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Intro to Sport Climbing

Instructional Rock Course Menu
- Rock Climbing Home Page
Rock Climbing Anchors 101 & 201
Rappelling Setups & Techniques
Intro to Sport Climbing
Top Managed Belay Site Setups
Intro to Traditional (“Trad”) Climbing
Single Pitch Self Rescue

During this 2-day immersive course you will learn the fundamentals of Sport Climbing as you experience lead climbing up routes clipping into pre-placed bolts, building and cleaning sport anchors and retreating back to the ground.

Day 1 consists of mostly ground school where climbers practice clipping draws to hangers, practice clipping rope to draws, build and evaluate other participants’ anchors and simulate cleaning and retreating from anchors and sport climbs. Climbers will also learn about the intricacies of lead belaying and other aspects of Sport Climbing. Day 1 usually ends with at least 1 mock sport lead, which is when the climber lead climbs a route, but under a top-rope belay scenario. A mock lead provides the climber the security of being on a top rope belay so they can apply the newly learned sport climbing skills without the risk of taking a lead fall.

The Instructor delivers and reviews a lot of information on day 1 and it can be overwhelming and difficult to retain the information and apply the skills and techniques by yourself. Hence, day 2, the reinforcement day!

Day 2 begins with a review that transitions into a Question, Answer & Demonstration session, which in turn progresses into the participants lead belaying and mock sport lead climbing for most of the day. Day 2 is all about building confidence.

We conduct the Intro to Sport Climbing course at Birdsboro Climbing Quarry, a once active quarry that has been transformed into a Sport Climbing mecca and destination for mid-atlantic climbers. Birdsboro Climbing Quarry is one of Pennsylvania’s most accessible Sport Climbing areas with nearly 150 Routes that range in difficulty from 5.0 to 5.14. This area has been in existence since 1993 and is maintained and funded by the Birdsboro Area Climbers Association, a local climbing community.


Course Location: Birdsboro Climbing Quarry

Course Length: 2 Days | 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Course Size: 1:6 guide to client ratio course with a maximum of 6 clients

Pricing: $225

  • 3 climbers required to run the course. However, if there are less than 3 climbers, we can run the course under the below pricing schedule. The advantage is more personal time with the instructor. Since we understand that the increase in cost can be a barrier, refunds and rescheduling options are available for climbers who do not want to take the course with less than 3 climbers.

- 2 climbers – $300/climber

- 1 climber – $475

Instructor: Instructed by a certified American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor

Topics Covered:

  • 20140730_171645Review of Climbing Knots
  • Route Development
  • Lead Climbing Strategies
  • Rope Management
  • Belaying the Leader
  • Belayer and Climber Communication
  • Lead Falls
  • Confident Clipping
  • Climbing Movement
  • Building and Cleaning Sport Anchors
  • Retreating From and Cleaning a Sport Climb
  • Risk Management
  • In-depth Review of Sport Climbing Gear
  • LNT Principles and Climbing Ethics
  • Guide Books and Route Identification

Special Note: The Intro to Sport Climbing course is not a certification course.

Recommended Experience:

  • Familiarity with the following climbing knots and hitches: Figure 8 follow through, figure 8 on a bight, double fisherman, clove hitch, girth hitch, prussic, auto block, klemheist. Refer to for reference.
  • Able to top rope climb 5.7
  • Solid top rope belaying technique
  • Prior anchor building experience (at a minimum, familiar with anchors building concepts)
  • VTS Rock Climbing Anchors 101 course or similar experience

Lodging Options: French Creek State Park (Campgrounds, Cottages, Modern Cabins, Yurts)

Philadelphia Intro to Sport Climbing – Birdsboro