Top reasons to take a rock climbing course in Lake Tahoe
Climb some of the greatest granite on the West coast
More trad routes and bouldering problems than you’ll know what to do with
The well-maintained single and multi-pitches are perfect for trying out new skills
Covering a great deal of the northern Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a rock climbing mecca thanks to its fine-grained, high-quality granite. While there are some great sport routes, as well as more boulder problems than you can wrap your head around, trad climbing takes the cake here. Instant-classic areas, such as Lover’s Leap and Donner Summit, boast an unparalleled volume of excellent routes, both single and multi-pitch. Most of the climbing is done at altitudes above 6,000ft (1,830 m), with soaring views of both the lake and the ocean. The quality of the granite, variety of the climbs, and ease of approach make Lake Tahoe the perfect place for aspiring climbers looking to push their skills to the next level. Learn more about rock climbing in the Sierra Nevada from Cody Bradford, AMGA Certified Rock Guide and 57hours ambassador.
May through November
South Lake Tahoe is minutes away
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your day
Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing
Learn the basics of rock climbing, including movement, belaying, and proper communication, under the watchful eye of a seasoned guide! Head to Lake Tahoe for a full day of immersive climbing and make your first steps on the rocks count.
Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing
Master the art of the multi-pitch on a private course with an experienced guide. Leave the limitations of the top rope behind and take your movement and technical skills to the faces of bigger crags and mountains. A productive learning experience is guaranteed on Tahoe’s scenic slopes.
Rock Anchoring and Gear Placement Course
If you’re looking to become safer and more self-sufficient on the rocks, and eventually graduate to lead climbing, this course is the way to go. A knowledgeable AMGA-certified instructor will teach you everything you need to know about equalization principles, anchoring, and top-rope management. Gain a much better understanding of the technical systems behind rock climbing.
Learn to Lead Course
This day course will provide you with a strong foundation to start leading pitches anywhere in the world. Take your movement, gear placement, and anchor-building skills to the next logical level by learning how to climb without the safety of a top rope. Don’t worry—an AMGA-certified instructor will be by your side at all times.
Self Rescue Course for Rock Climbers
You’re proficient on the rocks, and you may even be an excellent lead climber—but what do you do if something goes wrong? In this course, you’ll learn and practice basic self-rescue techniques, such as belay escapes, belaying off the anchor, and safe rope descent. Remember, when you’re climbing, even a small mistake can be detrimental.
Meet your guide
I had a great day learning new rock climbing skills with Alpenglow Expeditions guide Nolan! He was very knowledgeable, professional, and patient with everyone in the group, while also making sure we were all having a great time! Looking forward to another trip with Alpenglow!
Our family had an amazing time. We had climbers ages 12-65 and everyone did great. Jaime and Tim were great guides and photographers!!
These guys are fantastic. Not only were the guides great climbers and teachers, but every detail of the trip was also planned to a T. I had a great time and plan to climb with them again.
The Alpenglow crew are highly professional, extremely competent, and very friendly. Everyone at Alpenglow was responsive, kind, and thoughtful. I only wished I had used Alpenglow for many other trips! Absolutely stellar company!
Things to know
Covid measures in Lake Tahoe
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Lake Tahoe, please refer to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure package:
- An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Half or full day of rock climbing and instruction
- All technical climbing gear
What’s not included:
- Food and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
If you can climb a ladder, you’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.
What if I’ve never climbed before?
For the Intro to Outdoor Climbing, no prior rock climbing experience is necessary.
For the other courses, a basic level of rock climbing experience is required, as well as knowledge of basic climbing techniques such as belaying, rappelling, and the use of top-rope systems.
What about required equipment?
All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device, and chalk bag
- Rock shoes (included in the price, but we recommend bringing your own if you have them)
- Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Water bottle
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Camera — optional
Although the technical climbing equipment is free, your guide provides it on a first-come-first-serve basis, so we recommend that you make reservations early.
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For the Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing, Learn to Lead, Rock Anchoring and Gear Placement, and Self Rescue courses, the max guest-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
- For the Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing, the max guest-to-guide ratio is 2:1.
- For the Intro to Outdoor Climbing, Learn to Lead, Self Rescue, and Rock Anchoring courses, the price is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
- For the Intro to Multi-Pitch Climbing, the price decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
- The Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing requires a minimum of 2 participants to run.
Climbing days can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Teens aged 13-17 can go on their own, but a guardian will need to provide a signed waiver before an outing with the guide.
- Kids aged 5-12 can go climbing, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Lake Tahoe, most people fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport 1,5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus or taxi.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet.