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Learn to Lead - Trad Climbing Course

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:

  1. Recap tying in and belaying
  2. Be guided on a multi-pitch climb
  3. Assess ability and refine techniques
  4. Relaxed atmosphere for climbing 
  5. Discuss modern gear such as nuts, cams and hexes
  6. Practice its placement in the rock

Day 2:​

  1. Clip into belays and tie clove hitches
  2. Set a framework for safe and solid belays (ABC and IDEAS acronyms) ​
  3. Place gear independently
  4. 'In series' climbing​​
  5. Build your own belays 
  6. Learn to belay a second
  7. Discuss descent and abseiling

Day 3:

  1. Runner placement and management
  2. Stance organisation and belay changeovers.
  3. Ghost roping
  4. Place gear and gain peer feedback
  5. Route choice
  6. Lead climb with 1:1 coaching and instruction

The price of this course is inclusive of:

  1. A qualified Mountaineering Instructor affiliated with AMI
  2. Local & intimate knowledge of the venues
  3. Technical equipment 
  4. Professional coaching & instruction

Read more about AMI here: About AMI

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What to bring

Waterproof Jacket

Waterproof Trousers

Fleece Layer

Spare Warm Top

Hat & Gloves

Boots/Approach Shoes 

You will need your own rock shoes

30-40L Rucksack

Lunch & Snacks

1 litre water

Personal Medication


Equipment Provided:



Belay Plate

Nut Key

120cm Sling

We recommend having a harness for this course.

Please bring any climbing hardware or ropes you may already have.

We encourage you to lead on your rack of gear.


You should be able to second climbs and have an understanding of Trad Climbing.


We will send a full course itinerary on booking - please look out for our email.

Group discount available

£570 per person

Mon 18th - Wed 20th Jul
09:00 - 16:00 every day · 2 spaces left



Cancellation Policy


In the unlikely event we have to cancel, we will offer a full refund if an alternate date can't be offered.

We can also issue vouchers to be used on other events or sessions with us. 

If cancellation occurs within 30 days of the course or activity, we will retain 50% of the full price (your deposit).

If cancellation is within 14 days of the activity we will retain the full amount.

Winter course conditions: It may be necessary to change the outline of the courses to offer general mountaineering/mountain skills programmes with part refunds.


In the current COVID climate, here is our COVID stance and policy. 

Any booking that cannot go ahead due to Covid restrictions or national lockdowns will be given a full refund. 

In light of the successful vaccine roll out and easing of restrictions in England, we are not offering COVID refunds at this time. 

We take our health very seriously here at LDM, our instructors will wear face masks in close contact scenarios and we will regularly use hand sanitiser. Our instructors are double vaccinated and COVID aware, following all up to date information.

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Where we'll meet

The meeting location is decided on the day.

We like to use the Langdale or Borrowdale valleys, we will choose appropriate venues to develop your leading and maximise learning opportunities. All meeting locations will be outlined the itinerary forms we send out

Lake District Mountaineering
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