Overview:

Colorado is one of the prime states in the United States for rock climbing. There are hundreds of climbing areas and a variety of rock types and styles of climbing. The weather is cooler in the summer than most places in the United States. The fall temperatures are perfect for a road trip. The CO/WY 8-day Rock Climbing Camp takes a relatively new climber and develops that climber into a fully functional outdoor climber. However, climbers who already have some of the skills dialed will still get a lot out of the trip. Due to the guides’ abilities to individualize the day’s goals.

8 Day Rock Climbing Camp in Vedauwoo Wyoming and Colorado.

The course includes the following progression of skills: Belaying and rappelling, Movement (face and crack climbing), Artificial Protection Placement, Natural Protection, Anchor Building, Sport Leading, Trad Leading, Multi-pitch Climbing, Rock Rescue, and Bouldering. Some of these skills may be omitted or be the subject of more focus depending on the specific group.

Every CMS guide is trained and/or certified through the AMGA (American Mountain Guide Association).  They will tailor the specifics of the course to the actual participants and create group and individual progressions of skills. Evening campfire discussions may consist of climbing-related topics. These topics may include: injury prevention, personal journeys as climbers, Leave No Trace ethics, and the Access Fund.

 

Prerequisites:

Participants on this course should have some prior experience with climbing, including a working understanding of top-roped belaying. Fitness requirements include the ability to hike 4-5 miles, rock climb at a level from 5.6-5.9 or higher, and the ability to be physically active for many days in a row. Climbers who already have some leading and anchor building skills will still get a lot out of this course due to the ability of the guides to use the venues to create individualized development.

Preparation:

Participants will get more out of the course by learning as much as they can beforehand. Reading books on anchor building and lead climbing, taking courses at local gyms, going out with friends to the gym or the outdoors will all set you up for success. Fitness training can include both strength and cardio training such as pull-ups, cross-fit, Yoga, stair-master. Climbing requires flexibility, strength, cardio-vascular strength, and endurance.

Time:

8:00am - 4:00pm Each Day

Duration:

8 Days

Maximum Ratio:

1:4

Minimum Age:

Please call to register participants under age 18

Meeting location:

Arrival: Book your flight to Denver for the day before Day 1 of your trip. You will stay in a hotel after arriving. The hotels that are close to the airport have shuttle services. Please let us know if you would like to connect with other participants to share hotel expenses.

Day 1: Meet your guides in the lobby at the Hyatt Place Airport Denver Hotel on Day 1 of your trip at 8:00am with all of your baggage/gear for the trip.

Your guides will pick you up at the Hyatt Place Airport Denver Hotel on Day 1 and drop you off back at the hotel on Day 8. You will be camping for sections of the trip and staying in the CMS Lodge in downtown Estes Park for another section. While camping, meals will be cooked on camp stoves, and while staying at the lodge, participants will have the option to cook at the lodge or go out on the town. Participants are welcome to enjoy alcoholic beverages in the evenings. Each day will include short drives in the CMS van to your climbing site. Showers will be available for parts of the trip. Tents and cookware are provided by CMS.

Details:

Food: Participants will be responsible for their food for the duration of the course. We have found that adults can have a variety of culinary appreciations and that it is best to let folks choose for themselves.  Several of the dinners will be spent in town.  Estes Park/Boulder has many great restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries – plan financially for some meals to be out on the town, including the option for alcoholic drinks.  On day 1, we will have time to stop at a grocery store to stock up on food supplies for the duration of the trip. Lunch will not be included in the price and participants are responsible for purchasing food and supplies for lunch. There will be coolers available to keep some items cooled.

Sleeping Arrangements: You will be sharing a 3-person tent with one other person. The tent is provided by CMS. You will be camping in federal campgrounds with pit toilets, and the campground may have running water, or may not. There will be large jugs of water available at camp. In Estes Park, you will sleep in group dorms on bunk beds. You will use your sleeping bag for all of the nights of the course.

Showers: You will have the opportunity to take showers when in Estes Park. There may be other opportunities, but don’t count on them. Towels will be available in Estes Park, but you may want to bring a camp towel for other bathing opportunities in camp.

Internet/Wifi/Cell Service: You will have access to cell service when in the town of Estes Park and when on the road. When at the climbing areas and camp, there is no cell service. For charging your phones and cameras, you may plug into the van when driving, through guides get first dibs for risk management purposes. Bringing a solar charger or extra battery chargers are probably your best options for charging.

Participation: Most of the climbing areas are such that if a person is feeling under the weather or tired, they can still hang out with the group, even if they are not climbing and taking it easy. If someone would like to hang out in town/camp for a day and take a day off, in most cases, that would be manageable.

Notes:

All of our courses can be run as custom outings.  If you’re interested in a course, but it doesn’t fit into your schedule, please check out our custom guiding options.

Day 1: Airport Pick-up, Move in, & Climb. Meet your guides at the Hyatt Place Denver Airport Hotel at 8am. After a gear check and last minute gear purchases at one of the many world class outdoor stores in Denver/Boulder, and a grocery store stop, you will ride in a CMS van to your campsite in Vedauwoo, Wyoming and set up camp. From there, the team will head out to the cliffs for the afternoon of rock climbing. Toproping basics will be covered on this day to make sure everyone is getting off on the same foot.

Evenings & Downtime: For each of the days, evenings will be spent one of two ways: 1) Having dinner and hanging out by the fire in camp, or 2) Eating out in town and maybe chilling at the bar. There will be opportunities for showers about half of the days. There may be downtime here and there to walk around the lovely town of Estes Park or Laramie, do some shopping, catch a Yoga class, and check your emails or make some calls.

Day 2: Movement. This day’s focus will be on developing movement skills – face climbing and crack climbing. Movement skills are the foundation of safety in rock climbing – all the equipment is there for back-up. Vedauwoo is a great place to practice crack climbing and slab climbing techniques.

Day 3: Anchor Building & Lead Follows. This day’s focus will be on equipment. Your guides will give a thorough talk on all the pros and cons of each piece of climbing equipment on the market. There are no black and whites with climbing gear – each item has its appropriate use and there are times when each item is not the ideal piece of gear for the situation. From there, you will learn about and practice the art of protection placement, and then move on to anchor building – using artificial protection, as well as natural anchors. Most of the equipment practice takes place on the ground, so at some point, you’ll put the gear aside and get some climbing in. Your guides will take you on some lead climbs where the guides will lead the climbs and the participants will follow and clean the gear.

Day 4: Lead Climbing 101 & Rappelling. In the morning, the group will pack up camp and drive south to Estes Park, Colorado. In Estes Park, you will stay at the CMS Lodge, which has showers, bunks, and wifi. The lodge is located in downtown Estes Park and is a short walk to a variety of restaurants and bars. After moving in, you will head out to one of the local cliffs and begin the progression of outdoor leading. The lead progression begins with sport climbing – using bolted protection for safety. This day will include a thorough rappel school – the many ways to rappel given the various types of situations one may encounter.

Day 5: Multi-pitch Climbing. Lumpy Ridge is one of the best granite climbing areas in the United States, and serves as the northern border to the town of Estes Park. Your guide will take you on one of the many classic multi-pitch crack climbs in the area.

Day 6: Rest/Travel Day. On your way to the next campsite, stop by the American Climbing Center in Golden, Colorado and visit the climbing museum and the American Alpine Club. Continue on to the camp and move in.

Day 7: Choose Your Adventure. Depending on weather conditions and temperatures, your guides will choose to spend the last days at Eldorado Canyon, Boulder Canyon, Clear Creek Canyon, or the South Platte, or a mixture of the options. At this point in the trip, you will come up with a plan for the day that hits the missing desires such as: trad leading, rock rescue, bouldering, or maybe you all decide to get in some more sport climbing or multi-pitch climbing.

Day 8: The Finale. The morning will consist of packing up camp and loading the van. Before heading back to Denver, you will get a solid session of climbing in – the team will come up with a climbing plan that feels like a fun way to end the trip. After climbing, you will ride back to Denver and be dropped off at the Hyatt Place Denver Hotel.

This is a sample itinerary and is malleable dependent upon weather and group needs.

Price Includes: Transportation in Colorado and Wyoming, tents, cooking necessities (stoves, pots, fuel, utensils), group climbing gear (ropes, crash pads, lead climbing equipment), guide fees, camping fees, permits.

Some dinners will be spent in town at restaurants and etc. Participants are responsible for paying for all meals.  It is often nice to go out after a long day of climbing and grab dinner in town and not have to deal with the hassle of cooking and clean-up.

Price Does Not Include: Flights, Food (not including water), personal climbing and sleeping equipment, guide gratuities, shower fees.

Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
Alpine Quickdraws

24” (shoulder-length) runners with 2 non-locking carabiners per runner (Alpine Draws).

4-8

CAMP 11mm Express Dyneema

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Approach Shoes

These are “hiking” shoes specifically made for approaching and descending from a climbing venue where scrambling is necessary, or even for climbing an entire route. They have sticky climbing rubber on the bottom and a formed fit to influence better climbing abilities while scrambling. Consider high-tops for additional ankles support if needed. Regular hiking boots or athletic shoes may be acceptable for many climbs.

1

Men: La Sportiva TX3 Men
Women: La Sportiva TX3 Wmn

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Athletic Tape

Roll of 1.5-2” tape; These are best found at rock climbing gyms or shops such as Neptune Mountaineering. Not all tape works well for climbing - gear shops have usually identified a brand that works well - the local pharmacy has not.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Autoblock

This is a small sewn loop to assist in rappelling. The #1 choice on the market is the Sterling Hollowblock, or the Sterling Autoblock.

1

Sterling Auto Block

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Backpack: 18-25 liter

This small pack is carries one’s approach shoes, water, food, extra layers, and toilet kit on the route. This pack should close completely so that no items can fall out.

1

CAMP M2 20L

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Baselayer Bottoms

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Lightweight or mid-weight are recommended.

1

Men: Rab Merino 120 Pants
Women: Rab Merino 120 Pants

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Beanie/Fleece Hat

Should cover the ears and fit under a helmet. Hats with fluff balls on top do not fit under helmets.

1

Rab Logo Beanie

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Belay Gloves

Leather gloves, either full fingered or fingerless. These protect your hands from rope wear when belaying or rappelling and keep your hands warm at belays.

1

CAMP Axion

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Belay/Rappel Device

Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

1

CAMP Piu 2

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Bowl, mug, fork/spoon

Personal utensils

1

Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Climbing Harness

UIAA/CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

1

CAMP Laser CR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Climbing Pants, Shorts or Capris

For all seasons, cotton, loose-fitting (or tight, stretchy) pants are usually acceptable for rock climbing. Shorts are acceptable during the summer - though shorts expose the knees and shins to abrasions. New climbers are encouraged to wear pants or capris. A synthetic material (like in softshell pants) may be required by your guide due to potential rain storms.

1

Men: Rab Vapour Rise
Women: Rab Upslope

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Cotton Socks

Cotton Socks are acceptable for most rock climbing days. Synthetic and merino wool socks tend to be too hot and make climber’s feet sweat excessively.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Double-length Sewn Runner

48" or 120cm. Used for rappelling, making leashes, and improvised rescue.

1-2

CAMP 11mm Express Dyneema

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Ear Plugs

Sometimes fellow campers snore. Ear plugs may help you get quality rest.

1 Optional
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, and/or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Headlamp

Load with fresh batteries. Critical for hiking before sunrise and great to have in the pack in case you are caught out after dark.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve
Women Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lightweight Gloves

Synthetic; Thin gloves used when hiking the early morning approach. Belay gloves can suffice if full-fingered.

1

RAB Power Stretch Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Long/Short Sleeve T-shirt

Cotton &/or Synthetic/Merino Wool; Bring a variety of short-sleeve or tank tops, and a few long-sleeve. Long sleeve cotton t-shirts can be nice for the crack climbing days. Synthetic shirts are not required for rock climbing, but some may prefer the feel and quick-dry performance.

1

Rab Route Tee

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men Rab Merino 160 Hoody
Women Rab Merino 160 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Neck Gaiter

"Buffs" are quite versatile in their uses. They can be used as light beanies, neck warmers, and can offer face protection from the cold wind or sun.

1

BCA Neck Tube

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Nut Tool

For removing rock protection.

1

CAMP Nut Tool

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Pajamas

It can be nice to have something clean to change into each night for sleeping in your sleeping bag.

1 Clothing
Pear Locking Carabiner

Large on one end to allow hitches to pass through.

3+

CAMP HMS Compact Lock

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Personal Care Items

Medications, glasses/contacts, feminine products, etc.

1 Optional
Personal Toilet Kit

At minimum, bring a small Ziploc with toilet paper. Consider bringing a travel sized package of hand-wipes. Idealy, purchase, or for free from the RMNP Backcountry office, bring a "Rest Stop." The Rest Stop, known as "Blue Bags" in the Pacific Northwest, or the "Wag Bag" in other areas, are poop-in-a-bag systems that include toilet paper and a sanitizing hand wipe.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Prussik Cord

1m of 6mm nylon accessory cord. Tech cord (kevlar, spectra) is not acceptable.

2

Sterling HollowBlock

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Rock Climbing Helmet

UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

1

CAMP Titan

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Rock Climbing Shoes

Technical rock shoes are required. For beginning climbers, having a looser fit is advisable. In this case, loose means that toes are touching the front of the shoes when standing, but are not forced against the front of the shoe. In colder weather, thin socks inside climbing shoes are a great option. On long routes, rock shoes should be comfortable enough to wear for day.

1

La Sportiva TC Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sleeping Bag (10° to 35°)

Down or synthetic sleeping bag is acceptible.

1

Rab Ignition 5

Neptune Mountaineering

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Sleeping pad

Insulated air mattresses or foam are ideal. Uninsulated air mattresses are not recommended.

1

Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell/Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab Alpha Direct
Women: Rab Alpha Direct

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Stunt

Julbo

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Synthetic or Down Puffy Jacket

Fits over all other layers and is worn at breaks and on really cold days. Synthetic puffies are more durable, are easily laundered, and dry out quickly if wet. Down puffies are lighter weight, pack smaller, and provide exceptional warmth, but once wet, they stay wet.

1

Men: Rab Zero G
Women: Rab Electron

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Toiletries

Bring enough for the trip. Toothpaste & brush, floss, deoderant, lotion, eye drops, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.

1 Optional
Trash Bag

Lining the inside of your pack with a heavy duty trash bag will keep the contents of your pack dry on rainy days.

1 Optional
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: RAB Latok
Women: RAB Latok

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing