ClassesOur climbing classes are in-depth, hands-on, and have low student-to-guide ratios. Expect safety, professionalism, and expert instruction in every class.

Gym to Crag

Transitioning from the gym to outside climbing is challenging. Our expert guides will teach you the fundamental skills of outdoor climbing.   Improve your movement techniques, belaying, rappelling, and knot tying skills.

 

To book a class contact erik@californiaclimbingschool.com (760) 625-7115

Duration

6 Hours

2024 fall schedule

Sep 28

Oct 5, 12, 19, 26

Nov 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Dec 7, 14, 21, 28

Cost

$165 per student
Free rental of shoes, harness and helmet

Details

The perfect class for gym climbers who want to learn how to climb outside. Learn outdoor climbing techniques such as smearing, laybacking, stemming, and jamming.

Adapt your belaying to the different hazards outdoor belayers deal with. Hazards like rockfall, getting pulled across a gully and slammed into the wall by a heavier climber, and running out of rope when you lower the climber off a tall climb!

Get live coaching on your movement technique by a certified guide who understands the subtleties of outdoor climbing at Joshua Tree.

Learn how to rappel under the supervision of a certified guide. Learn how to coil a rope at the end of the day and how to flake it at the beginning.

Relax, knowing your guide will keep you safe, have fun, and help you progress to a self-sufficient outdoor climber!

gym to crag

Kids & Teen Classes

Kids Classes (age 5 – 11)

Teen Classes (age 12-17)

3 hour class at Indian Cove in Joshua Tree National Park.  

Meets most Fridays 1:00-4:00pm  $65 per session

Select Sundays $75 per session

Select Wednesdays $65 per session

 

 

 

2024 Schedule

Sundays 8:30 – 11:30 am
Jan 28   Feb  25   Mar 3

Fridays 1pm – 4pm

Jan 12, 19, 26  Feb 2, 9, 16, 23

Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29   Apr 5

Wednesdays 1pm-4pm

Jan 17   Feb 14

Contact Tee to sign your kids up for Kids & Teen Classes

teecaliforniaclimbingschool@gmail.com

teen classes

Anchors 1 & 2

Anchors 1:  essential trad climbing skills – protection placement and equalization.  This class or equivalent is required before taking Lead Climbing.

Anchors 2:  great prep for taking the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor course, Scout leaders, and guides-in-training.  “Institutional” top rope anchors using a static rope.

Duration

Anchors 1 – 8 hours       Anchors 2 – 8 hours       8:00am-4:00pm

To book a class contact erik@californiaclimbingschool.com (760) 625-7115

 

Anchors 1  $170

Sep 28   Oct 5, 13, 19, 27
Nov 2, 10, 16, 24 , 30   Dec 8, 14, 22, 28

Anchors 2   $170

Oct 6, 20    Nov 3, 17, 23
Dec 1, 15, 29        
$15 off for booking Anchors 1&2 (minimum 3 students required)

Taking Anchors 1&2 in the same weekend can help bump your trad skills up considerably, especially in the areas of terrain assessment, risk management, and muscle memory.

Details

 

This class is 8 hours long and features lots of hands-on practice placing trad gear and rigging anchors.    Another feature of the class is a top rope climbing session on the famous granite of Joshua Tree.

Learn how to build top rope anchors using traditional protection with spring loaded cams and nuts aka stoppers.   Learn to assess the quality of bolts drilled in the rock.    Practice building sport climbing anchors using two or three bolts.

The guide will evaluate every piece in the anchor and share tips to improve security as well as efficiency. Learn objective methods to assess the overall strength and security of an anchor.  Special attention will be given to assessing the rock quality to avoid ever building an anchor in weak rock.

Recognize common mistakes that climbers make in anchor building and address how to avoid these errors.  Common mistakes include miscommunication, poorly fitting protection, lack of redundancy, pendulum falls, rappel errors, and mistakes in the belay chain.

Learn how to equalize two protection points, then how to equalize 3 or 4 protection points.  Materials used to equalize anchors include slings/runners, quickdraws, and cordelettes.

Building upon the foundation of Session 1, we will learn how to build extended top rope anchors using protection that is over 10 feet away from the edge. You will practice the “Joshua Tree method” using a 40-70 foot static rope.

Knots covered will include the BHK, 2 loop eight aka bunny ears, clove hitch, prussik hitch, auto block, figure 8 on a bight, and figure 8 bend.

Refine your pro placement skills by having an expert eye critique your placements. We will focus on cams and nuts.

Increase your safety while rappelling by using backups and extensions. Learn how to rappel safely off your extended toprope setup using an ATC and a Gri-gri.

Lead Climbing

In this lead climbing class you will learn traditional climbing using camming devices and nuts. Protection placement skill is a pre-requisite for this course. We recommend taking the Anchors 1 Class first, or equivalent.

Duration

8 Hours

To sign up, contact erik@californiaclimbingschool.com (760) 625-7115

2024 fall schedule

Sep 29 

Oct 6, 12, 20, 26

Nov 3, 9, 17, 23

Dec 1, 7, 15, 21, 29

 

Cost

$170 per student
Max 3 students to 1 guide ratio

Details

You will lead a trad pitch while being belayed on toprope.  Your guide will climb along side you on a different rope and provide detailed coaching as you climb.  Learn how to use various devices to belay from the top.  Practice lowering the climber back down from the top using a Gri gri, ATC, or munter hitch.  Best practices for managing your rope.  When to lower and when to rappel.  How to set up a rappel, and avoid having your rope get stuck.   Best practices using a backup when you rappel.

Learn about the dreaded “zipper effect” and how to avoid it.  Master the art of correctly and effortlessly clipping the rope to a quickdraw.  Compare different racking methods and the pros and cons of each method.  When should you place a cam?  When should you place a nut?  Are Tri-cams useful?  Are hexes obsolete?  Direct belays, indirect belays, and redirected belays-your guide will help you learn which technique is best for what situation.

 

 

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Learn the correct use of quickdraws. Backclipping and gate orientation problems will be discussed. Your instructor will explain when to use a sport quickdraw, an alpine draw, or no draw at all. Learn when to extend your alpine draws to minimize rope drag.

Practice setting your anchors to withstand multiple directions of pull, and discuss when this is important. Learn how to give a great lead belay with a GriGri or a plate style device like an ATC.  Learn how to a direct belay from the top of the climb and look at older methods such as the indirect belay and re-directed belay. Belay the follower with a GriGri, ATC guide, Reverso, or munter hitch. Discuss the pros and cons of the various techniques to belay the second.

Rappel with increased confidence by practicing extended rappels backed up with a friction hitch as a third hand.  Your instructor will discuss leashing in with a variety of tools, such as a sling, a cordelette, or a PAS. Learn how to transition from climb to rappel and avoid common errors.

Many lead climbing accidents happen because of a mistake made in the belay chain. We discuss the most common types of accidents and how they can be prevented. Rappel/lower off the end of the rope, failure to set up a proper belay/rappel, belayer distraction, etc.

We will discuss the importance of route finding and how to look for subtle clues to keep you on route.

Have you ever noticed your rope often behaves like a two-year old? Always causing trouble when you don’t pay enough attention to it? We will discuss and practice ways to get your rope to work for you instead of against you. Your rope can get especially cranky at transitions like belay changeovers and going from climb to rappel. We will look at ways to smooth out these transitions so you can get down off the climb before it gets dark!

Multi Pitch Climbing

Learn efficient rope management techniques to climb long routes with complicated approaches and descents.

Duration

8 Hours

2024 fall schedule

Oct 13, 27

Nov 10, 24

Dec 8, 22

Cost

$225 per student
Max 2 students to 1 guide ratio

Details

Pre-requisite: Lead Climbing Class or equivalent.

Improve your multipitch efficiency with better rope management.  If you shave 5-10 minutes per pitch by using efficient belay transitions, then you can shave up to  an hour on a 6 pitch climb.

Practice swapping leads vs block leading and when to use each technique. Learn how to manage the rope at a hanging belay station when there is no stance for your feet.

A focus on risk assessment will help you assess the hazards of high-off-the-deck climbing.  Learn how to judge whether a climb is within your teams capability.

Multipitch rappelling presents unique challenges, especially when two ropes are needed on longer rappels.  Learn how to avoid rope snags so your rope comes down when you retrieve it.

 

Multipitch climbing

Crack Climbing

Crack climbing has been described as awkward, difficult, and painful.  We find crack climbing to elegant, efficient, and super fun!  Learn efficient, comfortable movement in this mysterious form of climbing.

contact erik@californialclimbingschool.com  (760) 625-7115

Duration

8 Hour Sessions

Dates

Please let us know what date is best and we will confirm availability.

Cost

$380 private lesson
$225 each for 2 climbers

Details

In this crack climbing clinic you will learn: hand jams, fist jams, finger locks, ring locks, cupped hands, hand/fist stacks, foot jams, foot stacks, toe jams, heel-toe jams, arm bars, chicken wings, knee bars, and more! These techniques are so important because they allow you to climb using less energy, and therefore you will climb harder and get less pumped!

Practice crack climbing in a range of crack sizes from fingers to hands, to off-widths and chimneys. The focus will be on climbs in the 5.4 to 5.9 range, which sounds easy, but these climbs have stiff ratings. A minimum standard of climbing fitness for this clinic is required (5.10c in the gym or 5.10b outdoor sport climbing) due to the challenging nature of these climbs.

 

 

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Many sport and gym climbers have failed at crack climbing due to poor technique. A 5.9 crack can sometimes feel impossible to a 5.11 climber! Often times the rating is blamed, when in fact it is a matter of good technique, not brute strength or power!

We will show you how to make perfect tape gloves for better comfort while crack climbing. Compare the pros and cons of using tape gloves vs rubber gloves such as the Ocun or Outdoor Research Splitter.

Erik Kramer-Webb has been crack climbing since 1987, and it is his favorite style of climbing. Some of his most noteworthy crack climbs include Epinephrine, Whodunit, The Rostrum, The Good Book, Astroman, and Godzilla.

One problem people have when crack climbing is laybacking too much. Erik will show you how to jam your hands and feet for efficient movement. Laybacking is inefficient because it drains your arm strength quickly. Jamming is far easier. Above all, it will enable you to stand on your feet, resulting in less effort to climb the crack.

You will learn how to quickly recognize which technique is best suited for the situation. Discuss how to match a cam size to the size of the crack when leading trad climbs.

4th Class Rock aka “Alpine Rock”

Are you a peak bagger looking to climb technical peaks?  Are you a climber looking for a more efficient way to move through chunky alpine rock?  This seminar will increase your safety margin by helping your team of 2 or 3 climbers move faster in exposed terrain.  As they say, “Speed is safety in the mountains”.   

Duration

8 Hours

2024 Schedule

Oct 5, 20  Nov 3, 23

Dec 1, 21 

Cost

$170 

Details

Climbing skills covered include hip belays, terrain belays, ridge traversing, and short pitching. Descending skills covered: lowering, rappelling, and short pitching. The emphasis is on using terrain features instead of protection.

Speed is safety in the mountains. Many talented climbers have failed on long, easy routes in the alpine because they used 5th class techniques on 3rd and 4th class terrain. In other words, they pitched it out with standard belay techniques that work great on 5.7 but not well on ledgy, low-angled climbing with plenty of loose rock.

Oftentimes the rope itself is the culprit, sending loose rock down the slope and causing havoc.
Learn how to tie in closer to your partner to keep your rope from dislodging rocks.

This class is focused on rock and does not cover snow or ice. The emphasis is on techniques for a team of 2 climbers. Teams of 3 or 4 are more complex and go beyond the scope of this class.

Pre-requisite skills for this class: You are a good belayer, you have some experience rappelling, and you trust the rope. In other words, you can climb to the top and lean back and trust the rope to go down. You also need to know the figure 8 follow-through, the safety check, and the verbal commands.

 

 

Aid Climbing

Prepare for Yosemite in this aid climbing class. We recommend taking this class over 2 days in order to more fully understand this complex form of climbing.

Duration

8 Hour Sessions

Dates

By appointment only

Cost

$395 For 1 Student Private
$250 per student 2 Session

Details

You will practice these techniques:

    • Aid climbing
    • Using mechanical rope ascenders,
    • Cleaning the pitches and organizing the belay stations,
    • Hauling the bag,
    • Lowering out the haul bag,
    • Rappelling with the haul bag.

Learn a variety of ways to clean traverses including lower outs, passing the top jumar, and aid-cleaning.

 

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n this aid climbing class you will lead an aid pitch while having the safety of being belayed on top rope. Your guide will ascend a fixed line next to you as you climb, providing feedback in real time. Some pieces may require bounce testing. Your guide will help you go faster by showing you more efficient ways to aid climb.

Cleaning aid pitches requires rope savviness. Jugging is an unnatural body motion that requires practice in order to go fast and still not get tired. Your guide will show how you can adjust your jugging technique based on the steepness of the wall in order to maximize your efficiency.

You will practice 4 methods of cleaning traverses in the aid climbing class: passing the top jumar, lowering out with 4 strands, lowering out with 2 strands, and aid-cleaning. When cleaning an aid pitch, the more it traverses or overhangs, the more complex it becomes. We will not have time to cover all 4 techniques on the first day.

You will practice hauling the bag in the aid climbing class using at least 2 methods. First we will use a wall hauler or mini-traxion type device. The other method to learn in case you drop your primary hauling tool is using your ascenders and a simple pulley to haul the bag.

Releasing the haul bag can create problems. We will look at how to lower out the haul bag so it never goes SPLAT against a side wall in a pendulum swing, bursting all your water bottles! The haul bag gets stuck a lot, so we will show how the second can free the bag.

Rappelling with the haul bag is another skill you will practice in the aid climbing class. Don’t do it like I did it the first time and wear the bag like a backpack–it pulled me backwards slowly until I was upside down when I landed!

Erik Kramer-Webb has climbed El Capitan 5 times including one-day ascents of the Nose and Lurking Fear.

Rescue 1 & 2

Every climber should possess the skills to deal with any situation that happens while climbing outdoors. Learn the basic rescue techniques needed to safely resolve dilemmas, and build upon that knowledge in our second session.

Duration

Rescue 1 – 8 hours

Rescue 2 – 8 hours

2024 Schedule

Rescue 1

Sep 28  Oct 12  Nov 23  Dec 14

Rescue 2

Oct 6  Nov 3, 30  Dec 7

Cost

$170 per student
Max 4 students to 1 guide ratio

Rescue Details

Session 1 Details
Learn the basics of self rescue including: escaping the belay, fixed rope ascension, raising systems, lowering systems, tandem rappelling, and “picking off'” a fallen or stuck climber. Belay devices used:  atc guide (or equivalent), gri-gri, and munter hitch. Knots used: munter-mule-overhand, prussik, klemheist, autoblock, clove hitch, and figure 8 on a bight.

Session 2 Details
Learn counterbalance rappelling, picking off the follower, improvised chest harness, rappelling with an injured climber, passing the knot, and alternative rope ascension methods. Discussion of more advanced topics such as leader pick-offs, rope soloing and aid climbing.

ADAPTIVE TRAINING FOR ABLE-BODIED GUIDES AND CLIMBERS

Duration

16 hours

Dates

To be announced

Cost

Level 1  16 hours $400

Level 2  16 hours $400

Details

Description:

Recreational climbers can become a coach/assistants at future adaptive climbing events by taking this course. Must have experience following trade and be able to climb 5.8 on real rock.

The focus will be on how to work with adaptive athletes who have a movement deficiency due to spinal cord injury and/or limb deficiency.

How to assess an athlete’s disability and choose appropriate climbing methods for them. How to address an adaptive climber’s concerns before they get up on the wall so they are prepared and in a positive mindset.

How to use a chest harness and drag pants for adaptive athletes.

How to lower adaptive athletes safely down a wall using tag lines.

How to prevent skin injuries and circulation problems arising from the harness and use of prosthetics.

How to address weight distribution concerns when there is a change to the body mass index due to weight loss or limb deficiencies.

Rope ascension with mechanical ascenders or T-bar ascenders. Arms only ascension. 1 to 1 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 system will be used.

Guides will learn how to rig anchors, top ropes, and fixed lines for the climber, the coach, and the guide using a rigging plate and static ropes.

Adaptive Climbing

Duration

2 days

Dates

May 4-5, 2024

 

Details

Description:
This is an adaptive climbing clinic, where we will honor your disability, then switch the focus to your individual abilities and how we can apply them to your climbing. Prior to the clinic you will be teamed up with a climbing coach (an experienced climber). Your coach will discuss your present climbing experience and your goals (where do you see yourself as a climber one year from now). They will also discuss what climbing techniques you know and do not know.

Each participant will have a guide plus a coach to facilitate their climbs.  Group camping is available at Indian Cove Campground Friday and Saturday night. Meals are not provided. Camping not required. Feel free to book lodging in town if you prefer. If you need help setting up your campsite please let us know and we will provide a helper.

Schedule:
Friday 2:00 – 6:00pm – move into the group campsite and set up your camp.
6:00pm – orientation meeting
Saturday 8:00am – 4:00pm climbing, with a 2 hour break in the middle of the day
Sunday 8:00am – 4:00pm climbing, with a 2 hour break in the middle of the day

Groups

Joshua Tree is the perfect place for group climbing. Climbs of varying difficulty level can often be found in the same area to allow for groups to climb together easily. We have provided our services in the past to scout groups, school groups, faith groups, military units, corporate teams, and therapy groups.

We have experience assisting disabled climbers. Please call us and we can make a plan for disabled climbers to challenge themselves in the way that best suits them.

Joshua Tree is an ideal location for group climbing due to the easy access to the climbs and climbing for all ability levels.

Pricing

Please contact us to request a quote for your group climbing plans.
Specific to group size and goals.