Introduction to Rock Climbing at the Dacks

1 day
All ages
1–4 people

Welcome to the Dacks! Situated in the largest state park in the lower 48, the Adirondacks boast unique climbing experiences for all skill levels. On your big day of rock climbing, you'll receive expert climbing instructions and learn how to use harnesses, tie knots, belay and rappel. Most importantly, you can and will climb up a rock!

Climb outside! There’s nothing like it.

This class is a great fit for beginners with no experience or people who have climbed a few times in the gym. Looking for something more specialized? Check out Custom Climbing in the Dacks.


None whatsoever. No climbing experience necessary.

What you’ll learn

Your day will start with detailed instruction about rock climbing gear and safety. After that, you’ll work on body positioning and climbing techniques. Next we’ll go over the fundamentals of rock climbing. There’ll be plenty of time to practice everything on the crags. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The basics of safety in climbing
  • How to use ropes, knots and harnesses
  • Development of efficient climbing techniques and body positions
  • The fundamentals of anchors, belaying and rappelling
After this class you’ll
  • Be confident when you tackle your next climb
  • Understand all the challenges any climber can face after a day spent on the rocks
  • Love the view on your way to the top!

Climbing in a safe environment is an unforgettable experience for body and mind.

Here’s a typical schedule
  • 9:00am: Meet your guide at The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, check gear
  • 9:30am: Gear up and carpool to the cliffs
  • 10:00am: Spend the day learning and rock climbing
  • 12:30pm – 1:00pm: Lunch (bring snacks and plenty of water)
  • 1:00pm – 5:00pm: Continue to learn and climb!
  • 5:00pm: Return to Keene Valley
Where we are
What is included
  • All permits and climbing related fees in the Adirondacks
  • All technical climbing gear like ropes, name it.
What to bring
  • 2 liters of water, snacks and lunch
  • Hiking shoes or sneakers
  • Daypack large enough to carry water, food and extra layers
What to wear
  • Sunscreen
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and bring your usual athletic clothes
Why book through 57hours?

We’re an adventure loving, rock climbing, tech company that loves all things outdoors-y. Why spend days looking for the right guide and adrenaline rush, when we can (and already did) do it for you? Want a serious guide for a challenging climb? We know a bunch. How about a guide to show you around the Alps? Check. Maybe your kids want to climb and won’t stop going on about it until you book them a trip. Yes, we know guides who are great for beginners, too. Oh, yeah, every guide we know prioritizes SAFETY and FUN. Book with 57hours, we’ve done your work for you, you’re welcome.

Guides running this program

Joe Vitti

Course instructor Joe Vitti is one of the region’s most experienced and skilled guides, he is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and has been climbing in the Gunks for over 25 years.

Joe started climbing as a teenager in Central Connecticut. The combination of creative movement, technical skills, natural environment and wild adventure with great friends created a lifelong obsession. The sport has taken him to amazing places all over the US and the world, from Yosemite Valley to Papua New Guinea. Working as an instructor and guide has allowed Joe to share his passion for our sport with thousands of people over the years. He's developed expertise in both rock and ice climbing, combining diverse experience with professional training and certification from the American Mountain Guides Association to create the highest level experience for his guests. Whether introducing people to the sport or to remote, multi-pitch classics, Joe always seek to customize the experience to best fit the goals and abilities of his guests.


Silas Rossi

Based in New Paltz, NY, home of the Gunks, Silas appreciates the diversity and easy access of the climbing and skiing found in the Northeast. The many cliffs and crags serve as a year round office and playground, as well as an excellent training ground for regular expeditions to bigger ranges around the world. Mountain guiding has become a way of life for Silas. It allows him to share both his passion for the hills and his love of teaching.

Summers will find him guiding alpine peaks in the Alps and rock climbing in the Italian Dolomites.  His winters are spent in the Catskills, Adirondacks and White Mountains where he guides ice climbing and ski mountaineering, he also teaches avalanche education courses. Fall and spring are a blend of destination trips ranging from Alaska to Papua. Katahdin and Acadia National Park keep Silas returning home to Maine each year.