day Course

1 person: £570 (£190 per day)

2 people: £330pp (£110pp per day)

3 people: £270pp (£90pp per day)

4 people: £255pp (£85pp per day)

Dmm Dragon Cam


Are you looking to take the next steps to becoming an independent climber? Our learn to lead course will get you there. ​

This 4 day course will help to refine your climbing skills and bring everything together for your first lead.  We will take a progressive approach, day by day and take the course at your pace.  

We hope to introduce all the principles of safe climbing, teach you how to judge and assess the gear, build belays, organise the stance and manage your descent.  All important and key skills in becoming an independent trad climber. 


Course Outline:

Day 1:

  • Recap tying in and belaying

  • Be guided on a multi-pitch climb

  • Assess ability and refine techniques

  • Relaxed atmosphere for climbing 

  • Discuss modern gear such as nuts, cams and hexes

  • Practice its placement in the rock

Day 2:

  • Clip into belays and tie clove hitches

  • Set a framework for safe and solid belays (ABC and IDEAS acronyms) ​

  • Place gear independently

  • 'In series' climbing

  • Build your own belays 

  • Learn to belay a second

  • Discuss descent and abseiling


Day 3:

  • Runner placement and management

  • Stance organisation and belay changeovers.

  • Ghost roping

  • Place gear and gain peer feedback

  • Route choice

  • Lead climb with 1:1 coaching and instruction

The price of this course is inclusive of:

  • A qualified Mountaineering Instructor affiliated with AMI

  • Local & intimate knowledge of the venues

  • Technical equipment 

  • Professional coaching & instruction

  • Small ratios and focussed guiding

Read more about AMI here: About AMI


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Exclusive discount for LDM customers when booking this course

Course Ratios

1:2 Ratio - 2 people per 1 instructor

Safety is paramount so no more than 2 people per 1 instructor in technical terrain.


A party larger than 2 will require multiple instructors - we can supply instructors adhering to our ratios - please enquire.  

Feel free to book as an individual, and we will try to find another climber to run at 1:2 and maximise learning opportunities.  If you want an exclusive booking, then please let us know and will run at 1:1.


Wear and fit a harness correctly

Tie a rethreaded figure of eight knot

Have some experience climbing as a second

Have experience of belaying a lead climber

For those wishing to become independent climbers and have their own adventures!  


All technical equipment is provided. 

We will share kit lists with you during the booking stage

Ropes and climbing hardware all provided and inclusive of the price - we can provide a full lead rack

Harness & Helmet provided but

ideally you will have your own

You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing and have your own rock shoes. 

Click here for a rock shoes buyers guide


Our venues are carefully selected and tailored to get the most out of the programme. 

We regularly use the Langdale & Borrowdale valleys but there are many good areas to choose from - let us know where you're saying and we can tailor the programme

We will use well known climbs, allowing us to teach in contact on real world terrain.

All dates, courses and sessions are displayed on our booking system.  Follow the book now button to view all of our availability and book your course.

Please request a date if our calendar doesn't match your availability

Looking for a bespoke course?

For further information and enquiries, please use the contact form

Eskdale - Leading on Granite
Eskdale - Leading on Granite

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Leading in Borrowdale
Leading in Borrowdale

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Shepherds Crag
Shepherds Crag

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Eskdale - Leading on Granite
Eskdale - Leading on Granite

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We look forward to hearing from you and working towards your mountaineering ambitions and helping to achieve your goals. 

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If calls are missed we will respond when possible, please leave a voicemail or text message where possible.

Thank you