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School of Rockcraft

Courses & Seminars

With over 30 years of experience training climbers in traditional multi-pitch climbing techniques, we've continuously refined our courses so that you'll receive the best instruction available. Our courses are taught on the rock, in real-life situations to generate the best learning environment possible. Because of the extremely varied backgrounds, level of experience and goals of climbers differ, courses are customized to meet the needs of each climber.

Courses with SRMG include:

 Rates & Booking

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Courses

Trad Fundamentals

Getting started in traditional climbing can be intimidating and difficult. We've long held the belief that the mentor/apprentice relationship is the ideal way to break into the sport, and we've designed our courses to incorporate that style of experiential learning. Trad Fundamentals is designed for new climbers, and climbers transitioning from the gym, bouldering, sport climbing or top roping to the freedom of multi-pitch traditional climbing. Our guides work with you on the rocks and in our training center to give you the big picture of traditional climbing, and to teach you the finer points to prep you to climb multi-pitch routes with a partner. Our Trad Fundamentals course begins with an evaluation of your climbing experience (if any) and focuses on the following, as appropriate to your skill level

You'll Learn:

  • Knots and hitches

  • Equipment for traditional climbing

  • Basic movement skills

  • Rappelling

  • Understanding multi-pitch systems

  • The role of the leader and the second

  • Basic self-rescue skills​

 

Learn to Lead

Learning to lead can be one of the most intimidating steps in the evolution of a rock climber. Just like with our other courses, we believe that hands on experience and working with a mentor are the best ways to learn these skills. Our Learn to Lead course is designed for climbers with previous climbing experience that are interested in stepping out on the 'sharp end' of the rope. With decades of experience teaching the intricacies of traditional lead climbing, we're positive that the combination of our experienced guides and the world-class teaching environment of Seneca Rocks creates the most valuable lead course you'll find anywhere.

Our learn to lead course focuses on and/or includes:

 

  • Placing protection

  • Route finding skills

  • Rope management

  • Anchor building

  • Belaying the second (from above)

  • Mock leading scenarios

  • Multi-pitch rappels and backups

 

Self-Rescue

Consider these scenarios: You've just completed a long rappel although you're still 100 feet of the ground, and after repeated attempts to pull your ropes, you realize that they're stuck, or your partner is leading, takes a bad fall, and is dangling unconscious almost a rope's length off the ground. Do you truly have the skills to manage these all too common situations?​ Let's face it, climbing has inherent risk. Unfortunately, most climbers at the crag don't have the skills to effectively execute a rescue. Self-Rescue is a course designed for climbers with a bit of experience that want to be confident and competent if they, their partner, or a nearby climber gets into trouble. All of the techniques taught in the course can be accomplished with the tools and equipment that trad climbers carry with them, or can find, at the crag.

Our Self-Rescue courses are tailored to fit your personal level of experience, but focus on the following skill sets:

  • Backup Systems

  • Rescue Knots and Hitches

  • Releasable Systems

  • Ascension Techniques

  • Mechanical Advantage Systems

  • Hauling and Raising Techniques

  • Single and Multi-Pitch Rescue Rappels

 

Top Rope Fundamentals

Most climbers begin climbing on their own with the safety and security of a top rope belay. With our Top Rope Fundamentals course, you'll learn about proper equipment, anchor systems and top rope site management techniques under the supervision of our experienced guides. Then, take your newfound knowledge to your local crag and beyond as you experience the freedom of climbing on your own.

 

  • Top rope equipment

  • Knots and hitches

  • Natural and artificial anchors

  • Site safety and risk management

  • Basic rescue techniques

  • Proper belay techniques

  • Rappelling

 
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Rockcraft
Seminars

These 3 hour classes can be taken as your schedule allows. Seminars are available any time between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 6-9 p.m. on weekends. We have designed three main Rockcraft seminars: Rockcraft Foundations, Rockcraft Anchoring, and Rockcraft Self-Rescue. 

  • Individuals may sign up for a 3 hour Rockcraft Seminar anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays or from 6-9 p.m. on weekends from April 1st through October 31st.

  • Motivated climbers often add a seminar to the first or second evening of their Trad Fundamentals, Learn to Lead, or Emergency Self-Rescue course. After returning at 5 p.m. from your course on the rocks, learning and practice can resume from 6-9 p.m. as you maximize your time at Seneca Rocks.

  • ​3:1 Maximum student to instructor ratio.

Rockcraft Foundations

This 3 hour class introduces or reviews the fundamentals of seconding multi-pitch climbs. Seminars are held either at the rocks or in our indoor Trad Training Center.

Rockcraft Anchoring

This 3 hour class is designed for new lead climbers or someone who will soon be taking the sharp end of the rope, and seasoned lead climbers that would like to be sure you are up to date with the latest systems.

Rockcraft Self-Rescue

Climbing has inherent risk. This 3 hour course is designed to introduce or refine the skills needed to rescue yourself or your partner in a multi-pitch setting.

Rates & Booking

Big Wall

Many climbers dream of progressing beyond their local crag and focusing on a big objective. For traditional climbers, aid climbing and big wall climbs are the often the next step beyond trad climbing at your local crag, and are more accessible than most climbers realize. Our Big Wall courses are designed for competent leaders that are ready to take that next big step. Raise the bar just bit more, and spend the night on Seneca Rocks in a portaledge!

 

Our Big Wall courses typically focus on these skills:

 

  • Aid climbing techniques

  • Hauling systems

  • Big wall equipment and logistics

  • Portaledge use, and sleeping on the wall​​