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Course Locations: June 1 through September 15 at Idyllwild
All other dates at Joshua Tree National Park

ONE DAY COURSES

Students enjoying our Basic Rock Climbing course.
Basic Rock Climbing class at Joshua Tree.

BASIC ROCK CLIMBING

If you have never done any climbing, or need a refresher, here's where to start. This is an introduction to the world of rock climbing with an emphasis on safety and fun. The class covers the absolute essentials for climbing steep rock and is a valuable course for those wishing to pursue mountaineering. Course itinerary: equipment, knots, anchoring, belaying, communication signals, rating system, climbing techniques, and rappelling. Classes are taught on low-angle, moderate rock suitable for novices.

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 5, 26
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): January 23, February 20, March 20, April 17
$165

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


Figure 8 Knot
Figure Eight knot.

INTERMEDIATE ONE

After reviewing fundamentals (knots, anchoring, and belaying) you'll complete a progression of climbs where a broad range of more challenging climbing techniques are encountered, from the subtleties of edging and smearing used in face climbing, to jamming and liebacking used in crack climbing. Protected by a top-rope, each student is given personalized coaching and is allowed to progress to the limit of their ability. This class also includes an introduction to anchoring fundamentals using nuts and camming devices.

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 6, 27
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): January 24, February 21, March 21, April 18
$165

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


Klemheist knot
You'll learn the Klemheist knot in our Rescue One class.

RESCUE ONE

This class provides you with the essentials to perform basic self rescue skills for you and your partner. The itinerary includes: friction hitches for slings and cord, improvised rope ascension, backing up rappels with an auto block knot, how to rescue a fallen climber using an auto-locking (ie. Gri-Gri) device, lowering system with a re-directed auto-locking device, lowering system with a munter hitch backed-up with an auto block knot, the tandem rappel system, and the basic 3 to 1 "Z" raising system with an auto-locking device.

By appointment, per day, one person: $365
Two people: $195 each
Three people: $155 each

Rescue Two Class, Joshua Tree
Practicing the rescue of a fallen climber, Rescue Two class at Joshua Tree.

RESCUE TWO

This class teaches you the more complex rescue systems that must be accomplished without the aid of an auto-locking (ie. Gri Gri) device. The itinerary includes: the belay escape, how to rescue a fallen lead climber, rigging a 3 to 1 and 5 to 1 raising system, and lowering systems with a knot pass.

Prerequisite: Rescue One or equivalent.

By appointment, per day, one person: $365
Two people: $195 each
Three people: $155 each


TWO-DAY COURSES

Two Day Rock Climbing
Lisa Lafortune enjoying her rock climbing class at Joshua Tree. Photo by Hoan Dolinh.

2-DAY ROCKCRAFT SEMINAR

Our most popular beginner's course, this seminar combines Basic Rock Climbing on Saturday with Intermediate One on Sunday, allowing you to maximize your learning capacity during one weekend.

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 5-6, 26-27
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): January 23 - 24, February 20 - 21, March 20 - 21, April 17 -18
$325

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


Stopper
The stopper is one of the most common rock climbing anchors.

2-DAY ANCHORING

This two-day course is the next step after the Rockcraft Seminar and is the perfect course for the experienced indoor gym climber or sport climber who wishes to learn "trad" or traditional climbing. It's our most comprehensive anchoring course and a prerequisite to our 2-Day Leading class. This course covers the essentials for trad climbing, including:

  • Lecture on equipment characteristics and specifications
  • Detailed placement criteria and assessment principals for nuts and camming devices
  • Anchor system evaluation criteria, including the RENE principal (Redundancy, Equalization, and Non Extension)
  • Anchor system (both simple and complex) equalization methods using slings and cordellettes for both single pitch and multi-pitch anchors ·
  • The "Joshua Tree System" rigging method for setting up toprope anchors that require extension over the cliff edge

This course curriculum is specifically designed to give you the ability to quickly assess your gear placements and anchor systems, based on sound principals.

Recommended textbooks:
Advanced Rock Climbing: Mastering Sport and Trad Climbing by Bob Gaines
Climbing Anchors Field Guide, Second Edition (2014) by John Long and Bob Gaines

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 12-13, 28-29
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): January 9 - 10, February 13 - 14, 27 - 28, March 13 - 14, 27 - 28, April 8 - 9, 24 - 25, May 8 - 9
$325 (each day can also be taken separately for $165/day)

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


Rack
The "rack" is the complete assortment of rock climbing gear carried by the leader.

2-DAY LEADING

This two-day class focuses on leading fundamentals. You'll learn what it takes to become a competent leader: confidence in technique and ability to place reliable protection and sound anchors. You'll practice placement and removal of all the various state-of-the-art protection devices, with pointers from your guide, and, under close supervision, and top-rope protection, you will execute simulated lead climbs. Placing gear on the lead, use of slings to reduce rope drag, proper carabiner clip-ins and alignment, belaying strategies and rope management for multi-pitch climbs, and route finding skills are among the topics covered. Limited to a maximum of three students.

Prerequisite: 2-Day Anchoring or equivalent.

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 19-20, 30-31
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): January 11 - 12, 16 - 17, February 15 - 16, March 6 - 7, 29 - 30, April 10 - 11, 26 - 27, May 1 - 2, 10 - 11
$345

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


Two Day Rescue Class at Idyllwild
Students practicing rescue techniques during our Rescue class at Idyllwild.

2-DAY RESCUE CLASS

Combines Rescue One and Rescue Two for a comprehensive self-rescue class that covers virtually every scenario you may encounter while climbing.

By appointment, per day, one person: $365
Two people: $195 each
Three people: $155 each


2-DAY CRACK CLIMBING TECHNIQUE

Crack climbing at Indian Creek
Crack climbing connoisseur Erik Kramer-Webb at Indian Creek.

Joshua Tree is the perfect place to improve your crack climbing skills. In this two day class you will learn the techniques required to climb a wide variety of crack sizes, including: thin cracks, hand cracks, off widths, chimneys, dihedrals, and flaring cracks. Your instructor will set up top ropes on crack climbs mostly in the 5.6 to 5.9 range. The skills covered in the class will include: finger locks, ring locks, hand jams, fist jams, hand stacks, arm bars, chicken wings, toe jams, foot jams, heel-toe jams, foot stacks, stemming, laybacking, and the undercling technique.
In addition we will explore topics such as:

  • Hand taping methods.
  • When is it better to jam and when is it better to layback?
  • When is stemming the best option?
  • Is it better to jam with thumbs down or thumbs up?
  • Should you rest with elbows bent or elbows straight?
  • Should you lock off low or high when placing or cleaning protection?
  • Mixed crack and face routes.
  • How does rock type influence technique? (i.e. granite vs. sandstone vs. basalt, etc)
  • Training tips.
By appointment, per day, one person: $365
Two people, per day: $195 each
Three people: $155 each


MULTI-DAY PACKAGES

Trad climbing at Joshua Tree
Terri Condon leading a trad route at Joshua Tree.

3-DAY LEADING & RESCUE

Combine the 2-Day Leading with Rescue One for a comprehensive three-day leader's class.

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 19-21
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): February 15 - 17, March 29 - 31, April 10 - 12, 26 - 28
$510

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


Camming Device
The spring loaded camming device is one of the most useful anchoring devices for rock climbing.

4-DAY ROCKCRAFT

Our most comprehensive beginner's course. Day one is our Basic Rock Climbing curriculum and day two is our Intermediate One curriculum. Days three and four include more climbing technique, including steep face climbing and crack climbing techniques, allowing you to build your foundation on a wide variety of climbs, all with expert advice and coaching from your instructor. Climbing on consecutive days is the best way to refine technique and quickly progress.

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 5-8, 26-29
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): January 23 - 26, February 20 - 23, March 20 - 23, April 17 - 20
$620

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


Hex Placement
Hex placement.

4-DAY ANCHORING & LEADING

Start with the 2-Day Anchoring then continue with the 2-Day Leading for a thorough course covering everything from rigging top-rope anchors to the fundamentals of Lead Climbing.

Fall/Winter 2020 (Joshua Tree): December 28-31
Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): January 9 - 12, February 13 - 16, March 27 - 30, April 8 - 11, 24 - 27, May 8 - 11
$670

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.


The Vampire
Angelina Kalianda leading The Vampire, a 5.11 rock climb on Tahquitz Rock. Photo by Tony Grice.

5-DAY ANCHORING, LEADING & RESCUE

Combine the 4-Day Anchoring & Leading with Rescue One on day five for our most comprehensive course.

Winter/Spring 2021 (Joshua Tree): February 13 - 17, March 27 - 31, April 8 - 12, 24 - 28
$835

In all of our group classes, we practice social distancing. All students will be prescreened for covid-19 symptoms and required to pass a forehead temperature check (less than 100.4 F.) the morning of the class. Per National Park Service regulations, you will be required to wear a face mask, buff, or face covering for person to person interactions of less than 6 feet.



ADVANCED COURSES

Aid Climbing
Big Wall student Michelle Kemmer practicing aid climbing technique on The Pirate at Suicide Rock.

BIG WALL SEMINAR

This two-day course teaches the famed "Yosemite Method" of direct aid climbing, useful to anyone who aspires to climb the big walls. Stressing simplicity and safety, we'll cover various types of direct aid placements, jumarring techniques, leading and cleaning aid pitches, establishing hanging belays, hauling heavy loads, tension-traverses and pendulums. Taught by a veteran Yosemite Big Wall climber, this seminar will save you valuable time and reduce the frustration involved in learning the secrets of big wall climbing.

By appointment, per day, one person: $365
Two people: $195 each
Three people: $155 each

Peter Croft
Peter Croft at Joshua Tree

PETER CROFT AND BOB GAINES JOSHUA TREE CLIMBING WEEKEND

Peter Croft is one of America's legendary trad climbers, and Bob Gaines is one of Joshua Tree's most experienced guides, with over 35 seasons guiding at Joshua Tree National Park. Bob's route knowledge, combined with Peter's exceptional technique and coaching ability, will give you the ideal environment to break through to your next level. Designed for experienced climbers with the ability to follow 5.8 to 5.10 routes, everyone is guaranteed a challenge. Join Peter and Bob for a fun and memorable weekend of classic rock climbs.

Spring 2020: February 29 - March 1
$365


PETER CROFT SPORTCLIMBING AT OWENS GORGE

Peter Croft is now offering private instruction and guided climbs at Owens Gorge. Located near Bishop, California, the Gorge has over 500 routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13, so everyone is guaranteed a challenge. Join Peter for an unforgettable tour of California's finest sport climbing area.

Contact us for pricing and availability.

TECHNICAL TRAINING

We have designed more technically oriented courses for a variety of police, military, and search and rescue groups, including: L.A.P.D. K9 search and rescue, Palm Springs Search and Rescue, F.B.I., U.S. Navy Seals, Marine Force Recon, and Delta Force.

STUNT COORDINATION

We have coordinated over 25 television commercials featuring rock climbing. We can provide location scouting, casting, rigging, and stunt coordination services. Contact us for a detailed resume.


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Vertical Adventures®, Inc.
63624 Rapallo Road
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Office: 800.514.8785 Mobile/Text:949.322.6108
Bob Gaines, Director | Email: BGvertical@aol.com

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