8:00AM at Course Location

Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the course location for a quick gear check, introductions, and an overview of the day. We will give you an exact location in your confirmation materials.

A valid parking pass may be required to park at the trailhead, depending on location(s). Relevant passes could include: Discover PassNorthwest Forest Pass, or a National Parks Pass. Please reach out to the Gear Department at [email protected] if you have questions on which pass is required for your trip.

Please review the Gear List and come prepared. Climbers who do not arrive equipped for the day will not be able to proceed with the course.


Physical Conditioning

Climbing requires excellent balance, core strength, flexibility, and stamina.  Even if you don’t belong to a climbing gym, there are still excellent ways to build climbing strength from the comfort of your own home.  Check out this free stay-at-home climbing training routine for some ideas.

If you don’t already practice yoga, consider adding it to your routine.  Not only is yoga excellent for increasing flexibility and overall strength, the breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can prove very helpful on the rock.

Knots to Know

Aim to know the following knots for your clinic.

Intro to Outdoor Climbing
Figure 8 Knot
Figure 8 on a Bight
Figure 8 Bend
Prusik Knot
Barrel Knot
Stopper Knot
Overhand on a Bight

Learn to Lead
Double Fisherman’s
Clove Hitch
Girth Hitch
Water Knot

Multipitch: Going Higher / Rock Rescue
Munter Hitch
Klemhesit Knot
Bowline Knot
Double Bowline

Recommended Reading

Intro to Outdoor Climbing
How to Rock Climb
Knots for Climbers

Learn to Lead
The Rock Warrior’s Way: Mental Training for Climbers
Climbing Anchors

Multipitch: Going Higher / Rock Rescue 
Climbing: From Single Pitch to Multipitch
Climbing Self Rescue: Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations

For Everyone
Training for Climbing: The Definitive Guide to Improving Your Performance
9 out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes
Rock Climbing Technique: The Practical Guide to Movement Mastery

Lodging not provided by Alpine Ascents

Lodging is not provided by Alpine Ascents for these Weekend Rock Clinics. Climbers are welcome to stay wherever they prefer on Saturday evening or return home for the night. Depending on the location of your trip, hotel/Airbnb availability will vary. Below are the most common venues we use for this course.


Leavenworth is about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Seattle.   It’s a faux Bavarian village (really!) and has numerous hotels at all different price points.  A couple of our favorites are below.  Alternatively, there are many options on AirBNB.   Last but definitely not least, there are several excellent campgrounds along Icicle River Road and a KOA in Leavenworth proper.

Loge Leavenworth
(509) 209-8958

Enzian Inn
(800) 223-8511

Little Si & Exit 38

The climbing areas of Little Si and Exit 38 are about 35 miles east of Seattle.  It is a very reasonable drive from Seattle which has many lodging options at all price points.  Alternatively, there are numerous camping options on the I-90 corridor.

Vantage, WA

Frenchman Coulee, the main climbing area of Vantage, has pretty good dispersed camping that is popular with climbers.  There are vault toilets but no running water or picnic tables.  If you’d rather not rough it, there are a few nice options on AirBNB in the general vicinity.

Gear Overview

Having the proper equipment is essential for risk aware rock climbing.

Link back to your Gear List:

If you already own your own rock climbing gear, don’t forget to inspect it regularly AND before this course.


Students need to bring their own lunches for the two field training days. These are long days, so please plan to bring about 1,000 calories of food. Here’s a sample lunch pack:

• Cold pizza, fresh sandwich, or burrito
• Piece of fresh fruit
• Trail mix
• A bakery cookie
• Small bag of chips or similar salty snack
• Cold drink mix for your water (at least 2 liters)


Guides are permitted to accept and greatly appreciate tips. Your guide team is composed of four guides. They will pool all tips received. An average tip for the full guide team is $25-50.

Please be aware that we are unable to process tips by card. You are welcome to tip your guides with cash or via mobile payment such as Venmo or PayPal.

I think this program is incredible! I’m not really sure how it could be better. The guides seemed to fully cater the program to the needs of all four climbers and that’s is truly incredibly. It seems like all climbers gained more than they hoped for. Not sure how to improve something like that!


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Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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