Trad Fundamentals Course Information
Typical 2 or 3 Day Class
On Day One you'll be asked to arrive at Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides to meet your instructor at 8:30 a.m. After you complete your liability waiver and are outfitted with any gear that you don't already own, your instructor will most likely start the day by asking you questions about your climbing experience and your goals for the course. You and your instructor will use that information to work together to plan out the best possible day on the rocks. If the weather looks questionable, the course will begin in our one-of-a-kind indoor Trad Training Center. If not, you'll head directly to the rocks, just a short hike from our facility.
The first day will involve a review of safety, equipment, and the basics of multi-pitch climbing. The main goal of our Trad Fundamentals course is to guide you on the path to becoming a safe, competent partner to a traditional lead climber. Day One will introduce, or refresh, the skills needed to make this a reality. Throughout the day you'll climb multi-pitch traditional routes with your instructor that are well within your ability level, focusing on the skills that you need to know. These skills include, but are not limited to, safety checks, ground anchors, belaying a leader, cleaning protection, basic rope management and rappelling.
After a full day of climbing and instruction, you'll arrive back at the SRMG base at approximately 5 p.m. Before leaving, you'll discuss the logistics of Day Two with your instructor, and maybe hang out on the deck to take in the view and a bit of conversation with other climbers.
Again, you'll arrive at SRMG at 8:30 a.m. This time, you'll have all of the details nailed down from the day before and head directly out to the rocks with your instructor. Luckily, if there's inclement weather, the indoor Trad Training Center will provide a comfortable place to reinforce the skills learned on Day One, and to introduce and practice new skills. On the rocks, you'll most likely spend the day putting in as much mileage as possible on new routes while reviewing the skills needed to be a safe and efficient climbing partner. Through conversation with your instructor, you'll decide if this day might be a good time to follow your instructor up a few routes that are closer to the upper limit of your ability level.
If you're feeling comfortable with all of the skills that you learned on Day One and reviewed throughout Day Two, you and your instructor may begin to focus on some basic self-rescue skills. At the end of the day, you'll hike back to SRMG around 5 p.m. If you've signed up for a 2-day course, you'll say your good byes and head home. If you're enrolled in a 3-day course, you'll make plans for the next day with your instructor before relaxing for the evening.
On Day Three you'll again meet your instructor at 8:30 a.m. and get right down to business. Although your day will be out on the rocks, this is a great day to rest your body from the previous two days of climbing. Day Three will often focus on raising the bar on the technical skills that you've been learning and either concentrate on refining those skills, or begin learning a few more advanced skills. Of course, you'll probably want to squeeze in a few easy pitches with your instructor while you practice.
Once again, the day will end on the SRMG deck at 5 p.m. At the end of the day, you'll discuss your next steps with your guide, whether it's following a competent partner on multi-pitch routes to reinforce what you've learned, a few days of private guiding, or signing up for a more advanced course. At the end of the day you'll say your good byes...until your next trip to Seneca Rocks.