California Climbing School rock climbing instruction offerings 

California Climbing School offers a complete range of rock climbing classes and services to climbers at all levels of rock climbing ability in Joshua Tree National Park:

From basic rock climbing classes to lead climbing and self-rescue clinics.
From guided climbing in Joshua Tree National Park to multi-pitch guided climbing at Tahquitz Rock and High Sierra climbing trips.

What sets California Climbing School apart from other rock climbing instructors is our level of training, our decades of experience honing our craft, and our knowledge of California natural history.

Reserve your next rock climbing adventure with us.

Owners Erik Kramer-Webb and Theresa Walsh are both former NOLS and Outward Bound instructors. They also 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.

Check out our reviews on Yelp, Google and TripAdvisor.

Watch Erik Kramer-Webb present the California Climbing  School in the short video below.

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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.


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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.    

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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 Class

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 Class

For detailed information and reservations click on the link associated with each class,
Or Email to 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.  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.  Climbing outdoors in a beautiful natural area can impact kids in profound ways.

For reservations,
Email to or call us at (760) 625-7115

Family climbing at Indian Cove


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
Or call us at (760) 625-7115


We have provided our services to homeschool groups, scouting groups, charter school groups, corporate groups,  recovery groups, and other types of groups as well.   Please let us know what your group needs are so we can help to make a Joshua Tree visit very special.
For more details, please use this link >> Groupsro
Or Email to
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
Or call us at (760) 625-7115


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

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CCS Videos