SENECA ROCKS MOUNTAIN GUIDES EAST

DC AREA OUTDOOR CLIMBING COURSES
at carderock and great falls
Whether you’re brand-new to climbing, new to climbing outside, or looking to further your skills, take the next step with Seneca Rocks Mountains Guides East and our 30+ years of training climbers and alpinists to reach their goals—from getting to the top of your first outdoor climb to multi-pitch and alpine objectives.
 
Rock climbing is a craft, best taught through experience. For the the first time ever, we’re bringing our philosophy of small classes and hands-on learning to the Capitol region to prepare you for safe, successful, and independent climbing at your local crag, at Seneca Rocks, and beyond.

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NEW! ROAD TRIP: OUTDOOR SPORT CLIMBING (NELSON ROCKS, WV)

$175 per person
full day | Top rope climbing and belay experience required; indoor sport lead and lead belay experience recommended

 

Take the next step in your climbing journey: Learn to sport lead climb safely outside and you'll be able to access thousands of crags and climbs around the world. Spend a full day immersed in the technical skills, climbing techniques, and outdoor climbing know-how you need need to lead climb and lead belay safely anywhere you go.

This class is an SRMG exclusive, offered for the first time at a private sport crag designed for the effective instruction of hard-to-teach techniques—it's a unique chance to learn essential skills in an environment that has all the nuanced challenges of real sport routes in a comfortable, focused setting. Lodging and activities for non-climbers are available on-site at Nelson Rocks; contact us or check out their website for more details.

There is no strict climbing ability limit for this class, but we suggest being able to toprope 5.8 outside to get the most out of the day. Some indoor lead experience is recommended but not required.

You’ll learn:

  • The mechanics of lead climbing and belaying outdoors, including hanging draws, clipping, and taking and catching falls; 

  • Essential technical skills for outdoor sport climbing, including cleaning anchors, using a stick clip, and more;

  • Techniques for smooth, confident movement on outdoor sport routes, from route-reading and sequencing to climbing and resting techniques unique to real rock;

  • Crag etiquette, site safety, and management of the different objective hazards of outdoor vs indoor lead climbing.

Sunday, November 1

Introduction to OUTDOOR Rock Climbing (CARDEROCK/GREAT FALLS)
$135 per person
full day | no experience required

 

Get outside! Fundamental skills for new and aspiring outdoor climbers—taught on real rock. Whether you're climbing for the first time or a gym climber looking to try climbing outdoors, start your journey near home with expert guidance.

YOU'LL LEARN:

  • Gear selection and use

  • Basic knots

  • Belay technique

  • Rock-reading skills and climbing movement

  • Rappelling

  • Crag etiquette and stewardship

Sunday, November 1 FULL

TOP ROPE ANCHORS (CARDEROCK/GREAT FALLS)
$135 per person
full day | top rope climbing and belay experience preferred

 

A full day focused on the skills you need to climb safely and independently outdoors—wherever and whenever you want. You'll learn best practices and gain hands-on experience building solid and redundant top rope anchors using natural protection (trees and rocks) that you can climb on with confidence.

YOU'LL LEARN:
  • Fundamental principles and current best practices for solid, redundant anchors using natural protection in common terrain

  • Anchor gear selection and use

  • Essential knots and backups

  • Terrain assessment, site safety (mind the edge!), and efficiency

  • Environmental impact mitigation

Saturday, October 17 FULL

Saturday, October 31 FULL

Sunday, November 8 FULL

NEW! November 15

WOMXN'S CLIMBING CLINIC (CARDEROCK, MD)
$135 per person
full day | top rope climbing and belay experience preferred

Join us for a day of crushing your climbing goals with other womxn in a supportive, community-building environment! Instructors Holly Frost and Krista Nickerson will guide you through a day of building confidence, climbing skills, and technical knowledge. You’ll learn the fundamentals of outdoor top rope climbing, including:
 

  • Movement and technique on natural rock, with instruction tailored to your strengths

  • Best practices for safety and stewardship

  • Basic top rope anchor demo and explanation of principles

  • A supportive and inclusive environment

Saturday, October 24 TWO SPOTS REMAINING

NEW! GYM TO CRAG: INTERMEDIATE OUTDOOR ROCK CLIMBING (CARDEROCK, MD)
$135 per person
full day | top rope climbing and belay experience REQUIRED

Turn your indoor climbing skills into smooth, confident movement on real rock. With a focus on subtler footwork, balance, and the nuances of finding and using rock holds and features, you’ll refine your climbing technique and technical skills for deeper engagement with every route and a strong foundation for all future climbing objectives. This next-step technique and movement class will have you climbing stronger both indoors and out! You’ll learn:

  • New climbing techniques unique to climbing outdoors, including basic crack climbing techniques

  • How to stand, smear, and smedge confidently on small and slippery feet

  • Weight shifting, balance, and body tension for efficient movement on poor holds

  • How to read the rock, identify holds, and sequence your climbs

  • Crag etiquette and management of the different objective hazards of outdoor climbing

 

Sunday, October 11 FULL

Saturday, November 7 FULL

NEW! November 15

NEW! Road Trip: Coopers Rock Weekend (Coopers Rock State Forest, WV)
$330 per person

FULL WEEKEND | Top rope belay experience recommended

Take your climbing on the road for a full weekend of technical instruction, movement clinics, and plenty of climbing time on the unique American gritstone of Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia! Overlooking the beautiful Cheat River Valley, Coopers Rock is a hidden gem with hundreds of boulder problems and routes on highly featured, coarse sandstone. Hone your skills, camp on-site or stay in nearby Morgantown, and enjoy an immersive climbing trip to one of our favorite area crags.

This weekend-long event combines our Top Rope Anchors and Intermediate Rock Climbing classes into two full days of experiential learning and engagement with the rock—you’ll learn to build a variety of solid anchors, then put them to the test by climbing on them during movement and climbing technique clinics. You’ll learn:

 

  • Fundamental principles and current best practices for solid, redundant top rope anchors

  • Anchor gear selection and use

  • Intermediate to advanced top rope anchor setups (optional) 

  • ​Movement techniques unique to climbing outdoors, including basic crack climbing techniques; how to stand, smear, and smedge confidently on small and slippery feet; and weight shifting, balance, and body tension for efficient movement on poor holds

  • How to read the rock, identify holds, and sequence your climbs

  • Crag etiquette and outdoor ethics

Please note the fee includes instruction only; we recommend reserving a campsite in the Coopers Rock State Forest or staying in Morgantown if you prefer not to camp.

October 24-25; FULL

dc area trad climbing classes
Ready to see the big picture? Start building the technical skills and essential knowledge to tackle multipitch traditional (free climbing with removable protection only—no bolts!) objectives in Seneca Rocks and beyond. Our unique DC-area trad climbing classes are designed to launch you toward your goals while maximizing your time—take the first step near home and be ready to make the most of continuing education in Seneca Rocks.
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MULTI-PITCH FUNDAMENTALS (MULTI-PITCH SCHOOL PART 1 AT GREAT FALLS)
$150 per person
full day | top rope climbing and belay experience REQUIRED

Get oriented and build familiarity with the gear, systems, and skills of traditional climbing in a multi-pitch environment—you'll practice technical skills and gain the knowledge you need to be a safe, competent partner to a guide or leader and get the most of every trad following experience. When you're ready, book further classes in Seneca Rocks, WV to try your new skills in a real-world multi-pitch environment.

YOU'LL LEARN:
  • Advanced belay skills including lead belay/top belay and use of ground anchors;

  • Multi-pitch systems including rope management and belay transitions;

  • The basics of cleaning trad gear as a follower;

  • Multi-pitch rappels

Sunday, October 18 FULL

Saturday, October 31 THREE SPOTS REMAINING

INTRO TO TRAD CLIMBING (LEARN TO LEAD PART 1 AT GREAT FALLS)
$150 per person
full day | TOP ROPE climbing and belay experience REQUIRED

 

Prepare to get on the sharp end with a comprehensive introduction to trad lead climbing—the ultimate path toward adventure and freedom. You'll level up your climbing with hands-on practice placing and testing passive and active protection and learn to build the complex anchors you'll need when there are no bolts in sight. When you're ready, put your new knowledge into action with Learn to Lead Part 2 and 3 in Seneca Rocks, WV.

YOU'LL LEARN:
  • To place, assess, and test both passive (nuts and hexes) and active (cams) protection;

  • To build bomber multi-point anchors in unique situations using natural protection and gear;

  • Principles and concepts of safe, successful trad lead climbing

Sunday, October 11 FULL

Saturday, November 7 TWO SPOTS REMAINING

Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides 

62 Allegheny Drive

Seneca Rocks, WV 26884

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Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity provider and employer, and is a permittee of the Monongahela National Forest.