New Trad Leader Day 2021

  • Saturday, June 12, 2021
  • 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sugarloaf, MD
  • 1


Registration is closed

New Leader Day 2021

Been leading in the gym and/or sport climbs? Follow trad routes? Want to lead your first traditional route? New Leader Day is for you. This event is for experienced followers who want to make the jump to traditional leading. 

This seminar is intended for those with sufficient trad experience to begin leading multi-pitch routes. Topics covered include: Placing nuts and cams, building the most common and useful kinds of anchors, belaying the second, preparing for and sequencing a traditional lead, and getting down (multi-person and multi-pitch rappels).

The day will include participants mock leading a route as they apply what has been covered during the day. This day will in no way replace professional instruction or the usual years of apprenticeship many climbers take on in order to develop the judgment and skills necessary to lead climb as safely as is possible. This event is meant for those just learning to lead trad climbs.

The event will take place at Sugarloaf, MD.

Skills required:

  The willingness to take responsibility for yourself and the safety of others.

  The ability to lead belay and comfortably follow rock routes. 

   Knowledge of basic climbing knots like: retraced figure eight, figure eight on a bight, overhand knot, overhand on a bight, clove hitch, double fisherman’s knot, friction hitches like the prussic and/or the autoblock, EDK or flat overhand, Bowline.

  Competence in setting up top rope anchors

Please email the trip leader, Rick Dotson ( with a brief resume of your climbing experience, including recent routes followed or led, normal outdoor top rope following level, and any training you've received. 

Equipment required:

•    Personal climbing gear (shoes, helmet, harness) 

•    Two locking biners and belay device (Grigri or autoblocking device preferred)

•    One, 20 ft. cordelette, one short length of cord for an aubobloc

•    One, 1 inch wide, 48" length nylon, runner

•    Headlamp 

•    Appropriate food, water, and clothing for a full day outdoors

If you have a trad rack and rope you should bring them. If you have additional locking biners you should bring them. There will be mentors' gear you can work with.

Carpool to Event: We will meet in the upper parking lot at Sugarloaf and hike to the Cub Scout Cracks area. Please arrive on time. Crowds form quickly and we want to claim our spot as early as possible.

Miscellaneous Cancellation Policy: If you can no longer make the event, please change your registration as soon as possible. This allows people on the wait list to join. If you fail to show for an event and do not cancel within 48 hours, you will be considered a no show. Club members who have 3 or more no shows will not be able to register for future events for a period of one year whether it's due to failure to cancel or the person does not show up for the event at all.

PATC-MS Member Only policy: This event is for members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club-Mountaineering Section only, in good standing with liability waivers on file, unless otherwise stated.

To join the club and enjoy its events and trainings, click here:

Attendance at this event is by agreement of the event leaders only.  If you are under or over qualified, and there is a waiting list, then event leaders reserve the right to swap out attendees. Any person who shows up to an event that is not a member will not be able to participate in the event.


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