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Learn to trad climb - lead climbing course - lake district

rock skills 

learn to lead trad

A Learn to Lead Trad Climbs course is all about learning trad climbing skills including how to place protection, build belays and move in an assured manner on rock.  This course allows you to gain confidence in the complexities of gear placement and get to grips with nuts, cams and hexes


Our Rock Skills climbing courses are accredited by Mountain Training.  

You will receive accreditation for this course, we will register you on the scheme with Mountain Training and create an account for you  

Participant Handbook - Click Here



View Dates Below

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A Learn to Lead Trad Course is designed for those aspiring to lead climb and gain independence and autonomy towards their own adventures.  This immersive program is crafted to instill the essential techniques, safety practices, and confidence required to conquer natural rock formations.  You'll delve into the world of gear placement, anchor building, and route selection; equipping yourself with the skills to tackle some of the most classic and adventurous routes in the UK.  Join us and discover the exhilaration and satisfaction that comes with mastering the timeless art of trad climbing.


Background and Planning

Selecting suitable venues and routes, how to use guidebooks and mobile devices to find crags and routes, crag etiquette, the importance of the climbing partnership and the work of the mountaineering councils.

Climbing Skills 

Safe and assured movement when leading climbs and optimising natural rests for placing gear.


Ropes and technical equipment for lead climbing, contents of a lead rack and how to carry it, selection and function of gear.

Technical Skills

Selection and placement of suitable gear to protect leader and second, choosing anchors, effective ropework, attaching to multiple anchors, belaying, holding leader and second falls in a controlled environment.

Environmental Knowledge 

The impact of climbers at the crag, ethics and environmental considerations for climbers.

Hazards and Emergency Procedures

 Identifying hazards, decision making and managing risk, understanding common injuries, what to do in the event of an incident, managing common problems, how to get help and learning how Mountain Rescue works.


Movement and technique

Footwork, handholds, weight transfer, smearing and momentum

Roped climbing

Wearing a harness, tying in, belaying, lowering and abseiling 


Developing lead belaying technique, looking at different devices and safety at the crag 


Placing nuts, cams and hexes safely, gaining trust in the gear and linking anchors 


Following a lead climber, removing and rating the leaders gear placements 

Lead climbing

Using the TTPP method to naturally progress towards leading a trad route; racking up, placing appropriate gear, building safe belays and looking after a second climber 

Learn to belay - lead climbing course
Trad Climbing Courses in the Lake District


Have covered the course content in a safe and enjoyable outdoor environment and classroom-style setting.

Have climbed outside for a good proportion of each day on an appropriate crag.

Be in a stronger position to lead trad routes on rock, using appropriate techniques and safe practice.


Small Group Sizes:

Our low instructor-to-participant ratio ensures personalised attention and maximum learning opportunities.

Certified Instructors:

Our experienced and certified instructors are dedicated to your safety and skill development.

Real-World Application:

The course is designed to equip you with practical skills for independent rock climbing adventures.

Beautiful Locations:

Enjoy learning in some of the most scenic rock climbing environments in the Lake District.


We will register you with Mountain Training, once this has been done you will receive: 

Access to all four courses with any approved provider (Introduction, Intermediate, Learn to Lead Sport & Trad) 

Lifetime use of DLOG (the digital logbook) for recording all climbing related activities

A certificate of attendance for each course attended

A copy of New Rock Climbers - to be handed out on the course 


13th-14th April 2024

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4th/5th June 2024

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3rd-4th August 2024

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7th-8th September 2024

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We can run bespoke dats in Spring, Summer and Autumn 

Course Ratios

1:2Ratio day 1

1:4 Ratio day 2

This is an open course designed for you to meet like minded individuals and learn to climb together  

An instructor can teach up to 4 people on this course - we can provide additional instructors adhering to a 1:4 ratio. 

Minimum of 2 for courses to run


16yrs+ to attend this course

Under 18's must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian

As a guideline: Have belayed on at least 20 occasions;
Have seconded a minimum of 20 outdoor rock climbs at Very Difficult (VDiff) or above;
Have led 20 sport climbs (indoors or outdoors).

A Rock Skills Intermediate is good pre-cursor to build skills towards this course.


Harness, helmet, ropes & climbing hardware are available to use and included in the price

We will share kit lists with you during the booking stage

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

Click here for a rock shoes buyers guide


These courses use the North Lakes and we use the crags of Borrowdale to deliver the outline of the course. 

We will meet in Keswick Climbing Wall cafe for introductions at 9:00am

Here we will discuss your aims and outline the course structure. 

We use crags such as Black Crag, Bowderstone Crag, Shepherd's Crag, Glaciated Slab as examples. 

It will be possible to car share to get to these venues if necessary

this course is accredited to mountain training

Mountain Training is the collection of awarding bodies for skills courses and qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering that operates across the UK and The Republic Of Ireland.

Our qualifications train and assess people to look after other people in these environments, whether that's leading a walk in the mountains, coaching in a climbing wall or teaching multi pitch rock climbing. People who hold our qualifications have been assessed at a nationally agreed standard.

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Our Vision

A diverse and active outdoor society, supported by inspirational leaders, instructors and coaches.

Our Mission

To inspire, enable and develop people in walking, climbing and mountaineering through the provision of nationally and internationally recognised skills training and leadership qualifications.

Our Ethos - Click here to view 

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Support for people 

Mountain Training is committed to ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to attend our courses. We work in close partnership with the mountaineering councils and a key strand of their work is to ensure that participation is open to all. The BMC Equity Steering Group and initiatives like Adventure for All have been central to this and are an excellent source of information.

Reasonable Adjustment Guidance 

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Hire our Lake District Mountaineering instructors for private and tailored programmes.

Suited to your goals & ambitions to make the most of YOUR time in the mountains. 

Day rates: 

1:1 £210

1:2 £240

Climbing in Langdale in the Lake District


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

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