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Tahquitz guide
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By kaiyhul
Apr 14, 2012

So I've been sport climbing for a few months now, and I'd like to start leading trad. I don't know anyone who trad climbs so my plan is to go to Tahquitz and get a guide for a day or two. Has anyone tried vertical adventures ?


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Apr 14, 2012

I've used them once and they are fine. I doubt they will let you lead, but you can learn about trad climbing from them.


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By DaveGustafson
From Palm Desert, CA
Apr 14, 2012
Hot n Juicy

I used them when I first moved to SoCal just to get out (at the time, I had 15 years of bolt clippin' experience and little interpersonal skills). I had the great opportunity to climb with Dave Mayville for a couple of days and it was some of the best times in my 20+ years of climbing - the dude is classic. Took me up some really great routes - Dave shared some great tips on technique and climbing safety (oh yeah, some good stories, too!)... "too strong" was awesome. If he's available, I'd def suggest him.

Bob Gaines is a legend. Never climbed with him, but his resume is incredible.
Peter Croft. Yeah, uhhh... Google him. Dude is just somethin' to behold.

Can't really speak for any of the other guides listed, but I'm sure they're highly qualified and just as good. In my opinion, it's really more about a guide's ability to communicate processes and share their knowledge base as opposed to their resume.

With that, go with an open mind and a willingness to learn. They may offer a course (or several) that would teach you what you are looking for. Despite what others will tell you, this is a great way to learn (albeit pricy). Oh yeah, be sure to tip.


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By JonM
Apr 14, 2012
On the descent of the West Ridge of Conness

I've taken several of their courses and have met Erik, and both Tony Sartin and Tony Grice. All are great guides and great guys. I speak nothing but highly of them. I took their Lead course and you do lead but only on top rope, they leave you to do any real leading after the course.
They also do a really good anchor course if your skills in that area are minimal and they would probably suggest doing that first.
I've only tried to hire them once as an individual guide at Tahquitz but ended up getting sick the night before, so can't speak to what they would teach one on one.
But I do recommend them.


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By kaiyhul
Apr 14, 2012

I looked at the lead class, but after watching other climbing classes, it seems like a very inefficient method to learn. Anyone else taken the class and had a good experience?


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By Ryan Strickland
From Idyllwild, CA
Apr 14, 2012

Clark Jacobs guides often in Josh and Suicide/Tahquitz.


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By kevin deweese
From walnut creek, ca
Apr 14, 2012
don't throw rocks

kaiyhul wrote:
I looked at the lead class, but after watching other climbing classes, it seems like a very inefficient method to learn. Anyone else taken the class and had a good experience?


care to elaborate?


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By agd
Apr 14, 2012
alaska

I've taken two classes from Vertical Adventures (specifically, from Erik) in J-tree: the "intermediate climbing" and "anchor building" classes. Erik is a great instructor and the money spent was well worth it.

If you don't have much experience in placing gear/building anchors, I would highly recommend their anchors class. My memory is about 2/3 of the class is spent on the ground building anchors in a variety of placements with a variety of types of pro, and the other 1/3 climbing some j-tree 5.8/5.9.


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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Apr 14, 2012
Russ

Vertical Adventures is top shelf. 9 thumbs up. Real pros.


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By kaiyhul
Apr 14, 2012

kevin deweese wrote:
care to elaborate?

There are classes all the time at malibu creek, and they spend most of the time watching other people climb or the instructors telling people something they already know. Alexdavis, wouldn't gear placement be covered in the leading class? I already have experience building tr anchors(off of bolts).


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Apr 14, 2012

kaiyhul wrote:
There are classes all the time at malibu creek, and they spend most of the time watching other people climb or the instructors telling people something they already know. Alexdavis, wouldn't gear placement be covered in the leading class? I already have experience building tr anchors(off of bolts).


It is well worth the extra money to hire a guide for private instruction. One-on-one, personalized attention. Tailored to your wishes, goals and abilities. Don't bother with the group class/lesson approach.


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Apr 14, 2012

Ryan Strickland wrote:
Clark Jacobs guides often in Josh and Suicide/Tahquitz.


Clark Jacobs IS Suicide/Tahquitz climbing. Seriously, you can give directions to climbs using him as a landmark..."You have arrived at the base when you run in to Clark." He's been climbing in the area for a long time , and could give some great instruction.

You could also call up Ben, who is the manager of the Nomad Ventures in Idyllwild, and ask him to recommend someone.


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By kevin deweese
From walnut creek, ca
Apr 15, 2012
don't throw rocks

kaiyhul wrote:
There are classes all the time at malibu creek, and they spend most of the time watching other people climb or the instructors telling people something they already know. Alexdavis, wouldn't gear placement be covered in the leading class? I already have experience building tr anchors(off of bolts).


So you looked at it and decided that the description on the site for the lead climbing class matched the description you gave of (admittedly) crappy classes at Malibu Creek? Does Malibu Creek even have any trad routes?


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By Robin like the bird
From mountain center ,CA
Apr 15, 2012
oh

First off it takes a long time to be an effective and safe lead climber. Making top rope anchors and mock leading are some of the most common ways institutions will teach gear placements and lead climbing.

Second all the people mentioned above are great. I work as a guide and am going to plug wilderness outing, as they are the main company that I work as far as rock guiding goes. But if you are intrested in learning some of the skills involved with lead climbing up here in idyllwild, pm me. I am sure we can work something out.

Lastly, the best way to learn trad is to set up top rope anchors, mock lead, and be a second. Take out a lot of gear and ask the leader about it.

Cheers,
Like the bird


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