We offer a complete range of services to climbers at all levels of rock climbing ability:

From basic rock climbing classes to big wall classes and self-rescue clinics.
From guided climbing in Joshua Tree National Park to multi-pitch guided climbing at Tahquitz Peak and High Sierra climbing trips.
What sets us apart from other guide services is our level of training, our decades of experience honing our craft, and our knowledge of California natural history.

Owners Erik Kramer-Webb and Theresa Walsh are both former NOLS and Outward Bound instructors and have been trained by some of the most respected guides and outdoor educators in the industry.  Erik is an AMGA Certified Rock Instructor.  Theresa is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor.



I wanted to send a note to say how much my family enjoyed our day of rock climbing with Erik on December 30.
Erik was a fantastic instructor for the three of us. His technical expertise was impressive, but he was also patient, calm, safety conscious, enthusiastic, possessed of a remarkable humility and respect for the environment, and was just a great person to have spent the day without among the rocks. We all came away saying it had been a fantastic day, and are thinking of coming back another time for more climbing together as a family.

— Abigail P.


The purpose of this letter is to commend the outstanding professional service we experienced at your school working with guide Theresa Walsh.
I was particularly impressed with Ms Walsh’s skill and knowledge of working with young children and particularly in dealing with the understandable anxieties of children. She quickly observed and adapted to the child’s style and learning ability. In a situation where instructions can become complicated and come fast thus making it difficult for a child to process and respond, she was able to simplify and adapt so that her instructions were understood and easily implemented.

For example, under the pressure of climbing, our son had difficulty processing simple commands of direction if the words left or right were used. Ms. Walsh thus used other directional commands with reference to nearby features such as clumps of grass or a wider crack, etc. I was most impressed and pleased. Few instructions know to adapt. Most would just repeat themselves.

— Bruce J.


My daughter (Lexi) and I went climbing with Erik Kramer. Erik was an outstanding guide and teacher. He was careful and thorough. We felt very safe with him and he was an excellent teacher. He assessed our skill level and pushed us just hard enough for it to be exciting and rewarding. I hope we have another chance to come out and take your leader class with him.

 — Dan A.


I have just returned from an 8 day course in Joshua Tree National Monument in California. I enjoyed the course immensely and found it extremely rewarding.. …I would like to bring to your attention two superior instructors, Eric and Theresa. They did a terrific job.

I found Eric to be a mature and people-oriented instructor, while Theresa exhibited astute rock climbing skills and potent leadership capabilities. Together they performed as a balanced team.
I would recommend them without qualification to any PCOB course. Indeed, without them the course would definitely not have been the same.

 — Michael G., Esq.


I wanted to send along some positive feedback for you! Last year, we began sending out surveys to our customers after they enjoy their experience and you have received great feedback. We’ve received several responses and the overall experience rating is 10 out of 10 and the last customer we sent had the following comment:
“It was a really great time. So laid back and fun, yet still packed with tons of information and hands on experience. I really loved it. Theresa and Eric were amazing. I am so happy with my experience.”
Thanks so much for taking great care of our customers – it shows! In a world where people typically only reply to surveys to complain or point out the negatives, this is fantastic. Keep up the good work!

— Lindsey W.


I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how incredible my experience was this past weekend. I’ve never done anything like rock climbing – I mean when people that know me heard I was going to take a class, their reaction was, “What, and ruin her manicure?!!” Erik is a GREAT instructor – aside from being highly-skilled he is really personable, extremely patient and caring. He totally “got” me and what I could do and pushed me just enough so that I was really happy with what I had accomplished by the end of the class; that’s a good teacher in my book. I also appreciated that you came to the meeting site both mornings to check in and say hello.

— Kim G.


I am writing to express my high regard for the leadership of Theresa Walsh. The wisdom and maturity that Theresa has gained from her own life experience is clear as she instructs others. She is confident in all her actions, while at the same time supremely concerned with the safety of the group.
Theresa is attuned to the learning needs and saturation point of her students. She knew when we needed to stop trying to understand a technique and start practicing it.
Theresa’s interpersonal skills and ability to help the group relate and become a team were quickly apparent. She did not become stressed by any of our personal stresses, and yet clearly showed her compassion for us. Theresa always carefully explained new skills, not taking for granted that we knew them already, or assuming or implying that we should have known them. Always encouraging and patient, never did she berate anyone for their efforts.

Theresa motivated me by her personal example. She took every challenge in her stride and approached it with a refreshing eagerness. Her love for nature and helping others learn is undeniable. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to experience my first Outward Bound course under the leadership of Theresa Walsh.

— Rev. Beverly Butler
United Methodist Minister


My daughter Dana and I had a great class last Sunday at Idyllwild with your instructor Erik. I learned a great deal in one day. I’ve now taken two classes and had three of your instructors. All have been top notch and very professional. Well done.

Chuck C.


Thanks very much for arranging our outing. Nick and I had a great time, did a bunch of top ropes and even a two pitch ascent.
Erik was a wonderful guide, very knowledgable and professional, and a great companion and a fount of information about climbing, the locale, and the outdoors in general.
It was a fabulous first outing for my son’s first experience with outdoor climbing, and my first time back in harness in years. Thanks to you and your guide Erik for providing a truly special and memorable day for us. We would definitely love to use your guide service again, and will be contacting you again when we are in the area next year. I hope then to get my wife and youngest son to come along so they can share in the beauty and thrill of climbing!



Another great climb with Erik. Thank you for providing such a good service – all the information you provided was excellent. I love the Idyllwild Inn and the routes you described made it easier for Erik to narrow down what my day would be. Being someone who loves to climb wherever I can I have had my fair share of bad guides. I shared some of the stories with Erik.

— Mollie


I just wanted to write a quick note thanking you and Erik for such a great time. Daynee and I had a great time climbing with Erik, and I learned quite a lot in a short time. As this was Daynee’s first time climbing outdoors I really appreciate Erik’s personality, demeanor, and instruction as Daynee walked away having had lots of fun – which means more climbing fun for me in the future.

— Matt V.


Just a quick note to tell you what a great time my son Cole and I had with our 1/2 day session with Erik. I’ve been on a lot of outdoor trips, and I’ve seen a lot of guides in action. Erik was just first rate, in every way. Patient, focused, helpful and effective in his instruction, etc. We had a terrific time, and I can’t think of how we could have had a better day of climbing.

— Rich


I wanted to share my extreme gratitude and thanks for what was the highlight of my first, but hopefully not last, trip to California and Joshua Tree.
My guide for the day, Tuesday May 3, was Erik Kramer-Webb. As my guide he exceeded my expectations in his professionalism, attention to safety and knowledge of climbing. As I had not climbed for approximately ten years Erik’s patience and understanding in helping me to realize my goals for the day were very much appreciated.
I will look forward to another opportunity to climb at Joshua Tree and will definitely use Vertical Adventures as my source for guide services while in California.

— Carl H.
Ottawa , Canada


Bob, we had all kinds of fun!! Erik was a great guide – taught us so many techniques and skills and with a great, gentle but encouraging style. Interesting to talk to as well. We both learned so much and had a ball. The high point of our trip so far.

— Dominique and Ferrin


I took the anchoring class last weekend and I wanted to let you know how awesome it was! Erik is a fantastic instructor – patient, knowledgeable, and thorough. I felt totally safe with him and learned a lot, and he made the weekend a lot of fun. I’d recommend this class to anyone, and I’m planning on coming back in the Spring for the Seconding class Erik mentioned you are developing (great idea!), or a private day with Erik if that isn’t offered yet. Thanks for a weekend that really rocked 🙂

— Theresa Y.


I’m amazed as always (this was my 4th 2 day class w/ you guys- unfortunately separated by many years of not climbing)-your guides are always the best of the best not just at climbing but at teaching and generally at being fun to learn climbing from… Erik is awesome- please tell him both heather and i thought so-really a superb teacher and cool guy.

— Jonathan


I wanted to make sure to thank you for the fantastic four day rock-craft course I just finished, 8/7-8/10. It has been a while since I climbed and taking this course has made a huge difference in my confidence to be able to safely climb with my two boys, Dusty & Colt, who took the two day basic & intermediate climbing course. I have never had the experience of climbing with a guide, but now I know why people do. Erik was very caring, patient, and extremely knowledgeable. I explained to him what I thought my weak points were and he addressed them in a way that was easy to understand and retain. My boys think he’s the best thing to come along since sticky rubber. They both learned a lot & were very excited to see the results of what they learned. I think part of raising healthy well adjusted kids is to instill great memories that they can carry with them through the rest of their lives. Memories that when looked back upon, give strength, courage, and confidence. The time they spent with Erik will surely be one of those memories they will look back on time and time again. I look forward to future courses and private guiding.

— Jerry, Dusty, & Colt.


Panel 1



Erik Kramer-Webb

Erik started climbing in 1987 has been guiding since 1997.   He has over 2200 guide days in Joshua tree.  Erik is an AMGA Certified Rock Instructor.

Erik taught mountaineering and climbing as an instructor with NOLS and Outward Bound.  He is known for his clear and patient teaching style and his knowledge of natural history.  He has a B.S. in natural resources.

Erik has climbed and guided all over the western states.  He has climbed El Capitan 5 times and has summited many of the glaciated peaks in the Cascades. Erik is a Certified Wilderness First Responder with Wilderness Medical Associates.eriktopofwave



Theresa Walsh

Theresa started teaching climbing in 1993 and is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor.  She is a former NOLS and Outward Bound instructor and has a B.A. in outdoor recreation.  She has climbed in almost all of the western states and has guided for the Yosemite Mountaineering School.

Theresa has safely guided many groups to remote wilderness summits in adverse conditions and her enthusiasm and positive outlook have always lifted the spirits of her companions.  Theresa is a Certified Wilderness First Responder with Wilderness Medical Associates.  



Szu-ting Yi

Better known by her nick name, Ting-ting,  we are proud to have this talented traditional climber and alpinist on our team.  Ting-ting was raised in Taiwan and is fluent in both English and Mandarin.  She is an AMGA Assistant Rock Guide and is close to achieving her full rock guide certification.

Ting-Ting has recently returned from doing first ascents in Patagonia and was featured on the cover of the NOLS Leader for her record-breaking traverse of the Wind River Range in Wyoming–33 peaks in 20 days.  She also runs her own guide service, called LittlePo Adventures.


Panel 2


winter 2011-2012 035Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most popular climbing areas in the world.   It offers year-round rock climbing, easy access, climbs of all difficulty levels, and an absurd amount of terrain. You can almost always find a quiet area even on the busiest weekends if you hike just a short distance.     

Joshua Tree weather is ideal in the fall and spring, but winter is a very popular time to climb as well, with highs in the 50’s and 60’s and typically sunny weather.  Summer temperatures in Joshua Tree can be surprisingly pleasant if you climb in the early morning or evening.  

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Tahquitz Rock boasts dozens of classic multi pitch climbs up to 8 pitches in length.

Tahquitz Rock

Tahquitz Rock is the best place in Southern California to train for climbing in Yosemite or the High Sierra.  It offers superb granite multi-pitch climbing up to 900 feet in height.  The approach hike gains 1000′ to reach the base of the rock so this is a great place to get a cardio and leg workout as well.  These are the finest climbs in Southern California, rivaling Yosemite in quality.  Many pioneers of Yosemite climbing learned here first.

The High Sierra

The High Sierra is home to some of the most magnificent rock climbs in the world.  Schedule a guided climb of a classic High Sierra peak like Mt Whitney or Mt Russell, and have an adventure you will never forget.  Most climbs require a high camp, while some can be done car to car in one day.  All will require acclimatization to altitude and a high degree of fitness.  Climbs are typically accessed from the towns of Bishop or Lone Pine, on the east side of the Sierra crest.  Our season for guided climbs in the High Sierra is July through September.    

Panel 3

Classes & Guiding

Private Guiding:

Reserve a half day or a full day of private guiding and instruction at Joshua Tree or Tahquitz Rock with one of our guides please use the two links below:

Full day (8 hours)

Half day (4 hours)


Click on links for detailed class descriptions

How to Rock Climb

Your first day on the rock begins here.  $155   Mar 3,  Mar 24,  Apr 7 Apr 21
For details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> How to Rock Climb.

Climbing Technique

Perfect for your 2nd day on the rock.  $155  Mar 25,  Apr 8,  Apr 22
For details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Climbing Technique.

Anchor Building

2 day trad anchor building class  $330 March 31-April 1,   April 14-15
For details and to make a reservation please use this link >> Anchor Building

Lead Climbing

2 day trad leading class   $330  Mar 10-11, Mar 24-25,  Apr 7-8,  Apr 21-22
For details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Two Day Lead Climbing Class

Crack Climbing Technique

1 day intro to crack climbing $395 or 2 people for $450  Mar 23,  Apr 7
For more details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Introduction to Crack Climbing.

Multipitch Efficiency

Multipitch trad efficiency tips.  $165  Mar 23,  Apr 16
For details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Multipitch Efficiency.

Rescue 1

Hands-on self-rescue seminar.  $165
For details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Rescue 1.

Rescue 2

By appointment only.  $165 per person
For more details please use this link >> Rescue 2

Kids Climbing Club

Open to kids age 5-17.  $30 per session
Fridays 1-4 pm– March 9, 23, 30, April 6.
For details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Kids Climbing Club

For detailed information and reservations click on the link associated with each class,
Or Email to erik@californiaclimbingschool.com or call us at (760) 625-7115

Clinics, Multi-pitch guiding, Groups, Youth programs and other Mountain adventures…

Big Wall Clinic

2 days by arrangement
Learn the basics of big wall climbing techniques.    Learn how to aid climb, how to use mechanical rope ascenders, …. for more information, please follow this link >> Big Wall Clinic


Multipitch Guided Climbing

Follow your guide up a 300′- 400′ climb in Joshua Tree. This is a perfect introduction to multi-pitch climbing.

For more information, please follow this link >> Multipitch guided climbing


High Sierra Trip

Climb a classic High Sierra peak like Mt Whitney, Mt Russell, or Temple Crag.  High Sierra trips are run in July, August, and September.
Use this link for more details >> High Sierra Trip

Family Climbing

Contact us today to talk about hiring a private guide for your family. We love family groups! Kids are typically ready to climb at around age 6. We often offer some type of scrambling activity in addition to the roped climbing which the kids seem to particularly enjoy. Lots of kids these days climb on artificial walls, and having them climb outdoors in a beautiful natural area can sometimes alter them in profound ways.

For reservations,
Email to erik@californiaclimbingschool.com or call us at (760) 625-7115

Family climbing at Indian Cove


Kids Climbing Class (for ages 5-17 years) in Joshua Tree National Park.

A 3 hour climbing class for youth.  No experience required.  Only $30 per kid!  What a bargain!  Our last class for the spring season is April 20th.  Kids classes will start up again in the fall.  All year long you can arrange a 3 hr private lesson for kids.

For Kids Climbing Class reservations use this link >> Learn to rock climb for ages 5 to 17 years old.
or call us at (760) 625-7115
or email to erik@californiaclimbingschool.com


Private Rock Climbing Lessons for Youth 

These private lessons in Joshua Tree National Park are 3 hours long.

Ages 5-17yrs
$150 for a private lesson
$100 each for 2   $75 each for 3    $60 each for 4   $55 each for 5   $50 each for 6

For more details and reservations use this link >> Private rock climbing lessons for youth,
Or email erik@californiaclimbingschool.com
Or call us at (760) 625-7115


We have provided our services to multiple types of groups.
For more details, please use this link >> Groups
Or Email to erik@californiaclimbingschool.com
Or call us at (760) 625-7115


Wonderland of Rocks Adventure

Hike, climb, rappel, and scramble through boulders as your guide leads you on this unforgettable adventure to the heart of Joshua Tree National Park.  Learn about the plants, animals, pioneers, and Native Americans from your guide as you look for signs of the elusive bighorn sheep.  No climbing experience necessary, but good fitness required because of the rough nature of the terrain. Great opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.

For more information please use this link >> Wonderland of Rocks adventure 
Or Email to erik@californiaclimbingschool.com
Or call us at (760) 625-7115


If you are pleased with your guide’s performance, it is customary to tip them 10%-20%.

Panel 4


How do you approach teaching climbing, what is your philosophy?

Our core concepts and teaching philosophy are: Continue reading “FAQ”