ADVANCED COURSES

Course Location:
September through May at Joshua Tree National Park

Man with Blue Helmet

TWO-DAY ADVANCED MULTI-PITCH WITH JARAD STILES

This course will be taught by AMGA-certified Rock Guide Jarad Stiles. To achieve his Rock Guide certification (the highest level of certification in the AMGA’s rock program), Jarad completed a total of 26 rigorous days of training and exams in all the various state-of-the-art techniques of modern multi-pitch climbing. This course can be customized according to your previous experience and immediate goals.

By appointment, per day:

  • One Person: $395
  • Two People: $215 Each
Make a reservation
American Mountain Guides Association

Course Topics

Preparation

Topics include goal setting, route selection, preparing for weather contingencies, setting yourself up for success, interpreting route topos, communication devices (e.g., cell, radios, inReach), approach and descent considerations, and the importance of making a solid plan and backup plans.

Equipment

Topics include gear organization, racking methods, gear selection, choosing the right sized pack, single rope vs. half and twin ropes, tag line for rappelling, climbing shoe, and approach shoe recommendations.

Belaying

Topics include belay station strategies and management, choosing the right belay device, anchoring with a Clove Hitch versus a PAS, using a direct belay versus a redirected belay, belaying the leader with a direct belay, standardized multi-pitch communication signals (belay commands) and non-verbal communication strategies for long pitches in windy conditions.

Anchors

Topics include advanced anchor rigging, equalizing without a cordelette, girth hitch master point with sling or cordelette, alpine anchors, terrain belays, rappel anchors, and inspection precautions.

Efficiency

Topics include rope management, double ropes at belays, coiling, stacking, carrying, flaking, short pitching vs. short roping, short fixing, and simul-climbing pros and cons.

Rappelling

Topics include rappel extension methods and backups and multi-pitch rappelling efficiency.

Self-Rescue

Topics include raising and lowering systems from a direct belay, rescuing a fallen leader with a “pickoff” and counterbalance rappel, rope ascension (prusiking), tandem rappelling with an injured climber, and evac protocols.

BIG WALL SEMINAR

This two-day course teaches the famed “Yosemite Method” of direct aid climbing, useful to anyone who aspires to climb the big walls. Stressing simplicity and safety, we’ll cover various types of direct aid placements, jumarring techniques, leading and cleaning aid pitches, establishing hanging belays, hauling heavy loads, tension traverses, and pendulums. Taught by a veteran Yosemite Big Wall climber, this seminar will save you valuable time and reduce the frustration of learning the secrets of big wall climbing.

By appointment, per day:

  • One Person: $395
  • Two People: $215 Each
  • Three People: $170 Each
Make a reservation
Climbing a Large Wall

PETER CROFT

Peter

PETER CROFT is one of America’s foremost rock climbers. His feats in Yosemite are noteworthy and legendary: in 1986, he climbed two of Yosemite’s biggest walls, El Capitan and Half Dome, in a single day, with John Bachar. In 1992, he climbed El Cap’s Nose Route in 4 hours and 20 minutes. Known for his mastery of 5.13 cracks, marathon solo climbs, and High Sierra first ascents, Peter is also regarded as a patient teacher and talented writer. His latest book is The Trad Climber’s Bible, which he co-authored with John Long. This season, Peter will be hosting several JOSHUA TREE ROCK CLIMBING WEEKENDS.

Peter’s Bio on Wikipedia.

JARAD STILES

Jarad Stiles

JARAD STILES is from Lake Tahoe California. Jarad’s guiding career started in 2009 by gaining his Single Pitch Instructor certification in Joshua Tree. In 2019 after climbing and guiding for a decade he earned his AMGA Rock Guide certification in Red Rock Nevada. His rock climbing foundation started in the Lake Tahoe area and quickly progressed to the big walls of Yosemite. Multiple ascents of El Capitan, Half Dome, Washington Column and The Leaning Tower taught Jarad the skills needed to move efficiently through difficult terrain. His passion for alpine rock climbing led him to the High Sierra classics, Clyde Minaret, the Incredible Hulk, Merriam Peak, Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell and Bear Creek Spire. Jarad’s love for wild places inspires his passion for teaching others. He’s known for his patience, understanding, and compassion, giving aspiring rock climbers the confidence to explore their limits.

CHRIS BAUMANN

Chris

CHRIS BAUMANN began rock climbing in 1985 and has been a professional rock climbing guide since 2007. Chris is an AMGA-Certified Single Pitch Instructor. Known for his patient teaching style, Chris especially enjoys introducing novices to the sport of rock climbing. Known for his mastery of crack climbing techniques, his rock climbs in Yosemite include Astroman, a 13-pitch, 5.11c that is the goal for many crack climbing aficionados, and a one-day ascent of the Nose Route on El Capitan. In the summer months, Chris offers rock climbing instruction and rock climbing classes in the Lake Tahoe area, where he can be reached at instonerockclimbing.com.

Tony Startin

Tony Startin

TONY SARTIN’s background includes exotic locales, from sea cliffs in Thailand to the huge sandstone spires of Monument Valley, AZ, and Moab, UT. His big wall climbs include Mexico’s infamous Trono Blanco and a first ascent on Rainbow Wall at Red Rocks, NV. Tony is regarded as one of Southern California’s strongest and most talented sports climbers, with 5.13 ascents to his credit. Tony has been guiding professionally since 1997.

BOB GAINES

Bob Gaines

BOB GAINES is the former Director of Vertical Adventures ROCK CLIMBING SCHOOL, which he founded in 1983. Bob is an AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association)-Certified Rock Instructor (since 1995). Bob is the co-author of Rock Climbing: The AMGA Single Pitch Manual, the textbook for the AMGA’s Single Pitch Instructor program. Bob is also the author of the rock climbing instructional textbooks Rock Climbing for the Outdoor Beginner, Rappelling, and Advanced Rock Climbing. He is one of the country’s leading experts on rock climbing anchors and rigging and the co-author of Climbing Anchors, How to Rock Climb, and Rock Climbing: The Art of Safe Ascent.

Bob began rock climbing at Joshua Tree in the 1970s. Since then, he has pioneered over 500 new routes at Joshua Tree National Park and over 130 first ascents at Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks, Idyllwild. A former member of Yosemite’s search and rescue team, Bob is a veteran of Yosemite’s big walls, with five ascents of El Capitan to his credit.

Since 1985, Bob has worked extensively training a diverse group of military special forces, including the elite SEAL Team 6.

Bob has worked as a climbing stunt coordinator or rigging coordinator on over 40 television commercials. He doubled for Capt. Kirk in Star Trek V (when Capt. Kirk attempts to free solo El Capitan) and was Sylvester Stallone’s climbing instructor for the movie Cliffhanger, in addition to his job as Chief Safety Officer for the cast and crew of Cliffhanger during filming on location in the Italian Dolomites.

Travel + Leisure magazine, in their “Great Places to Climb” feature article, rated Bob Gaines as a “top guide” for Joshua Tree National Park.

You can follow Bob on Instagram @BGvertical.

Rock Climbing Instruction at Joshua Tree

Since 1983, Vertical Adventures ROCK CLIMBING SCHOOL has been Joshua Tree’s rock climbing school leader, setting the standard of professionalism for rock climbing classes with our low student-to-instructor ratios, state-of-the-art course curriculums, excellent safety record, and exceptional rock climbing guides.

Vertical Adventures ROCK CLIMBING SCHOOL was honored to be ranked as the #1 rock climbing school in America by Outside Magazine in their list of America’s top adventure schools.

From September through May, our rock climbing classes and guided climbs are held at Joshua Tree National Park, located in the high desert north of Palm Springs. One of America’s most popular rock climbing areas with over 9,000 routes to choose from, Joshua Tree has ideal weather for rock climbing in the fall and spring and is the best site in the country for rock climbing during the winter season. Summer temperatures are generally too hot for rock climbing at Joshua Tree.

Our rock climbing classes and guided rock climbing have enabled many to attain goals they never thought possible. For small private groups and families with children, we offer special discounted group rates.

If you’ve never done any rock climbing, Joshua Tree is the ideal place to learn to safely climb outdoors.

If you’re a gym climber who has yet to climb outside, I invite you to experience the joy and exhilaration of outdoor rock climbing at Joshua Tree.

Vertical Adventures also offers guided climbs of Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild, which at 1,000 feet high is Southern California’s tallest rock formation and one of the best rocks in the country for traditional, multi-pitch rock climbing.

With over 9,000 rock climbing routes, Joshua Tree National Park rock climbing combines easy access for rock climbing classes plus great variety, providing the perfect venue for a rock climbing class or guided rock climbing.

Vertical Adventures’ Joshua Tree rock climbing school program includes one-day rock climbing classes, multi-day rock climbing courses up to 5 days in duration, group rock climbing instruction, guided rock climbing, private instruction, and rock climbing guides for Joshua Tree.

Our Joshua Tree rock climbing season for our regularly scheduled group rock climbing classes and guided climbs is from September through May. Vertical Adventures’ Joshua Tree rock climbing school program operates under commercial use permit at Joshua Tree National Park.