Lead Climbing

Learn the skills to access crags and mountains worldwide

Lead Training

One or Two Days

Safe lead climbing requires a combination of top-rope anchor skills, sport climbing skills, and a more sophisticated approach to organization and risk management than either require. A strong competency with placing secure protection and building sounds anchor systems are pre-requisites for this course. Sport climbing experience is helpful, but not necessary.

We teach all lead climbing on "mock-lead," meaning the leader is always connected to a top-rope system in addition to a lead line. This provides a sense for the excitement of leading as well a calm learning mindset. Your instructor ascends right next to you on a fixed line, enabling in-the-moment consultation and reassurance.

If you have no experience with lead climbing or your technical skills are not sharp, we recommend a 2-day course to establish good theoretical and technical foundations. For quick leaners or those with previous training, a one-day course may suffice. Feel free to call to discuss.

Lead climbing days run longer than regular climbing days. Expect to be out from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM.


Lead climbing course at Devils Doorway, Devils Lake State Park


One-on-One Session Two to Four Climbers
$375 $200


  • Experienced, certified climbing instructor
  • Harness, shoes, helmet, if you don't already have them (but you probably do)
  • Hardware (nuts, cams, etc.) or software (slings, cordelettes, etc.) to supplemet your own rack
  • Climbing and static lines to facilitate mock leads


  • Learn practical lead climbing theory and risk management
  • Preparation/organization of rack, harness and rope
  • Managing an anchor from the top of a pitch and belaying a second climber up
  • Rappelling instruction (if needed)
  • Focus on modern-era, guide-standard anchoring practices
  • Leave with a firm set of skills to practice and build upon

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Get in touch with us

If you're ready to go climbing, Devils Lake Climbing Guides is ready to make it happen. We run Devils Lake climbing trips and courses seven days a week, weather permitting, April through November. If the daily high is at least 50F, then it's warm enough to go rock climbing in Wisconsin!

Devils Lake Climbing Guides
Baraboo, WI 53913