The Mazama Advanced Rock Course provides high-quality instruction and training to enable graduates to be proficient at leading traditional climbs on vertical rock. We teach the technical and mental skills that will prepare you for a wide range of climbing, from single-pitch cragging to multi-pitch and alpine rock routes.
The Advanced Rock program is comprised of 11 lectures by knowledgeable speakers with hands-on demos or exercises where appropriate. There are six weekend field sessions (with several make-up dates on the schedule in case of weather cancellation), plus one optional field session, each coordinated and taught by skilled, experienced climbers.
The Advanced Rock program is comprised of eleven lectures by knowledgeable speakers with hands-on demos or exercises where appropriate. There are seven weekend field sessions plus one optional field session, each coordinated and taught by skilled, experienced climbers. There is also an invitation to rock climbing outings post-class in the spring through fall where you can practice your new skills.
The Advanced Rock program offers you the opportunity to meet new and experienced rock climbers as you learn about climbing areas and destinations. It's a supportive group for learning new skills and challenging yourself to grow as a climber. And don't forget, lots of fun!
|Advanced Rock Skills
|Mental & Physical Preparation
|Planning & Execution
Advanced Rock Committee
The Mazama Advanced Rock program was built and is run by a dedicated team of volunteers who are eager to share their knowledge and passion for rocking climbing with our community. Meet these (t)rad people below! Want to join our AR team? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Advanced Rock occurs from mid to late February through May. View the schedule.
The application period typically opens in the beginning of December and stays open for 2 weeks.
The Admission test occurs in early January and there are several date options.
High/Intense–The AR course schedule requires a significant time investment and you are discouraged from taking on other projects or classes while it is in progress.
Moderate–AR takes place over a period of three months.
2023 Tuition: $900 members/$1020 nonmembers
AR teaches trad climbing skills including gear placement, anchor building, lead climbing, rock rescue, mental and physical preparation, and planning and execution of climbs and trips.
The AR class will teach you how to use traditional protection systems, gear, and ropes in the vertical environment. The course is not intended to teach rock climbing technique. All applicants need to have the required prerequisites to be admitted into the class (see below).
Required prior to class: harness, personal safety, rock shoes, helmet, multiple carabiners, prusik slings, and belay device.
If you already have a full rack of gear, that’s fine. But we discourage going out and buying a whole lot of gear before class. You’ll get to test out a variety of instructors’ gear throughout the class and you’ll learn a lot more about what you like.
- Age 18+
- In good physical condition
- Actively leading outside, with a minimum of 10 different routes (or pitches) in the last year
- Comfortable leading a climb rated 5.8 or higher without a take or fall
- Have completed ICS Sport Lead class OR have a lead card at a local climbing gym.
- Proficient in basic skills of belaying, rappelling, knot-tying, clipping pro, and rock climbing techniques, including:
- Belaying: anchoring, climbing commands, belaying from below and above (top belay), belaying with either hand, belaying off the harness and belaying in autolock/plaquette mode off the anchor.
- Rappelling: convert a top rope anchor into a rappel.
- Knots: rewoven figure-8, butterfly knot, water knot, clove hitch, bowline, double fisherman’s knot, girth hitch, Munter hitch and Prusik hitch.
Enrolling in this class involves an application process. This includes personalizing and completing the Climb Resume template available on this page. It also includes completing the application form that is part of step 4 on the Advanced Rock 2024 page. You will need to provide a link to your personalized and completed climb resume as part of that application form.
After the application period is over, the course committee will select qualified students to come in for an admissions test. The top-scoring applicants will be admitted to the class. Notifications usually go out two weeks after the admission test.
We are offering a limited number of scholarships for students who would not otherwise be able to participate and whose participation can help expand the Mazamas membership base beyond current cultural, economic, and ethnic demographics.
Mazamas may cover up to 90% of the course tuition based on factors listed above. Other costs associated with the course, including required gear and transportation, are not covered. You also must have access to a computer, smartphone, or tablet to participate in the course.
Applications for scholarships will be part of the class application.
- AR is demanding in terms of time and gear, so apply only if you can make the necessary commitment.
- Participation in all lectures and field sessions is required.
The admission test is required prior to acceptance and will test a variety of the skills listed above in prerequisites. You are required to bring your personal climbing gear to this test.
To complete AR and receive the AR badge, a student must:
Attend all instructional field sessions; attend both high-angle rescue lectures (typically the last two Tuesdays in March); pass the HAR competency test; and complete the pitch and evaluation requirements at the Smith climbing field sessions specified in your student handbook. NO EXCEPTIONS.
If you fail to meet these requirements, or if you fail to attend in-person more than two lectures, you will be dropped from the class without refund. You may reapply for the class again the following year if you choose. For medical emergencies, we will follow the Mazamas policies.
Advanced Rock Upcoming Activities
Luke Pritchett: "Before I took AR, I didn’t know much about the Mazamas or about trad climbing, but you guys just knocked it out of the park. There are so many great people in the organization willing to volunteer their time. I want to stay active and get climbing with them!"
Jenni Tan: "Everything was so well-planned, we all got so much out of it—the newer climbers like me, and the more advanced students. I feel like I can reach out to any of them to go climbing now. After the class, I felt like I did something really incredible, something I never thought I'd be doing."