Utah & Nevada Rock Climbing

Leadership & Guide Training Course
(5 & 12 days)





IWLS Utah & Nevada rock climbing courses are set in the wilderness of the west desert. Wide scenic desert landscapes and the towering faces of the House Range serve as a backdrop. Notch Peak, with a vertical limestone west face that rises 4,450 feet, dominates the area and is considered by many to be the “desert equivalent of Yosemite’s El Capitan”. This extensive limestone formation sits atop a massive granite shield. Climbs range from 5.5 slabs and easy multi-pitch crack climbs, to tenuous 5.11 overhangs and airy 5.10 off-widths. There are innumerable choices to facilitate your climbing technique advancement and guiding skills.

Even in the middle of winter, the sunny days provide an enjoyable climbing experience. Imagine pulling over a roof of an inside corner, managing your fellow group members for a day of top-roping, or performing a mock rescue of an injured climber. Picture yourself climbing warm granite cracks with competence while making solid nut and cam placements.

Your IWLS course in the classroom of Utah’s west desert offers the perfect combination of wilderness, a wide variety of climbing options, and professional instruction.

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.

  • Leadership: Opportunities to lead the group will be abundant and you’ll have the time to learn and practice multiple styles of leadership.
  • 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.
  • Safety and Risk Management: Safety is always the #1 consideration. As the course progresses, you’ll develop an awareness to appropriately asses risk and make safe decisions.
  • Travel Techniques: Course instruction will help you discover ways to safely maximize your efficiency, whether hiking down a well-beaten path or traversing an exposed ridge.

-Kevin Forster

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

  • Climbing Technique: Whether stemming an inside corner, jamming an off-width, or friction climbing on a blank slab, you’ll learn the techniques to climb efficiently on a variety of different features.
  • 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.
  • Route Selection: Where to set up the fixed belay? How to avoid rock and ice fall? How to select the most appropriate route from far below? You’ll learn the answer to these questions and more as we climb a variety of established routes in addition to possible first ascents.
  • High Angle Rescue: What happens when things go bad? We’ll practice escaping the belay and getting to the aid of an injured climber.

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

CERTIFICATIONS Upon completion of the 5 or 12-day course, participants may qualify for the following certifications:

5 or 12 Day Certificate of Completion
International Wilderness Leadership School

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