CALIFORNIA CLIMBING SCHOOL OFFERS A COMPLETE CURRICULUM  If you are looking for a climbing guide at Joshua Tree, Tahquitz Rock, or the High Sierras, please consider hiring one of our talented guides. California Climbing School offers a full range of services to climbers of all ability levels.

We offer classes in basic rock climbing, anchor building, lead climbing, crack climbing, self-rescue, rappelling, and more.  Or you can also hire a climbing guide for a private lesson, and we will tailor the lesson to your specific needs.  Click here to see a full description of our classes and private guiding options.

What sets California Climbing School apart from other schools 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 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.


We operate in 3 main areas:  Joshua Tree, Tahquitz, and the High Sierra.

We run year round rock climbing outings at Joshua Tree National Park.  In our opinion Joshua Tree is the best place on earth to learn rock climbing.  The moves have much more variety than most other climbing destinations, which is great for learning new techniques.

Joshua Tree boasts year-round rock climbing, easy access, and climbs of all difficulty levels.  It is therefore considered a Mecca for climbers.

And yet despite the popularity of Joshua Tree,  we can almost always find a quiet area to climb if we hike just a short distance.  Due to the easy approach hikes, world class routes, and stunning scenery, Joshua Tree will capture your heart and keep you coming back for more.

Even though Joshua Tree weather is ideal in the fall and spring,  winter is a very popular time to climb as well.  Winter brings highs in the 50’s and 60’s and typically sunny weather. Joshua Tree summers are hot (highs in the 90’s and low 100’s), but it cools off quite a bit at night.  Our half days starting at 7 am are wonderful all summer long since we will stick to the shade.  Even afternoons after 3 pm are pleasant for shade climbing most of the summer.


Tahquitz Rock

Simply put, Tahquitz Rock is home to the finest rock climbing in Southern California.  It offers superb granite multi-pitch climbing up to 900 feet in height.  These climbs rival Yosemite in quality and feel.  Many pioneers of Yosemite honed their skills at Tahquitz before attempting the big walls of the Valley.  In fact, the “Yosemite Decimal System” was invented at Tahquitz in the early 50’s.  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.


high Sierra
Jeff Newgard on top of Temple Crag with Mount Sill in the background.

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.  On the first day hike in to an alpine lake and enjoy a spectacular campsite.   Then go for the summit the next morning and hike back out.  Other routes can be done car to car with your climbing guide in one long day.  We typically access the climbs from the eastern Sierra towns of Bishop, Lone Pine, or Mammoth Lakes.  Our season in the High Sierra is July through September.

Panel 1 Placeholder
Panel 2 Placeholder
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.  Classes are not scheduled during the summer months.  Classes will resume in September.  We teach all these subjects in the summer, but only by private arrangement.

How to Rock Climb

Your first day on the rock begins here.  $155
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
For details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Climbing Technique.

Anchor Building

2 day trad anchor building class  $330
For details and to make a reservation please use this link >> Anchor Building

Lead Climbing

2 day trad leading class   $330
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 $225 each
For more details and to make a reservation, please use this link >> Introduction to Crack Climbing.

Multipitch Efficiency

Multipitch trad efficiency tips.  $165
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
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%.

Panel 4


“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 – “Another great climb with Erik.”

“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.