Traditional Climbing

Skills to Use All That Really Cool Looking Gear at MEC!

Traditional climbing - or trad climbing as it's popularly known - is the craft of placing protection gear up climbing routes. Whether that's climbing big walls, alpine objectives or multi-pitch routes up the Stawamus Chief, the ability to trad climb gives climbers’ access to mountains all over the world.

Our Trad Climbing course introduces climbers to traditional gear, gear placement, gear anchors and leading strategies. The morning is spent practicing gear placements/gear anchors, and the afternoon is spent doing practice top-roped leads and ultimately supervised leads.

Free online course 

In addition to our in the field course, all students will have access to our online course so you can study up before you head out into the field to retain more.  Or to watch again to refresh your skills afterward.

Save 10% when this course is combined with Multi-pitch Climbing over the same weekend.

The Goods

Length: 1 Day

Locations: Squamish, BC.

Meeting Point: The Squamish Adventure Centre

Prerequisites: Climb 5.8, an understanding of top rope anchors and proficiency belaying, previous lead experience recommended but not required

Highlight Skills: Proper placement of cams & nuts, building trad gear anchors, lead tactics and route selection

Season: Scheduled Dates All Summer

Max. Guest to Guide Ratio: 4:1

Price: $179

Scheduled Courses - 2021

April 10 $179 / person

April 24 $179 / person

May 8 $179 / person

May 22 $179 / person

June 5 $179 / person

June 19 $179 / person

June 23 $179 / person


July 3 $179 / person

July 13 $179 / person

Midweek Course

July 17 $179 / person

July 26 $179 / person


July 31 $179 / person

August 12 $179 / person

Midweek Course

August 14 $179 / person

August 24 $179 / person

Midweek Course

August 28 $179 / person

September 11 $179 / person

Custom Dates on Demand


Warm Up Session

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Squamish Accommodation

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8:30 am - Meet and greet at the Squamish Adventure Center

9:00 am  - Travel to Smoke Bluff park and head out to the crag (two-minute drive, ten-minute hike)

9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Climbing, learning, and high fives.

4:30 pm - Back to the cars for debriefing and more high fives

What's Included
  • 1 full day of instruction with ACMG guide
  • All technical equipment (shoes, harness, helmet and group gear)
Not Included
  • Lunch
  • Transportation to and from the meeting point
Gear List

Please come prepared to spend the whole day outside in all types of weather.  It can be anything from cold in the morning as you will be climbing in the shade to very hot in the sun!

  • Full pants or Capris. 
  • T-shirt or long sleeve
  • Warm jacket (sweatshirt, lightweight down jacket)
  • Rain/wind jacket (gore-tex)
  • Warm hat (for colder days)
  • Small backpack (30 litres)
  • Sunglasses
  • Good shoes; running/gym shoes are fine
  • Water, 1 litre
  • Food
  • Harness, Helmet, Climbing shoes (let us know if you need rentals)


Please arrive in the morning with food and drink for the day.  This is also available for purchase at the Adventure center

Booking Policy

Please take a moment to read and understand our policies before booking! All the information you need about booking, payment, cancellation, and weather policies can be found in our cancellation policy and FAQs.

What You Will Learn

The morning is spent practicing gear placements and making gear anchors.  The afternoon is practice top-roped leads and ultimately supervised leads.

  • Understanding Required Gear
  • Excellent Gear Placements
  • Building Gear, Tree and Natural Anchors
  • Safe Leading + Safe Belaying
  • Practice Leads

Fantastic mountain guides whom I would come back to anytime. My experience with Altus has been on three different occasions: ice climbing, ski touring and mountaineering, and each time had an awesome adventure. Their guides are extremely knowledgeable, inspiring, thorough, and able to cater to individuals' preferences and needs.

- Dora V

Did two climbing courses with Altus and both were great! Very skilled and experienced instructors who knew how to pass on their knowledge and let you learn hands on. I can fully recommend Altus for any outdoor course or trip!

- Tim P

Is This for You

Whether you are confident at top rope climbing or sport climbing, our single day Trad Climbing course is for intermediate to advanced climbers.  No lead climbing experience necessary!  This course is also highly recommended to climbers interested in taking our Multi-Pitch Climbing course, as trad climbing experience is required.

• Climb 5.8 Outdoors

• Proficiency with Belaying

• Top Rope and Lead with a Variety of Devices

• Proficiency with Climbing Knots and Gear

• Understanding of Climbing Anchor Principals

• Previous Lead Climbing Experience (recommended, but not required)

Still Have Questions or Concerns?

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns or requests on how we can make this the best trip ever!!!

About Ross Berg

Ross has guided, climbed and skied in the European Alps for the last several seasons. When he's at home he can be found working as a heli ski guide in winters and climbing alpine rock routes in summer.