Mexico Rock Climbing

Leadership & Guide Training Course
(12 days)

Prepping for the next pitch in El Potrero Chico. -Luis Villaba

With over 600 climbs to choose from and limestone faces rising 2,000 feet (600m) off of the valley floor, El Potrero Chico is one of the premiere rock climbing destinations in the world. Form your base camp set in this gorgeous sun drenched valley, you will make daily forays onto the sweeping aretes and sheer faces of the surrounding cliffs and spires. You’ll become adept at setting up top rope anchors, rigging a rescue haul system and climbing efficiently and safely on multi-pitch routes. The variety of climbs offers students ample opportunities to develop into strong and competent rock climbers and leaders.

This comprehensive course is the perfect setting to achieve your goals whether you are looking to become a professional guide, hone your technical abilities for personal adventures, or expand your leadership skills. It focuses on teaching students to be safe, efficient, knowledgeable and confident outdoor leaders in a mountain environment.

THE INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES OF IWLS are widely recognized as some of the very best in their field and have practical leadership experience from around the globe. They are well trained and have an uncommon enthusiasm for sharing their skill and knowledge, borne out of a passion for outdoor exploration.

The International Wilderness Leadership Schools’ educational model nurtures leadership development and creates an awareness of the guiding mentality that is essential for leading safe, fun adventures in the mountains. The combination of technical skills training, experiential education and practical leadership experience make the IWLS curriculum world class.

THE IWLS GENERAL CURRICULUM outlines the essential components for effective outdoor leadership. Here are a few points that your course will focus on.

  • Decision Making and Problem Solving: Over the course of 12 or 26 days, we’ll discover ways to assess problems, explore solutions and evaluate options in order to make effective and safe decisions in the field.
  • Expedition Behavior and Group Dynamics: Because this course is a true wilderness expedition, interactions between group members need to be supportive and contribute to the efficacy of the group. The daily dynamics of the group, combined with instruction, will teach participants not only how to be a member of a team, but how to influence and lead an expedition.
  • Weather: Will the storm arrive in the next 12 hours or the next 48? Understanding weather patterns and trends will help you plan successful trips in a wilderness setting.
  • Navigation: Learn how to take a bearing, read a topographical map, triangulate your position, or navigate in a whiteout.

-Luis Villaba

IWLS ROCK CLIMBING CURRICULUM is designed to create safe and strong technical climbers. Below is an example of what you’ll learn:

  • Rappelling: Rappelling down a steep rock face is a thrilling moment and our team will learn how to do it safely. We’ll also look at different methods for teaching rappelling and dealing with incapacitated climbers.
  • Rock Protection: Pitons, nuts, cams, hexes… learn the nuances of quality placements. You’ll have the opportunity to place protection in a variety of settings and rock quality.
  • Multi-Pitch Climbing: Towards the end of the course, you’ll put your technical skills to the test on multi-pitch climbs, refining skills such as belay site selection, rope management and routefinding.

-Eli Fierer

IWLS INTERNATIONAL CURRICULUM is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of planning and leading expeditions in foreign countries. Here are just a few topics that will be covered:

  • Cultural History: As visitors to this remarkable place, we place a premium on being respectful and learning about the local culture and history. The rich Mexican history of central Mexico provides great insight into the culture of the region today.
  • Language Skills: The ability to ask directions, purchase items, and communicate on any level is an essential element of leading an expedition to a foreign country. Throughout the course, we’ll develop our Spanish language skills through dialog and lesson plans.
  • Trip Preparation: Logistics in a foreign country have the potential to be complex and tenuous. You’ll take part in shopping at the local market, arranging transportation, and securing permits in preparation for your expedition to Sian Kaan.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL No previous experience is necessary for this course. However, with a desire to learn and an enthusiasm for adventure, this course prepares you for a lifetime of wilderness exploration.

CERTIFICATIONS Upon completion of the 12-day course, participants may qualify for the following certifications:

12 Day Guide Training Certificate of Completion
International Wilderness Leadership School

DATES & PRICES Please see our schedule for current dates and price information.