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Lead Climbing Courses in Spain


Sun rock learn to lead


Lead climbing rock routes in Spain


sun and rock in spain


Start Lead Climbing - Sport & Trad Climbing

Courses in

Malaga - Marbella - Granada - Valencia - Barcelona Asturias

Sun Rock Climbing Holidays in Spain


Climb your first lead routes in stress-free and enjoyable environment. Your climbing instructor will be by your side on a separate rope, offering help and advice whilst keeping you safe.




You will learn:




Rates per person per day

Private instruction:

1 person:180 Euros - 2 people: 95 Euros - 3 people: 85 Euros -

4 people: 75 Euros


Open courses (up to 6 people):

1 person:100 Euros - 2 people: 75 Euros - 3 people: 65 Euros -

4 to 6 people: 60 Euros



We can run climbing courses on private or open basis.

Private guiding and instruction

Private climbing courses are fast track learning and they are totally tailored to your needs and aspirations. We plan it with you to create the course you want -

Private guiding means you can choose the routes, dates, location and content of the day. Simply email us and we will plan something that works for you.


Open Courses

Open courses are run so you can join a group of climbers.

Climbing in an open courses means you pay less but the group you join might be composed of people of different ages and climbing experience. Alhough we do our best to match people with similar climbing experience and ambitions, you will need to be flexible with the dates and times, content, location and the group composition.

We organise the group so that you get to climb as much as possibe.



Learning to Lead Climb -Additional Information


This course is about getting you leading and doing all your own rope work, whilst we work alongside you on a fixed line supervising everything closely. The fact that your climbing instructor can be right by you on a separate rope as you are climbing -offering advice and ensuring your safety- makes the experience of lead climbing for the first time memorable and enjoyable, rather than traumatic.

The aim of this course is to help you start leading your own rock routes in a safe and controlled environment. It is one of our most popular courses as climbers often find it difficult to make the transition from indoor climbing or just from top roping and following climbs to leading them because of the big jump in commitment, confidence and skills that is required.

We can run leading courses in many locations in Spain but our main base in southern Spain is in El Chorro and in Villanueva del Rosario, 38 km north of Malaga. This is is a rural Spanish town in the hills close to Antequera. The town is surrounded by lots of perfect limestone cliffs, gets great weather throughout the year and there are both bolted sports routes and multi-pitch traditional routes at all grades - overall it is pretty much a perfect location for a lead climbing course.

In order to get the most from this lead climbing course, you should already be able to top rope or second routes competently and be able to belay your partner from both above and below. However, we can also start from scratch and cover as much as we can.

As always, the content and duration of all our climbing instruction is by arrangement and totally customisable. If you can't see the exact itinerary that you want the simply contact us and we'll try to put together a suitable course for you.

There is a comprehensive outline of the course below plus there is General Climbing Course Information page dealing with common questions on our climbing courses.

Prices are listed in the tab below together with booking details





Learn to Lead Climb Courses in Spain

Sport & Trad Climbing


Start lead climbing with an instructorWe teach in venues with a large range of crags with routes of all grades from 3 to 9b. There are single pitch, multi-pitch, sport and traditional routes - we have it all close by. This is really good because it means that we can help you learn to lead in a variety of environments; we can just concentrate on climbing bolted sports routes effectively or we can broaden the course to look at leading traditionally protected climbs.

The Learn to Lead course runs best on a 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 or 1:4 ratio and we will always try to run the days so that you get the most out of them - pacing them at a speed that suits you. You can either come along with your own climbing partner(s) or we can try to match you up with someone at the same level and with the same aspirations.

Initially, we make sure you have the core skills needed to keep both -you and your partner- safe whilst climbing before practicing some simulated lead climbing with a loose top rope - this is a great way of easing into lead climbing and getting used to having some slack in the rope system.

After running through the various scenarios that can occur when leading your first pitches, we'll then choose some routes for you to lead climb. Initially, we will probably work on routes that are well within your physical and technical ability to get you used to the feeling of leading above the protection. This way you can learn the techniques for using quickdraws and /or placing trad gear and clipping the ropes before moving onto routes where psychological issues start to be involved.

A Learn to Lead Climb course can last from two to four days or longer depending on what you want to get out of it; a two day course should give you the basic skills and experience to lead sports climbs on your own, whilst a longer course will reinforce all the skills that you have learnt and let us work on more advanced techniques such as placing traditional climbing protection and multi-pitch climbing.

Dates, venues and duration are by arrangement and totally customisable. Please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.






placing climbing protection - Hexes

Learning to lead trad climbs and learning to place protection often go together. This section will hopefully offer a few pointers on placing protection correctly, safely and innovatively. Protecting climbs is an art form that is learnt with time, but having a rack of carefully chosen gear and thinking laterally can help you to protect pitches that others may find unreasonably bold.

Torque Nuts, Hexcentrics and Rockcentrics

These are amazingly versatile pieces of kit in the right hands, however not all 'hexes' are the same. Hecentric placement in a crackHexes can either work as chocks or -if designed correctly- can also be used as passive camming devices.

In order for them to be used effectively -as camming devices- they need to be designed so that when placed in certain orientations and a load is applied to the sling then the chock tries to rotate around a surface rather than pull straight out.

The effectiveness of a hex as a passive cam depends on the units design. The original hexes from Camp make good chocks, but are too symmetrical to cam effectively. The Black Diamond hexes are equally poor at camming and, even worse, are slung on wire. Slinging hexes on wire adds one good advantage - the hex can be paced at full reach, but more than countering this is the fact that the versatility of the nut is vastly reduced - they can't be cammed effectively, they can't be pushed into pockets sideways and they can only be loaded in one direction.

Wild Country Rockcentrics on wire are equally restricted in their use, but Rockcentics on dyneema are good - they give a lot of versatile placements, cam better than the Camp Rockcentrics and are also lighter.

hex camming into a crackThe old HB Quadratics are the real surprise and a testament to Hugh Banners design genius - their elongated shape means that they cam really well and lock into marginal placements. The overall shape is a bit angular and they are heavy and ugly, but the concept is spot-on. The overall winner in the battle of the hexes are the DMM Torque Nuts - I have been allowed to play with the prototype nuts over the last few months and they work very well.

The Torque nuts are essentially a combination of the best features of the Rockcentric and the Quadratic - light units that are really versatile, cam well and with each unit covering an extended range of placement options, They also have a double, skinny dyneema sling that saves on quickdraws and allows one side of the nut to be tied off short to improve camming ability.


Placing Hexes in pockets and shot holes


hex placement in a pocketThe image below shows a classic 'outside of the box placement for a hexcentric nut. There are no cracks in the rock face just some gas pocket holes that are too small to take a cam and not elongated enough to take a keyholed wire.

The trick is to just push a hex of the right size into the pocket with the tapes coming out of the top side.

If the nut is loaded it tries to twist around its bottom front edge and the top of the nut cams into the top of the pocket and locks solid - this type of bomber placement can be the difference between succeeding or failing on a route. Tricams can also work well in this type of pocket , but I find they are not as versatile as hexes overall.

There is a sneaky trick that can make this placement even more secure - this is illustrated in the image with the sling tied off short, but works better if the sling is longer - the new DMM Torque nuts are perfect here hex in pocket tied off shortbecause their doubled, long skinny 8mm dyneema sling allows them to be tied off easily.

The trick is to tie off the rear tape short - this creates even more of a camming action of the nut and makes it less likely to walk or be pulled out gradually by the movement of the rope.

This can also be avoided by using long quickdraws that don't transmit movement to the protection.

The image below shows an advanced placement that will perhaps show the potential of using hexes inventively - the flared crack would not take a normal nut - not even an HB Offset, but the Rockcentric loaded as seen in the image was bombproof because loading the sling just pulled the hex tighter into the placement.

hex placement in flared crackOnce again using a long quickdraw is good practice and will stop the placement from being dislodged by rope movement.

It is worth stating that long quickdraws rule for trad climbing - less rope drag and less risk of gear being dislodged from its original placement position.

This is one of a series of articles on climbing protection there is more information on the Learn to Lead Climb in Snowdonia pages (in the tabs below the main text) and a full list of the climbing articles on the Climbing Equipment Advice page



Climbing near Granada


Learning to trad climb in SpainThe climbing areas around Granada have several great venues for rock climbing. Just to name a few areas: Cahorros, Los Vados,Cogollos,Bolonia...


The climbing in Cahorros is quite remarkable - only 8km from the city centre a series of deep, rocky gorges surround the Monachil river. These gorges are crossed with cable bridges and narrow tunnels that connect a labyrinths of paths. There is climbing at all grades on the buttresses and walls that surround the river.

Los Vados and Cahorros are in the David Munilla Andalucia climbing guide but the information is fairly basic with the access instructions especially being fairly dire. The strange grading system here means that you need to add 2 letter grades to the grade in the Munilla guide i.e. a 6a is really 6c.

There is a basic topo at this site with an overview of the location.


Los Vados

it has awesome climbing, but the location is above a main road and pretty noisy. There are some good topos at Croquis Los Vados, but these have recently become password protected. Desnivel has run several articles on Vados in editions 72,88, 102 and 109. There is also info in the Munilla guide and two Spanish guides - 'Granada 3 Escuelas' and 'Guía de Escalada en Granada'.


Cogollos Vega

About 15km from Granada it has some really good sectors. The main area of interest is the large cave and buttress up and right of the village called Cogollos Vega, with slabby 6's on the side walls and steep 7's and 8's in the cave itself.


This is a very good, high area that is great on hot days and has a good selection of routes in the 6's. Ignore the first couple of bays in the low quarries and head up the narrow road to the buttresses that flank the valley. Great views of the Sierra Nevada as well.

Granada is about 75km from our village, but there are several good reasons to head down the A92 and pay a visit - the muslim domination of the city for many centuries has left a lasting legacy that is epitomised by the palace of the Alhambra and the arabic 'El Albaicin' sector of the city. This collision of the muslim and christian cultures has created one of Spain's most interesting and historically important cities.

The wild Alpujarras hills and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada rise straight out of the city and provide a great playground for hiking. biking and climbing.



Pricing and Booking

Prices. A list of all prices are found below and all prices include VAT/IVA.

Type of Course
Cost per person per day

Learn to Lead Climb Course in Spain

Sport and/or Trad Climbing

Private Insruction
180 Euros
95 Euros
85 Euros
Open Course
100 Euros
75 Euros
65 Euros
60 Euros


Online Booking Form

Booking Details and Conditions


Climbing equipment provided: we will provide all the technical hardware and equipment for the Learn to Lead Climb in Spain courses, including ropes, climbing equipment and a helmet and harness for each client.

We have a full range of equipment for clients to use including Prowire wiregate quickdraws, the latest keylock DMM Shadow and Aero quickdraws, a wide range of cams and nuts and several belay devices.

What you will need: you will need to bring suitable clothing for the time of year. This can vary dramically between the various seasons, because some of the crags are quite high - over 1000m - and in the shade can become chilly. Thus on cold days or when the wind picks up a a light windproof and a couple of extra layers can come in useful. It does rain in Spain as well so -if you are coming over the winter months- don't forget you waterproof for general walking around.

On the other hand, it can be very hot while in the sun so don't forget that long sleeve shirt, sun hat and sun protection cream. We don't like suffering so we will try to choose venues that will be comfortable in the prevailing conditions and have plenty of great climbing.

Belaying gloves really help to protect your skin when handling ropes and flipflops or slippers to allow your feet to breath between climbs are also really helpful.

Ideally for this course you should have your own rock shoes, although we can arrange hire rock shoes if required.

You will also need a rucksack (40+ litre capacity) and you need to bring along plenty of food and drink for each day on the hill. Don't forget your walking boots / supportive training shoes for the approaches.

What is not included: Prices do not include accommodation, personal insurance or food.

We can provide accommodation in a newly modernised house - full details are in the Spanish Accommodation in Malaga section

Ratios and course sizes: The Learning to Lead Climb course is best taught at a ratio of between 1 to 4 clients to 1 instructor.





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