If you want to rock climb outside, test your gym-climbing skills at a real crag, and meet other climbers, then this is the right course for you. The Gym to Crag Series: Level 1 is a two-day climbing course including skills to confidently and safely climb on real rock.  This course will include introduction to lead climbing, lead belaying, anchor building, and rappelling. Participants will finish this course with the necessary skills and confidence to begin climbing outside on their own.

OVERVIEW: Our professional climbing guides teach skills necessary for students to evolve into proficient outdoor climbers.  

DAY 1:

  • Introduction to leading sport climb
  • Risk management at the cliff/crag
  • Lead belaying techniques, catching falls, belay positioning on uneven terrain.
  • Stick clipping options/pre-clipping, back clipping, “Z” Clipping
  • Equipment choices and use descriptions
  • Falling techniques and mitigating fear
  • Back up belaying

DAY 2:

  • Anchor building (from trees, bolts, multi-points)
  • Learn equipment selection, use, care, and how to manage an anchor site
  • Top rope anchors: from bolts, trees, and multi-points gear anchors.
  • Learn top-rope anchors vs multi-pitch anchors
  • Safety considerations, avoidance, and mitigation
  • Anchor cleaning
  • Directional points

PREREQUISITES:  Basic knowledge of top-rope belaying and knots. Options to gain these skills from a MAG guide Friday evening before course. Contact us for details.

TIME: 2-days, 8:00-4:00


RATIO: Max 6:1


  • Professional climbing guide
  • Personal Climbing Gear (rock climbing shoes, harness, helmet)
  • Group Gear: Ropes, carabiners, climbing protection, slings, cordelettes, quickdraws etc.


  • Food, transport, lodging
  • Technical clothing, backpack, etc.
  • Rescue insurance
  • Trip insurance
  • Guide gratuity
  • Unforeseen expenses from circumstances outside of Montana Alpine Guides’ control


Please see our Rock Climbing Equipment List for the required equipment for this trip. Technical equipment (rock climbing shoes, helmet, and harness) may be rented from MAG for the day for $10/person. This must be coordinated in advance (especially shoe sizes!)


Montana Alpine Guides, 11 Enterprise Blvd, Bozeman, MT 59718

Course Duration

2- days; 8 hours/day (8am-4pm)

Course Dates

  • June 11-12
  • July 9-10
  • August 13-14
  • September 10-11
  • Custom date options, private rates apply




  • Max 6:1 ratio