How To Rock Climb

Learn how to rock climb outside at Joshua Tree National Park


Your first day on the rock begins here! Learn how to rock climb in Joshua Tree from one of our certified guides.  Learn the fundamentals of belaying, rappelling, movement technique, safety checks, verbal commands, and the figure 8 knot.

8 hours

October 3, 17, 31  November 14, 25, 28  December 12, 26, 29  January 1, 9, 16, 30


per student

Includes free rental of shoes, harness and helmet


Learn how to rock climb in this 8 hour class, and ultimately you will become a safe and skilled climber!  Practice proper movement techniques, belaying, rappelling, and lowering in order to become proficient with the latest equipment and methods.  Become fluent with essential tools like the figure 8, harness, helmet, and belay device, and above all become a solid belayer.  Incorporate thorough safety checks and verbal commands in order to avoid miscommunication and incorrect rigging.  We also teach how to lower the climber back down in a smooth, controlled fashion which is certainly an important part of safe climbing!

You probably won’t forget the first time you ever get lowered back down a cliff, since it is an unnatural thing to do.  We will lower you back down in a slow and smooth fashion when you give the command, allowing you to get comfortable with the vertical environment as quick as possible.  Many first-timers decide they don’t like rock climbing the very first time they have to come down, owing to a lack of patience on the part of their partner.  Our patient leadership style will help ease you into it until you feel at ease dangling way up in the air!  We believe this approach is more fun in addition to being less stressful!

One problem with learning from a recreational climber instead of a guide is due to how they teach lowering.  Oftentimes climbers will lower each other a bit too fast due to inadequate training. This is not only an unsafe practice, but can be terrifying for a climber, most notably a beginner.

If you learn how to rock climb from a friend, it may not go as well because they can forget what it’s like to be a beginner. Many beginner climbers are pressured into going to the top due to a lack of patience from their partner!  It is always better to climb up a short distance and get comfortable with the rope because it feels strange to lean back at first.  Therefore, when you do get to the top of the climb, instead of having a panic attack, you can enjoy the fine view!

Our How to Rock Climb class will cover the rating system in order to compare the difficulty of different climbs.  In fact, in the 1950’s Southern California climbers invented the “Yosemite Decimal System”.  In reality it should be called the “Tahquitz” system since it was developed at our very own Tahquitz Rock!


To prepare for the How to Rock Climb class, check out our video on how to tie a figure 8 on a bight.:

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Have Questions?

Reach out to us if you’d like to know more about this class or our other trips