Lead climbing is the next big step up after having been a top-rope climber for some time. Lead climbing involves climbing above your protection clipping your rope as you go, risking bigger falls in the process. A different style of belaying is involved with lead climbing as well, usually without being attached to a ground anchor. Lead climbing is exciting and everyone should aim to become a lead climber one day!

Why would you lead?

Bigger falls? Sign me up! Or maybe not.. Either way, most competitions are based around lead climbing. Also, if you ever want to climb outdoors - someone will have to put up the rope and that person is usually the lead climber. Lead climbing is exciting and requires a new set of skills, increased knowledge and improved mental strength. Are you game?

When am I ready?
You might be game, but are you ready? Lead climbing routes start at grade 15, so our requirement is for you to comfortably climb grade 16. Don't forget, you have to clip the rope during the climb - forcing you to hold on with one hand in the process. And then there is the fear of falling, better be comfortable top-roping on the routes we would practice leading on first. For reasons given, leading is generally for Youth Squad climbers only - although exceptions may be possible.

What do I need?

In order to lead climb, you will need a signed lead waiver from your parent or legal guardian (ask at the desk). On top of that, the following equipment is required for lead climbing:

  • Dynamic climbing rope (minimum 9.7 thickness, minimum 50 meters)

  • Lead suitable harness

  • Petzl GriGri2, Petzl GriGri+ or LifeGuard (GriGri2 recommended unless left-handed)

  • Carabiner

Sharing of this equipment between climbers is encouraged (e.g. 1 rope per 2 climbers, 1 belay device per 2 climbers)! All the above is available from our pro shop at Cliffhanger, members receive -10% discount. The equipment is required to sign up for the course. As we don't want to rush fitting harnesses and explaining options, we recommend getting the equipment prior to the course date.

How do I sign up?

Climbers that wish to learn how to lead are required to book a course. Courses consist of 2 lessons, each 1.5 hours long and with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 participants (lead climbers). For Kids Club and Youth Squad members, we offer lead courses on selected dates/times (please use button below to see availability). If a different day and/or time is preferred, please talk to our management and we will try our best to make the course happen.

The fee for a lead course is $110. Kids Club and Youth Squad members (term or full memberships) receive a 10% discount on this price.

Adults that wish to learn how to belay their child on lead can join the course by signing up as well, free of charge! A lead suitable harness is required. A lead belayer will need to learn and understand everything involved with lead climbing in order to be a competent belayer. Signing up for a lead course does not guarantee a lead pass for climbing and/or belaying.

Courses need to be booked and paid for in advance. Please book using the button below to secure your spot on the next available course. Can't find a suitable date/time or want to ask some questions before booking? Speak to our friendly staff next time you visit or contact us on 03 9369 6400 or via info@cliffhanger.com.au.