Courses | Gym to Crag (Climbing 201)

As gym climbing continues to rise in popularity, we are seeing more of our students arrive with a solid foundation of movement skills, and an understanding of how to tie in and belay. However, they are not quite ready for intermediate climbing outdoors.

So, now that you’re red pointing this and on-sighting that, while crushing a few V things along the way, it’s time to see what those hard-won indoor climbing skills can do for you at the great Seneca Rocks! Our Gym to Crag course will focus on translating the gym knowledge you have into skills applicable to multi-pitch trad climbing and rappelling.

During this course we cover the following topics:

Essential knots (review and expand)
Outdoor climbing technique
Climbing equipment necessary for climbing outside
Communication skills
Building ground anchors
Rappelling: Single and multi-pitch
Seconding a leader
Moving in a multi-pitch environment
Risk assessment, evaluation and mitigation
Course Details
Rates & Dates
Maximize Your Experience

Course Details

Day 1

Our Gym to Crag course will review all of the information covered in our comprehensive basic, but at an accelerated rate. This ensures you have all the basic skills before we move on to more advanced material. We will review tying in and proper lead belay technique before moving on to ground anchors and climbing techniques not normally found in a gym. Students are then introduced to hand placed anchors and how to remove them from the rock and properly rack them on the harness. The rest of the day will involve putting these new skills together in a multi-pitch environment.

Day 2

The second day allows us to customize this course to the students and introduce new material as the students demonstrate competency with previously covered course material. Many groups climb to the South Peak of Seneca to experience a true technical summit while reinforcing old skills and learning new ones. Available topics include advanced rappel techniques, introduction to self-rescue concepts and preparedness, as well as building top rope anchors.

Day 3

Continued practice of techniques with an instructor helps students walk away from the course “owning” the skills they have been taught. Long-term retention is the goal and we find that almost all students need this third day to really cement their new skills. If mastery is apparent, our skilled and flexible instructors can seamlessly integrate content from a higher-level course. Though this course is also offered in an abbreviated two-day version, please note the enormous amount of information to be learned is best suited to a three-day course.

This course is taught with a maximum of a 3 to 1 Ratio.

Rates & Dates

Single Person Class

2 Day Version: $595
3 Day Course: $795

Group Discounts

Book with a friend and save up to $200 a person!

2 Day Version: $375 (per person)
3 Day Course: $495 (per person)

Register a full class of 3 and save up to $400 a person!

2 Day Version: $295 (per person)
3 Day Course: $395 (per person)

Our courses begin each Tuesday and Saturday, from mid-March to mid-November.

If you have a group of three, these courses can begin any day of your choosing.

Maximize Your Experience

Get the most out of your course by preparing ahead of time.

No reading is required for our Gym to Crag course, but to get the most out of this class, check out:

Knots for Climbers by: Craig Luebben, Globe Piquot Press 2002

While all the knots featured in this book are useful for climbing, it’s most important that you focus on the following:

Figure 8 follow-through........pg. 2
Figure 8 on a bight............pg. 4
Clove hitch....................pg. 6
Girth hitch....................pg. 11
Double fisherman’s knot........pg. 13
Autoblock......................pg. 16
Overhand knot..................pg. 25

If you master these knots and would like to try more before your class, or have interest in learning to set up top rope anchors, we suggest that you add these knots to your list:

Water knot.....................pg. 9
Double bowline.................pg. 22
Prussik hitch..................pg. 33