Rock climbing courses

Rock Climbing Skills

This foundation course introduces candidates to the techniques of lead climbing on single and multi-pitch routes. You’ll spend six days engaged in strenuous physical activity, so make sure you’re fit before applying. In the evening there are additional lectures.

The aim is for candidates to gain sufficient climbing skills to enter the Single Pitch Award (SPA) scheme (see below) or to enhance their personal skills towards SPA Assessment.

Prior to attending the course you should be able to fit a harness and operate a belay plate, be able to use a climbing guide book, interpret the grading system and be able to tie the following knots:

  • Bowline
  • Fig 8 on bight and rethread
  • Clove hitch
  • Alpine Butterfly
  • Overhand Knot
  • Italian Hitch
  • Double Fisherman’s
  • Stopper Knot
  • Prussik Loop
  • Double Fig 8 on a bight (Bunny knot)

You should also be familiar with the following books:

  • The MLT UK Official Handbook Rock Climbing, Essential Skills & Techniques
  • Manual of Modern Rope Techniques by Nigel Shepherd, Constable Books
  • The Handbook of Climbing by Fyffe and Peters, Pelham Books

Single Pitch Award (SPA) Training

This demanding two-day course is for potential leaders and assumes good competence as a rock climber with experience of leading climbs. You should have a genuine interest in rock climbing and the supervision of groups on single pitch crags. You’ll need to have at least 12 months experience of rock climbing and be an individual or club member of a Mountaineering Council.

Candidates must register for SPA Training with the organisation that covers their home nation before applying and have led at least 15 graded climbs outdoors on routes where protection is leader-placed.

HQAC Physical Education Administration will liaise with course directors to ensure that each candidate has gained sufficient pre-course experience before confirming a place.


How to register with Mountain Leader Training UK

Find details online by visiting or send an e-mail to:

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