Outdoor Rock Climbing School

Special NoticeAs of Summer 2022, planning for the upcoming October, 2022 Basic Outdoor Rock Climbing (BORC) School includes returning to limited indoor sessions, both classroom and climbing gym. In addition, the class size is currently increased to 26 students maximum.

PLEASE NOTE: It's impossible to predict the future, but as the Covid-19 situation changes, AMC will continue to follow current CDC guidelines and adapt with appropriate changes as needed, including the possibility of reverting back to on-line and outdoor sessions only.

If you are interested in registering for the Fall (October 22) Basic Outdoor Rock Climbing School, read on and follow the registration instructions near the bottom of the page. Spots will be offered as they become available in the order of those who fill out the online form in Step 2. Those who are accepted will be sent a payment link to pay the $250 course fee to secure your spot.

Outdoor Rock Climbing

The Arizona Mountaineering Club is pleased to offer our Basic Outdoor Rock Climbing School. Our goal is to create a safe, fun experience that introduces you to the exciting and challenging world of outdoor climbing. Upon completion, you will be equipped with the basic skills necessary to join top-rope and multi-pitch climbs led by qualified outing leaders (as appropriate to your climbing ability). This is a comprehensive course in top-rope rock climbing.  Topics include equipment selection (harness, shoes, etc.), rope management, common climbing knots and applicability, rope types and construction, carabiner types and proper usage, climbing calls, belaying with a tube type device and Muenter hitch, rappelling, self rescue and prusiking, escaping a belay, climbing ethics, and basic climbing techniques. Is the AMC Outdoor Climbing school for me? People from all walks of life and a wide variety of ages enjoy rock climbing. No prior experience required!  Many that take the AMC course are outdoor enthusiasts who are looking to expand their ways of enjoying the great outdoors; others have been climbing in a gym for a while and want to learn to be “real rock” climbers or have learned to climb from friends and want to “fill in the knowledge gaps”; and still others are just looking for a challenge or to overcome their fear of heights. No matter what your reason, we’ll make it a fun and rewarding experience. The AMC Schools accept anyone age 14 or older in reasonable physical condition. You don’t have to be a super-fit athlete, just capable of hiking and generally getting around in the great outdoors.  Bring a positive mental attitude and you’ll be good to go.  Note: students ages 14-15 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. CLASS FEE:  $250 for current AMC members.  If you are not already a club member, please complete the membership process by going to http://arizonamountaineeringclub.net/membership/.  Please note that the membership fee is non-refundable.

For Class Instructional Materials (students & instructors), see Basic School Syllabus and Manual

Day Date Time Location
Tuesday Oct 18 5:30pm – 9:30pm in-person, TBD
Thursday Oct 20 6:00pm – 9:30pm on-line
Saturday Oct 22 8:00am – 5:00pm McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Sunday Oct 23 8:00am – 5:00pm McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Tuesday Oct 25 7:00pm - 9:00pm on-line
Thursday Oct 27 7:00pm – 9:00pm TBD
Saturday Oct 29 7:00am – 5:00pm Various locations


Dress casually; the class will be held outside, so bring clothes appropriate to the weather.


  • Technical climbing gear that will be used for the school (yours to keep): 1 belay/rappel device, 2 non-locking carabiners, 3 locking carabiners, 4 prusiks, one 10′ webbing, one 48″ sewn nylon runner (subject to change)
  • Harness and helmet for the duration of the class if needed
  • Basic climbing textbook
  • Instruction through all phases of the class
  • Discounts from local retailers on climbing gear


Climbing shoes are needed for the weekend sessions and must be procured by the individual students.  A limited number of rental shoes are available from the AMC on a first come-first served basis at a cost of $10 for the duration of the school. Rental shoes are also available at the Arizona Hiking Shack or may be purchased at Arizona Hiking Shack or REI. If you buy shoes, do NOT buy too small, as is often encouraged by sales people.  Shoes need to be snug, but your toes should be flat, not curled against the end of the shoe. If the dogs are barking after walking around the store for 15 minutes, try it again with a larger size.


Registration Info: Please follow all FOUR steps below to register for the Outdoor Rock Climbing School.  Class size is limited to 20 students; register early to secure your place.

Step 1:   Are you a current AMC member (i.e. are your annual dues paid for this year)?  If so, GREAT; go to step 2.  If not, you must go to the Membership page at http://arizonamountaineeringclub.net/membership/ and complete the AMC membership process, then proceed to Step 2.

Step 2:   Fill out the ONLINE FORM HERE.  Even if you are already a club member, you must still fill out the online form. Filling out this form is not a guarantee of enrollment as class size is limited.

Step 3:  Print an AMC Liability Waiver.  Read the entire form, complete and sign.  Bring the signed form to the first day of class or follow instructions to scan and return via email.  Students under 18 MUST have the AMC Liability Waiver Form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Step 4: If a spot is available, you will be contacted by the registrar Eric Evans at AMCBasicSchool@gmail.com with payment instructions and a deadline. Those who do not pay before the deadline will be removed from the registration list. Please add the above email address to your contacts list to ensure our emails are not flagged as spam.

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