Novice I - Rock Climbing Clinics for Beginners
Learn to rock climb in one of our one- or two-day novice rock climbing clinics for beginners. Our friendly professional climbing guides introduce the sport to you and teach you the proper techniques and use of equipment so that you will be able to participate in a top-rope climbing experience.
We travel to a local rock climbing site where we first work on the skills needed to climb responsibly and efficiently and then enjoy a selection of appropriate climbs to work on moving on rock. Belaying, bouldering, knot tying and efficient climbing technique are covered in our Novice I Rock Climbing Clinic.
Personal challenge, proper technique and risk management are the key elements in our approach to the exciting lifetime sport of rock climbing. Our location, within a short drive of several excellent climbing areas, assures lots of time on the rock. Our programs emphasize top-rope climbing where the rope is anchored by the instructor at the top of each climb. Students learn to climb and belay (protect each other with the rope) as well as to move smoothly and with minimal effort on the rock. Our progressions are designed to help students learn to climb competently on their own.
For this season we will be offering the 1-day and 2-day Novice Rock Climbing clinic starting on the 1st Saturday of each month from June through October.
Price: $120.00 per person for 1-day clinics and $240.00 per person for 2-day clinics includes all equipment, instruction, catered, picnic-style lunch and transportation from our base to and from the climbing sites.
Goal of This Clinic
To introduce the sport of rock climbing and teach basic climbing techniques and use of equipment so that you can safely participate in a top-rope climbing experience.
To take this clinic you should be in reasonable physical condition and ready to learn an exciting sport. Our minimum age for this clinic is 14.
What will Be Covered?
After introducing the sport of climbing and discussing equipment and safety we will travel to a local climbing site where we will first discuss safety particulars of that area and then begin to learn belaying and tying in. After an instructor has set up the climbs we will teach a bit about movement on the rock, do a group warm up and stretch and then have at it. Students may belay each other with a backup and under the supervision of an instructor. Optional activities include rappelling, trying more challenging climbs or learning more knots.
Our clinics generally have 2 to 12 participants with a maximum student-to-instructor ratio of 6:1.
The usual climbing day lasts from 8:30 to about 5:00. On most clinics you will spend the morning learning or fine-tuning climbing techniques. In the afternoon, we will set up several climbs for you to try. Because these are instructional clinics, your instructors will be encouraging you to push your physical and mental limits. In climbing, this means the occasional fall, which will be arrested by the belay person, but can be physically tiring. Each student will have their own equipment and will be expected to carry it from the vehicle to the climbing site and back. You should be prepared for a very physically active day.
You will be spending somewhere between four and five hours at the climbing site. If you increase your flexibility, you will be more comfortable and confident on the rock. To prepare your body, you will want to stretch your arms, thighs, hamstrings and torso (back, stomach, shoulders and neck). The book, Stretching by Bob Anderson is an excellent reference for specific stretches.
What Zoar Outdoor Will Provide
We provide all technical gear including helmets, shoes, and harnesses for novice clinics. We also provide a delicious picnic-style lunch.
The following statement is required by state law: "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy."
We provide transportation to and from our base in Charlemont, Massachusetts.
At the start of your clinic you will receive a 10% discount card valid for purchases in our Outfitters Shop for two weeks from the date of your clinic.
It is best to wear a layered clothing system, with wind/rain outer gear. This should include loose-fitting, weather-appropriate clothing. On hot days, you may be comfortable with a cotton t-shirt and shorts, but you should come prepared for cold or rainy weather since our clinics go rain or shine and the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly. Long pants are ideal when it’s not too hot, because they protect you from scraped knees. Avoid cotton on cool days because it holds moisture next to your skin, which can cause you to become chilled. Synthetic long underwear or garments made of polypropylene, capilene or some polyester/spandex blend are ideal. These fabrics wick moisture away from your skin, causing you to stay warmer and drier.
To reach our climbing sites requires a 5- to 30-minute hike from where we park our vehicles, so wear sturdy shoes for the hike to the cliff. It is not appropriate to hike in sport sandals. A large daypack is useful to carry personal belongings and group gear. Hydration is important in any outdoor sport so bring along a personal water bottle. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses on all but the cloudiest days. If you wear glasses, you will want a retaining strap to keep them on your head. You should also bring any required medications and extra money for snacks, t-shirts and coin-op showers.
We meet at our base in Charlemont, Massachusetts at 8:30 am. The clinic will start on time, so please be prompt. Complimentary hot drinks will be available upon your arrival. The day usually finishes between 4:30 and 5:30 pm. Click here for directions to our base in Charlemont.
All participants will be required to read and sign a release of liability upon arrival. If you have any minor participants in your group, they will need to have a waiver signed by a legal guardian. If a legal guardian will not be available the day of the event, please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the event so we may provide the waiver to you in advance. Our waiver is available online here.
Rock climbing clinics go out even in the rain; be prepared for wet weather. Please bring extra layers of synthetic or wool clothing. Cotton clothing is not appropriate for wet weather, since it does not keep you warm when it gets wet. In the event of more challenging weather, we will move the clinic to an indoor rock climbing gym. This decision will be made the morning of the clinic.
In order for this clinic to go as scheduled, there must be at least 2 students enrolled within 3 days of the clinic's start date. If only one person has enrolled, the student may opt to pay the private rate for a custom clinic, reschedule to a later date or cancel with a refund. This does not apply to custom clinics.