Learn to Lead Climb

1 Day in California, Lake Tahoe / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person

$199.00

About this trip

Learning to safely lead climb is a milestone as a climber, and doing so with the instruction of a professional guide will allow you to learn the correct way the first time. This one day course will provide the perfect foundation to begin leading pitches anywhere in the world. This course requires a three person minimum.    Alpenglow Expeditions operates under a special use permit from the Tahoe, Inyo and Eldorado National Forests. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate

  • Duration

    1 Day

Once you have become familiar and comfortable with gear placement, anchor building and have a solid foundation of climbing movement, the next big step is leading your own pitches. For the first time, you will find yourself without the safety of a top rope. It is of paramount importance to keep a high margin of safety when learning to lead climb. The best way to do that is with the help of a professional guide. These skills will propel you through your entire climbing career, and learning the correct techniques the first time will ensure you start off on the right track. In addition to expert instruction and equipment all leads will be done with the added safety of a top rope.

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in good overall physical shape able to be active outside for many hours.

  • Technical Experience

    Climbers must have basic rock climbing experience including belaying, rappelling and use of top rope systems.

    • 8:30am — Meet & Greet

      Meet and greet, introductions, goals of the day.

    • 8:45am - 12:00pm — Morning Skills Session

      Begin by reviewing gear and anchor techniques in various settings. After review, we move onto the main lesson of lead climbing.

    • 12:00pm - 12:30pm — Lunch

      Quick break for lunch and taking in the views.

    • 12:30pm - 3:30pm — Afternoon Skills Session

      Continue building on skills that were learned during the morning session.

      • Equipment

      • Climbing rack

        Optional- Feel free to bring any rock protection that you own. These skills days are a great time to get more familiar with your gear.

        Read more
      • Black Diamond Aspect harness

        A simple harness, with gear loops and a belay loop.

        Buy on Backcountry.com
      • Black Diamond VaporLock Screwgate Carabiner

        Lightweight, locking carabiner.

        Buy on Backcountry.com
      • Black Diamond ATC-XP belay device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes.

        Buy on Backcountry.com
      • Black Diamond Vapor Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

        Buy on Backcountry.com
    • I don’t have all the required equipment. Do you rent gear?

      Yes, we provide the following gear at no charge for our climbing courses. Helmet, harness, and shoes. Please note- this equipment is available on a first come, first served basis, so please make your reservations early!

    • How much experience is required?

      It is important to have a solid foundation of outdoor climbing skills before joining this course. Experience with gear placement, anchor building and following leads are all prerequisites. Please contact us if you would like more information on the suitability of this course.

    • What is the typical group size for this course?


      Group sizes can vary depending on the course, however our maximum ratio of clients to guides is 4:1.

    • Do I need to bring a lunch?

      Yes, you should bring a sack lunch and water bottle for this full day course.

    • What safety standards do you have?

      At Alpenglow, we have only the highest standards of safety and guide qualifications. All of our rock climbing trips are led by AMGA certified SPI’s (single pitch instructors), certified rock instructors or certified rock guides. Our guides have extensive experience and knowledge with technical climbing equipment and risk management to ensure a safe day in the mountains! Furthermore, every Alpenglow program is supervised by an internationally licensed mountain guide (IFMGA/UIAGM). Alpenglow Expeditions is the only guide service in the region with such high standards, your safety is our our top priority.

Ray Hughes

Ray is an IFMGA / AMGA Licensed Mountain Guide. His passion for the mountains ignited while growing up in Northern California, exploring the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Ranges, followed by years honing his mountain skills in Colorado and Switzerland. As one of our core guides, Ray brings the same excitement to guiding and instructing in Lake Tahoe as skiing and alpine guiding in Europe to expeditions anywhere in the world. Sharing experiences, culture, and beautiful places with others blurs the line between work and play.

He is an AIARE Avalanche Course Leader and an American Avalanche Association professional member. Ray also works as a snow safety consultant for professional winter sport athletes and photographers.

He was a 4 x All American in Track and Field and the 250th American to ever run the Mile under 4:00, but now enjoys being an average trail jogger.

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

Logan Talbott

director of operations / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan keeps things running smoothly as the director of operations at Alpenglow Expeditions. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is a fully certified AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

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

Dave Nettle

Dave’s love for outdoor challenge, adventure and fun began early on by surviving his youth growing up in the Pacific Northwest climbing trees, running around the woods shooting BB guns and learning to “Be Prepared” the hard way on numerous Boy Scout backpacking trips into the rainy heart of the North Cascades.

In 1972 he started his lifelong pursuit and joy of rock climbing with his very first climb 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 the desire to accomplish what he sets out to do.

His 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, 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 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 in place of traditional techniques to improve the safety and efficiency of ski lift, gondola, high angle and crevasse rescue procedures.  He is a certified level 3 SPRAT and IRATA supervisor and evaluator.

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 event in the Tahoe area that has been ongoing for over 25 years 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.

Jarad Stiles

Jarad is a Tahoe native. A love for wild places is instilled in his nature. In 2009, he completed his AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification and completed the Rock Guide course in Smith Rocks in 2015.

Jarad is also a certified Wilderness First Responder and has worked as a Rock Climbing Guide on Donner Summit for 8 years. Recently, he has found a new home in Joshua Tree, California, teaching rock climbing during the winter months. Climbing in Yosemite Valley honed his craft and forged his bond with the Big Stone. Multiple accents of El Cap, Half Dome, The Leaning Tower, and Washington Column (in a day) have led the way to Jarad’s success in the mountains.

Jarad, his lovely wife Dana, and their adorable puppy, Ruca embody the California spirit by chasing long days in the sun and living comfortably in balance with nature.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

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

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 90’s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started leaning 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 recently spent the last 8 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine and skiing as well as becoming an IFMGA aspirant mountain guide, an AMGA certified ski guide and AIARE level 1 course leader. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele and sweet daughter Manu. 

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Pete Fasoldt

Pete Fasoldt is a certified AMGA 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

Nolan Van Herk

Nolan embodies the spirit, history, and progression of climbing, crimping and jamming his way through over a decade of experience on the rocks. Whether he’s scaling Sierra spires, wiggling up walls or cramming his crack-addicted (and never taped) hands into Tahoe splitters, Nolan’s enthusiasm and knowledge is contagious. Cutting his teeth on the rough granite monzonite of Joshua Tree and the polished proving grounds of Tahquitz, Nolan’s climbing developed amidst the proud ethics and traditions established by the Stonemasters. Ascents of the Rainbow Wall in Red Rock, Sierra gems such as Bastille Buttress, the Incredible Hulk, and Mt. Whitney as well as numerous Needles classics solidify Nolan’s traditional climbing resume and hint at his passion for big adventure. Nolan’s love for the mountains and appreciation for wild places cannot be contained solely by climbing; his backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering resume includes a descent from the third highest mountain in North America, Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba, as well as numerous corn-cruising missions on Mt. Shasta. Nolan is no stranger to those huge, soul-feeding days in the alpine and enjoys sharing outdoor experiences large and small with those around him. Nolan currently holds the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder certification.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

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