Kids Rock Climbing Camp

Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm in / (Skill level: Introductory, Intermediate)

Price per person

  • Next Available: May 29, 2023 - Jun 02, 2023
  • Upcoming: Jun 12, 2023 - Jun 17, 2023
  • Jun 26, 2023 - Jun 30, 2023
  • Jul 10, 2023 - Jul 14, 2023
  • Jul 24, 2023 - Jul 28, 2023
  • Aug 07, 2023 - Aug 11, 2023

About this trip

Our new 5-Day Kids Rock Climbing Camp is a great way to get your kids outside for a week of activity and climbing development, whether they are new to the sport or have years of experience. Throughout the week, your child will climb in Olympic Valley and on Donner Summit, as well as participate in several activities including map and compass scavenger hunts, knot tying, educational hikes in Shirley Canyon, and more. The camp will run Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm. For ages 7-14, and all ability levels. 


  • skill level

    Introductory, Intermediate

  • Duration

    Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm

Kids are natural-born climbers. Though many may have never tried the sport, often kids are immediately drawn to it. Climbing presents both physical and mental challenge to kids, a combination that makes it as difficult as it is fun. Learning to climb is not simply about getting stronger- it will also test kids’ balance, technique, problem-solving skills, and ability to manage fear.

New climbers will learn the fundamentals of rope management, belaying and climbing technique, while experienced climbers will explore more difficult routes, advanced rope systems, and leading techniques.  All guides are AMGA certified and medically trained as Wilderness First Responders at a minimum.

* If your child is under 3’11 and/or lighter than 88lbs, please give our office a call at 877-873-5376 or email us at info@alpenglowexpeditions.com after you book.

We will allow single day drop-ins on Mondays and Tuesdays. There is an option to select a single day when you click the “Book Now” button above. The single day rate will be $195.

Camp Itinerary

This is the typical itinerary for our Kids Rock Climbing Camp, however, the location and activities for each day may change depending on the age, ability, and interests of each group.

The first day of camp will start in beautiful Olympic Valley, CA with climbing on the Tahoe Via Ferrata. We’ve found that the Via is a great way to warm the kids up for the week, introduce them to their peers, and gauge their skill level & comfort with exposure.

The remainder of camp will include climbing and other engaging activities on Donner Summit, the ultimate outdoor playground. It’s a great place for kids to expand their climbing skills in a fun, safe environment, with a huge variety of routes from 5.2 to 5.12. Depending on the group, there may also be a rest day with hiking & educational activities in Shirley Canyon.

Each day’s activities will be tailored to the age and ability/experience of the kids- as well as their interests and motivations. If they’re eager to climb more, our guides may choose to test them on more difficult routes, teach more in-depth technical skills, or start to fine-tune climbing movement.

If they’re a little worn out, we will utilize other activities that we have prepared to keep them engaged and having fun – from art projects to playing in the creek, and nature hikes to map and compass skills. We want to create an appropriately challenging experience that keeps kids hungry for more outdoor adventure, and fosters personal discovery.

Non-Climbing Activities May Include

  • Educational hikes in Shirley Canyon to learn about Geology, flora and fauna
  • Rappelling school
  • Scavenger hunts utilizing a map and compass
  • Flower presses or painting in nature
  • Knot tying and rope skills
  • Weaving a rug out of old climbing ropes
  • History hikes on Donner Summit
  • Dips in the creek to cool off

What to Bring

Kids will want to bring everything on the following list for their week of camp:

  • Climbing harness, helmet, and climbing shoes (Available free of charge, just let us know when you book!)
  • Outdoor clothing that is appropriate for the weather (check the forecast!) Here is a video of what to wear on the Tahoe Via, which will be very similar to a day of rock climbing.
  • Close toed shoes that lace up or velcro, appropriate for hiking and climbing on the Via Ferrata
  • Lunch, snacks and water for the day (at least one liter)
  • Sun Protection: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and a lightweight long-sleeve clothing if desired
  • Swimwear and towel for dips in the creek
  • A backpack to carry it all!


  • Technical Experience

    We welcome kids of all skill levels. We will split groups and choose activities based on age and experience/ability to ensure appropriate challenge and fun for everyone!

    • Days 1 — Tahoe Via Ferrata in Olympic Valley

      Morning: kids will spend the morning climbing on our Tahoe Via Ferrata

      Lunch: the group will take a nice break in a shady spot to enjoy lunch and rehydrate

      Afternoon: kids will participate in a variety of activities that may include nature hikes, knot-tying, scavenger hunts, or arts & crafts.

    • Days 2, 3, 5 — Donner Summit Climbing and Activities

      Morning: kids will spend the morning climbing at Donner Summit and working on technical rope skills

      Lunch: the group will take a nice break in a shady spot to enjoy lunch and rehydrate

      Afternoon: Depending on the group dynamic, our guides will choose to make the second half of the day climbing-based or the group can explore some other activities that Donner Summit has to offer.

      If the group is eager to climb, our guides may choose to test the kids on more difficult routes, teach more in-depth technical skills, or start to fine-tune climbing movement.

      If the group wants to explore non-climbing activities- there's plenty of fun to be had on Donner Summit. Kids can hike part of the PCT and learn about the history of the area, make wildflower presses, and more.

    • Day 4 — Shirley Canyon Hike

      Thursday (Day 4) is typically a good day for a bit of a rest. A hike in Shirley Canyon in Olympic Valley provides a good break from climbing, with lots of educational activities along the way. Plant identification, map & compass activites and knot tying.

      • Rock Shoes

      • Harness

      • Helmet

    • What will kids do at camp?

      • Spend time outside and expend some of that extra energy!
      • Have fun and meet new kids
      • Practice a lifestyle sport that they can continue to do through adulthood
      • Develop new skills that demand responsibility and safety
      • Learn about the geology, flora, and fauna of North Tahoe
      • Develop skills such as tying knots, using a map and compass, and more!

    • Are there age requirements?

      We welcome kids ages 7 to 14 to our climbing camp.


      If your child is under 3’11 and/or lighter than 88lbs, please give our office a call at 877-873-5376 or email us at info@alpenglowexpeditions.com after you book.

    • Is my kid strong enough to climb? My kid doesn’t have great upper body strength.

      One of the most common misconceptions about rock climbing is that your arms have to look like Popeye’s if you’re even going to consider doing it. This is absolutely not the case!

      Rock-climbing is truly a full-body sport. We like to remind folks that if you can hike, you can climb. As new climbers develop their skills, they will discover that technique and balance are actually more important than their arm strength. And hey, the more you climb- the stronger you’ll get.

    • Is it safe?

      While no outdoor adventure can be completely free of risk without losing the essence of the activity, hiring a professional guide is a fantastic way to manage and mitigate this risk. All of our guides are AMGA certified, and well as medically trained Wilderness First Responders at the very least. (Some are EMTs or higher)

      Activities like skiing and climbing have what we call “inherent risk”, which can be defined as a risk that cannot be completely mitigated by a professional. That is part of playing in the mountains, and we encourage you to reach out to the office if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

    • What if I want to climb too? Can we climb as a family?

      Absolutely! Check out our Half Day Family Rock Climbing Trips and join your kids for a day of fun on the rocks!

    • What is the plan for lunch?

      Kids need to pack a lunch and bring plenty of water and snacks for the day.

    • What should they bring? Can they rent gear?

      • We have rental helmets, harness and rock shoes available for no additional charge. Just let us know what size shoes and harness to bring in advance.
      • Sun Protection: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, lightweight long-sleeve clothing if desired
      • Lightweight wicking short-sleeve top and lightweight climbing shorts/pants
      • Close-toed shoes for hiking and Via Ferrata
      • Windbreaker or raincoat- it can get breezy up on the mountain!
      • Plenty of water (at least one liter)
      • Lunch, and snacks to nibble on in between climbs
      • Swim gear and towel for a splash in the creek
      • Bug spray if desired

    • Can my child join just one or two days of camp?

      Single day drop-ins will be allowed on Mondays and Tuesdays. You can select this option when you click “Book Now” above.

      The day rate for drop-ins will be $195.

    • What's your cancellation policy? What if it rains?

      If it rains, we take the adventure indoors and provide fun and engaging activities for the group, including arts and crafts, knot tying, etc.


      Here is our cancellation policy :

      1. We reserve the right to cancel any trip at any time. Reasons for cancellation might include (but are not limited to) natural disasters or inadequate enrollment. If we cancel a trip prior to its start for low enrollment, we fully refund your payments. If we cancel your trip prior to its start due to natural disasters or other reasons of that nature, we will refund all but non-recoverable costs. Changes to a trip itinerary made by our guides for any reason do not constitute a cancellation, and no refunds will be made in this case.

      2. If you cancel your trip more than 30 days prior to departure, Alpenglow Expeditions will refund your payment minus a 25% cancelation fee, or the option to rebook to another available date with 100% credit. Cancellations between 15 and 30 days prior to the course start, you may reschedule with a 25% rebooking fee. Inside of 15 days, there are no rebookings or refunds.

      3. On any trip, our guides reserve the right to remove any person, for any reason. These reasons generally stem from a person jeopardizing the safety of themselves or another team member. This includes a person who is not physically able to climb or ski/ride at the level necessary for the chosen objective. In all these cases, there are no refunds whatsoever, and the client will be responsible for any additional costs incurred in leaving the trip.

Tim Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North-East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has spent the last 10 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing. He is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, and lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Dave Nettle

Dave’s love for outdoor challenge, adventure and fun began early in his life with Boy Scout backpacking and mountaineering trips in the Pacific Northwest.

In 1972 he started his lifelong pursuit and joy of rock climbing with his first climbs deep in the Sierra Nevada backcountry, which remains his favorite mountain range to share and enjoy.

In 1975, at age 17 he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail solo from Mexico to Canada and the following year hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico, sealing his passion for grand adventure and determination to accomplish what he sets out to do.

Dave’s underlying philosophy of living life fully and approaching the world of adventure travel and alpinism with “confident uncertainty” has led him to the mountain ranges of the world where his climbing accomplishments are just a part of what he values.  At the heart and soul of it all is the experience of interacting with, and learning from, the people, places and cultures along the way and sharing the challenge and beauty of wilderness with friends.

In addition to five decades of rock and alpine climbing which have included new routes and significant ascents throughout North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, Dave is an accomplished ski mountaineer who hangs up his climbing shoes each winter in favor of backcountry alpine ski touring and hut to hut ski tours in the European Alps.

Dave brings 15 years of technical Rope Access and Rescue Training experience to the team.  He has helped pioneer the use of Rope Access methods to complement traditional mountaineering based techniques to improve the safety and efficiency of ski lift, gondola, high angle and crevasse rescue procedures.  He has been a SPRAT certified Rope Access Level 3 Technician since 2002.

His blend of outdoor skills, professionalism and sense of humor make for memorable trips, not to mention epic slide show presentations which he loves to share with others. Dave is the founder of a free community slideshow series in the Tahoe area that has been ongoing since 1988 and continues to inform, entertain and inspire everyone to seek out and accomplish their dreams and goals. You can learn more about the Alpenglow Winter Film Series here.

Guide Certifications

Pete Fasoldt

Pete Fasoldt is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide who is thrilled to call Donner Summit his “home crag”. Originally hailing from Maine, Pete has worked as a ski patroller, as the owner of a rock guiding outfit in Acadia National Park, and as a first mate on sail boats, traveling thousands of offshore miles, including a recent attempt at transiting the famed Northwest Passage. Pete has completed several ascents of El Capitan, including a one-day solo. He has established first ascents in several countries across the globe and has a particular love of hard to reach alpine granite objectives. In 2004 and 2006 Pete became certified as a Wilderness First Responder and an Outdoor Emergency Care technician, respectively. Pete has guided people of all different climbing abilities, all over the country, and brings patience, humor, and a deep love of the sport to each course he leads.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Chris Werner

During a decade of professional guiding, Chris has learned that sharing an adventure in the mountains is where many of the best rewards lie. He loves seeing the thrill of someone’s first successful climb outdoors. And he enjoys sharing the excitement of fresh powder turns during someone’s first backcountry ski descent.

In addition to his passion for wild places, Chris is known for his clear communication and calm, reassuring demeanor. He looks forward to climbing or skiing with people new to the mountain environment as much as with those looking to add to their existing skill set.

When not climbing up something or skiing down it, Chris runs his own professional photography studio. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including Climbing, Backpacker, Outside, and the Adventure Journal.

Chris is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Glen Poulsen

A member of Squaw Valley’s pioneering founding family, Glen first ventured into the side and backcountry terrain surrounding Squaw Valley at the age of ten and has never looked back.  His forays into more remote parts of the Sierra Nevada led to numerous first descents and pioneering ski traverses throughout the range. After exploring mountains from Antarctica to the North Pole, Greenland and Spitsbergen,  Africa,  to the Andes, The Alps to Scandinavia,  Russia and China, The Himalaya, Central Asia, and Oceania, Glen always returns with a greater appreciation for his home in the “Range of Light”.  Whether its descents on skis or climbing alpine rock Glen has an intimate knowledge of the entire range. Whether It’s a local side country jaunt, a Sierra East side adventure, a hut tour in the alps or exploring new first descents in Greenland or Antarctica, Africa or the Andes, he can take you there. He has an AIARE Level 3 Avalanche and Wilderness First Responder certifications and has been an active Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team member.

Isaac Laredo

Isaac found his appreciation for the outdoors growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Isaac attended Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe where his appreciation  evolved into a lifelong passion. The scenery, accessibility, and culture of the surrounding mountains captivated Isaac to major in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Environmental Science and Outdoor Adventure Leadership at Sierra Nevada College. Here he was inspired by his teachers and peers to facilitate the creation of special moments in the outdoors. As one of his mentors say “special moments happen, we just have to show up for them”. These special moments have been responsible for lots of personal growth for himself and those around him. He has experienced the power of the outdoors first hand and looks forward to life long learning in the mountains through climbing and skiing.
Isaac is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Apprentice Ski and Rock Guide, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Sam Kieckhefer

Born and raised in Northern California, Sam began exploring the Sierra and developed a love for the mountains at a young age. He started backcountry skiing in 2010, and found his way up Mt. Shasta on only his second ski tour ever. After years of gaining experience, he started guiding in 2019 and hasn’t looked back. Sam guides full time in the winter around Tahoe as he continues to work towards his AMGA Ski Guide certification. Sam also teaches both recreational and professional avalanche courses with the American Avalanche Institute in the Tetons.

Sam is an AMGA Apprentice Ski and Alpine Guide, and AIARE Avalanche Course Instructor. He lives on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe with his partner Susie.

Guide Certifications
  • AIARE instructor

Mike Pond

Mike is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. He became a mountain guide immediately upon completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Expeditionary Studies in 2008. Since then, Mike has led expeditions in Alaska (including 6 successful Denali summits), South America, and throughout the American West, and is always looking for the next place to travel. He has completed several first ascents in Alaska, Canada, Washington and California. Mike also completed a Masters Degree in Outdoor Education with a Masters thesis titled “Investigating Climbing as a Spiritual Experience.”

After spending the last decade traveling while based out of Washington, Mike and his wife moved to Reno in winter 2020. While Mike feels generally at home on glaciers, snow, rock, and ice, he enjoys rock climbing on big, sunny granite the most. Hello, California! He loves sharing his passion for mountain adventure with others, and teaching aspiring climbers to reach their goals. While not on the rock, Mike also enjoys gardening, fostering rescue dogs, mountain biking, yoga, and swimming in as many brisk alpine lakes as his metabolism will allow.


Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Amy Olson

Administrative Assistant

Amy grew up in Kansas, but the mountains have been calling her since she was a kid. This led her to acquire a degree in Geology so that she could study them. While working as a geology intern in Colorado, she discovered her love of climbing and has been expanding her avenues of mountain exploration and searching for a career in the outdoor industry ever since. After a few years traveling around the country as a dirtbag climber, she found her way to Tahoe in 2019. She is always stoked to share her passion for skiing and climbing with clients as she helps them get ready for their backcountry trips. 

Amy is and AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and is pursuing an AMGA Rock Guide certification to accompany her official “rock nerd” qualifications.

Tim Mincey

A native of Chicago, Tim grew up barely knowing that mountains existed, much less that you could climb or ski them for fun. But as an engineering student at Stanford, he managed to fall in love with snowboarding, and after college he made the move to Tahoe to ride full-time as a snowboard instructor. Once in Tahoe, Tim couldn’t wait to dive into backcountry splitboarding and rock climbing, and he is perpetually trying to make up for his late start in the mountains by climbing and snowboarding as much as possible. Tim has guided throughout California since 2011, and has a hard time imagining that he’ll ever tire of showing off the beauty of the Sierra Nevada.

He is an AMGA Certified Rock and Splitboard Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and Single Pitch Instructor, as well as an AIARE Course Leader and AASI Level 3 Snowboard Instructor. He lives in South Lake Tahoe with his wife, Beth, their daughter, Cora, and their Mini Australian Shepherd, Pika.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

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    Kids Rock Climbing Camp

Kids Rock Climbing Camp

Our new 5-Day Kids Rock Climbing Camp is a great way to get your kids outside for a week of activity and climbing development, whether they are new to the sport or have years of experience. Throughout the week, your child will climb in Olympic Valley and on Donner Summit, as well as participate in several activities including map and compass scavenger hunts, knot tying, educational hikes in Shirley Canyon, and more. The camp will run Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm. For ages 7-14, and all ability levels.