Take ownership over your own adventure with our traditional rock climbing course. Learn essential skills and techniques from a certified guide.
Spring through Fall
1 to 6 participants
Our Intro to Leading Trad Rock Climbing course is designed for climbers who want to progress from following to leading trad climbs. This course will cover essential skills and techniques to become a confident trad leader, including gear placement, anchor building, route finding, and risk management. With a focus on safety, our experienced instructors will guide you through the process of leading your first trad climb.
The course will begin with a review of basic climbing skills, including belaying, knot tying, and climbing movements. We will then move on to gear selection and placement, and learn how to assess the quality of rock for protection. You will also learn how to build and evaluate anchors, as well as techniques for protecting and managing falls. The course will conclude with a mock lead climb, where you will have the opportunity to apply your newly learned skills under the guidance of our instructors.
Upon completion of the course, you will have the knowledge and confidence to lead your own trad climbs and explore new routes with a greater level of independence. Join us for an unforgettable experience and take your climbing to the next level!
Max Lurie - Owner of Alpine to the Max
Max Lurie is an American Mountain Guides Association certified Rock and Alpine Guide, as well as an accomplished alpinist. Max has been climbing since 2004 and traveling to the greater ranges in pursuit of his passion.
As an independently certified climbing guide based in Boulder, CO, Max provides custom education and mountain experiences in the Colorado Front Range and beyond. All of the climbing instruction offered through Alpine to the Max is customized to your goals, objectives, and skill level.
Our experienced instructors will provide personalized coaching throughout the course and ensure that each participant has the opportunity to practice and apply their newly acquired skills. By the end of the course, participants will have the knowledge and confidence to lead their own trad climbs and explore new routes independently. Join us for an unforgettable adventure!
Yes, you should have basic climbing experience, including top-rope climbing, belaying, and knot tying before taking a learn-to-lead trad climbing course. It is also advisable to have experience with leading sport climbs before moving into leading traditionally protected climbs.
You will need personal climbing gear, including a climbing harness, helmet, climbing shoes, and a belay device. The course will provide all necessary technical gear, including ropes, protection, and anchor-building equipment. However, if you have a rack and/or a rope you are welcome to bring them and use your own equipment.
Trad climbing can be very physically and mentally demanding, but the course is designed to be accessible for climbers of varying fitness levels. Participants should expect to hike to and from climbing areas and climb for several hours each day.
Yes, the course will cover rope management techniques, including rope stacking and managing rope drag while leading, to help you climb more efficiently.
Yes, risk management and safety considerations are a crucial part of the course curriculum. You will learn how to identify hazards and manage risks in a climbing environment to ensure a safe and enjoyable climbing experience.
Alpine to the Max is an independent certified guide with more than a decade of experience in a wide variety of terrain. No matter your current skill level, when you climb with us you get a top-notch experience that is fully customized to meet your exact desires.
“I climbed with Max last summer on a couple of couloirs in Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m a complete newbie to technical snow and Max was everything that I was hoping for in a guide. Knowledgeable, patient and passionate about educating his clients. It was a fantastic experience and I cannot wait to go back out with him.”
“Max is easily one of the best guides I have ever taken a course with. Max's knowledge paired with his experience and skill set is unparalleled. I learned so much and I am so grateful to have taken a course with him! Max provided the education and knowledge I needed to continue recreating safely in the mountains.”
“Max was an amazing guide and instructor for our 2-day AIARE 1 course. Funny, affable, deeply knowledgeable, with an excellent approach to instruction and learning. We saw several other AIARE courses out there in the same locations, and in comparison, we were VERY glad we were spending our weekend learning from Max!
Max is awesome! My climbing partner and I booked a day with Max to learn how to ice climb. Between making the meetup spot an easy to find location, to providing in-depth instruction throughout the day, I can't recommend Max enough. Max's instruction was clear, safe, and easy to follow. He's personable and easy to learn from.
What an awesome experience. My friend and I spent four days with Max going through a variety of topics and we couldn't have been happier with the instruction. Max is SO well versed in a multitude of areas. And he's an awesome person to be around and it makes the guiding experience that much better. I would 100% do another session with Max!
We strongly recommend Max as a guide and instructor. Having climbed with Max several times over the past decade, we always come away with a great experience and a smile. His enthusiasm and knowledge, plus a wry sense of humor, make for instructive and fun days of climbing. We hope to get out to CO to climb someday with Max again.
It was awesome. We covered a ton of material in such a short window and I was able to apply everything I learned. I had pretty minimal experience at the start but he delivered everything in a super easy to understand manner that made it a ton of fun and extremely informative. I’ll definitely be coming back for future sessions.
Max was incredibly helpful for our intro to trad course. He not only teaches the information, but makes sure to go over alternative techniques and general climbing philosophy. We were able to customize the class that day to go over things that interested us rather than a set curriculum, which I really enjoyed. I couldn’t recommend Max enough.
I had very limited climbing experience coming into this guided rock climbing experience. Max takes me out and we literally jump right into my introduction to climbing. Max literally inspired me to get out of my comfort zone immediately and go beyond what I thought I was capable of. Thank you Max for an awesome experience in the mountains.
Max is an outstanding guide! I couldn’t have asked for a better day of climbing and learning. I joined Max in hopes of setting a solid foundation of skills and knowledge in my own climbing endeavors to come, and I was beyond satisfied with the day he had prepared for us. An incredible instructor and ideal climbing partner!
Max is adept, knowledgeable, and great to work with all around! He breaks down skills and explains them thoroughly, taking the time to make sure you understand a concept before moving on to something more complex. If you want to up your technical climbing skills and have a darn good time doing it then Max is your guy!
Max was extremely knowledge and encouraging while we were learning and practicing building anchors and hauling for crevasse rescue. He also had a great sense of humor and kept the mood light while we were suffering through brutally cold temperatures during the practice. 10/10 would recommend!
My partner and I hired Max for a day of self rescue skills and we had an absolute blast. Max is super knowledgeable and was more than patient answering all of our questions. We never felt rushed and had time to go through different scenarios and skills. I really enjoyed learning from a professional and would recommend to anyone!
Max was a terrific mountain guide. We did a split-board tour of the Hidden Valley area of Rock Mtn National Park and I couldn’t have had asked for a better guide. He answered all of my questions and expressed great knowledge in snow science as well as mountain geology and avalanche safety. Highly recommend!
I spent a day learning trad/multipitch climbing with Max in a "classroom setting". The dollars I spent on that session have been more valuable than any climbing trip or equipment. The techniques he taught me have stuck with me throughout my climbing career and set me up for success in the mountains.