How to Choose the Best Rock Climbing Clinic For You

CityClimbWebAt Chicks, we have climbing clinics in all disciplines from rock to alpine climbing. Choosing which one depends on what type of skills you’d like to learn, the climbing clinic style you like and the place you want to travel to do it all. If you’re new to climbing, looking to refresh your skills or want to learn more advanced skills, we have a clinic that makes it all possible.

Keep in mind that we offer 4 different levels that you can choose when you sign up for one of our trips. That way we can pair you up with others who have similar experience and your individual goals can be met in a low ratio group setting in each climbing clinic. As you advance your skills and knowledge you will move up through the four different instructional levels until you are at the point that you feel ready to fly the coop and cast out on your own.

Your guides are all certified by the AMGA and are some of the most highly trained female guides in the country. They do a great job at creating a positive environment and will teach you the “what and the why” so you walk away with knowledge and deep understanding of climbing systems.

Here is a breakdown on some of the skills you will learn on each of our programs:

rock climbing red rocks

Photo by: Irene Yee

Red Rock, NV: March 30-April 4

Great for never-evers and those who want to work on their lead climbing skills. The sandstone is super user friendly and there are climbs of all grades. Las Vegas is an affordable destination for everyone and this is a great stay-cation learning experience.

  • Single and Multi-Pitch
  • Sport and Trad
  • All Levels

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Indian Creek, UT: April 6-10

IMG_7737 Some previous experience is required for this one, as learning the art of jamming can be challenging enough as it is. You’ll learn how to place and assess trad gear placements and the art of jamming on a wide range of crack sizes. You’ll be on your way to becoming a crack climbing machine by the end of the weekend.

  • Crack Climbing
  • Levels 2-4

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Kalymnos, Greece: April 23-May 1

Previous experience is required and this climbing clinic is best suited to aspiring lead climbers and those who can top rope 5.8 and up. It’s the perfect place to test your skill against the 3D limestone features. This is a bucket list trip of a lifetime and what could be better than the beach and climbing all in one place?

  • Limestone Sport Climbing in the Mediterranean
  • Levels 2-4

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City of Rocks, ID: June 21-24

The City of Rocks is a great destination to practice your friction climbing on the wild formations in a high desert setting. There is something for everyone here, even for first timers. You will hone your technical on technical face climbs and learn about anchor building and self rescue.

  • Single Pitch and Multi-Pitch
  • Sport and Trad
  • All Levels

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Tetons, Wyoming: Alpine Rock. June 29-July 2 

Do you aspire to climb bigger mountain objectives? If you have some rock or ice climbing experience and want to learn how to take your rock/ice skills into the mountains. Learn about traveling on steep snow and ice, cramponing technique, ice axe use and self arrest on the shoulders of the Grand Teton.

  • Alpine Rock
  • Levels 2-4

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Red River Gorge, KY: September 1-4

The Red is one of the most popular destinations in the country because climbers love the pocketed sandstone. There are thin face climbs and juggy overhangs that will inspire and challenge you. It’s so user friendly which makes it the best place to transfer your indoor climbing skills to the outdoors.

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rock climbing clinicRifle, CO: August 18-20

Rifle is all about compression climbing, meaning you will squeeze and use opposition to ascend the walls lining this narrow gorge. The approaches are about 5 minutes max and the canyon receives equal parts shade and sun during the day. We will focus on sport climbing strategies like stick clipping, leading, cleaning anchors and projecting skills.

  • Steep Sport Climbing
  • Levels 2-4

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Attacking the Legendary Rifle Limestone

Written by: Diane Mielcarz

Diane rock climbing rifle

Diane enjoying all Rifle has to offer. Photo by: Monika Leopold.

Take six eager participants, throw in a little bit of snow, rain and temps in the 20s, add two awesome guides, temps in the 70s, great food, a blazing fire, challenging routes and what do you get – another successful Chicks Climbing Clinic.

Although the weather made every effort to discourage us from our objective of attacking the legendary Rifle limestone (we fell asleep to the sound of rain and woke up to a covering of snow) our badass Guides Elaina Arenz and Dawn Glanc were not to be deterred. As we waited for the weather to improve, we spent a very productive morning inside the Community House learning various skills and techniques for belaying, clipping rope, setting/cleaning anchors and knot tying.

Once the weather cleared, there was no stopping this determine group of women as we headed to the snow cone wall to put together all of our new skills. We worked on climbing movement as well.

Sunday the group awoke to sunny weather. We headed to the middle ice caves area with a mission to lead as many routes as possible. By the end of the day everyone had a chance to work on leading. We also learned skills to help project harder grades.

Rifle Canyon

Rifle Canyon. Photo by: Dawn Glanc

As an Alumni of Chicks, I am continually amazed and impressed by the camaraderie and teamwork that develops among the participants during these clinics under the tutelage of the guides. During this clinic, as with others, the skill level varied from one extreme to another (i.e. never having climbed outdoors to climbing and/or leading 5.9s or higher), however, the guides are adept at molding the group into one cohesive unit that enables everyone to achieve their personal goals. These ladies kicked some butt leading, lead belaying and sending. I know each participant walked away from this clinic on Sunday feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

A huge thanks to Elaina and Dawn (and Chef Dawn), my fellow clinic climbers and Chicks for a truly enjoyable and rewarding weekend. You have provided me with the skills and encouragement necessary to be a competent and capable climber.