Learn Trad Climbing

Please fill out an application BEFORE you pay your deposit. We want to make sure that our RockPro III camps have campers that are advanced in their skills enough to lead.

In this camp, we’ll be learning to trad climb for one-two weeks! Our goals are to introduce trad lead climbing. Focus on improving advanced climbing techniques in steep and alpine climbs.  Over these weeks, we will build friendships, independence, and strength in the great outdoors of Maine!

RockPro IV is a fun and intense week(s) that will improve your technical skills dramatically, lead skills and give you the confidence to start setting up your own sport routes.

If you love climbing, gear, and big cliffs, you will love this camp. This camp will feature a smaller student-to guide ratio for maximum individual attention and more complex climbing routes.

One of the only camps in the U.S. that takes teens on multi-pitch climbs and teaching the basics of traditional lead climbing to teens! The camp is based in Acadia National Park, home to high-quality pink granite, where the cliffs are loaded with continuous cracks and corners making it ideal for learning traditional lead climbing.

Each day involves a full day of climbing, often multi-pitch, and placing gear. Interspersed with the climbs will be informative lessons on technical skills. You will continue to learn about placing both active and passive protection, setting up anchor systems, placing gear on lead, and setting up more complex climbs on your own. Participants in this camp should have RockPro II or equivalent skills. RockPro III highly suggested.

If you are ready there will be an opportunity to lead routes after demonstrating proficiency on “mock” leads.

 Dates, Content & Pricing

August 6- August 19, 2021 Clifton, Acadia National Park, and Rumney, NH $3000

Pick-up and Drop-Off Locations

  • Alpenglow Adventure Sports (Orono): 92 Main St, Orono, ME 04473
    • Drop-Off Day: 8:00 am
    • Pick-Up Day: 1:00 pm
  • New Hampshire pick up may be possible on this camp. Please contact the Camp Manager for more information. 

Specific Info

General Info

  • Climbers ages 13-18
  • Climbers who enjoy spending time immersed in the wilderness
  • Climbers who are independent and ready to spend time away from family

Through our time at camp we would like your camper to learn: 

  • The principles of leave no trace and how to apply them
  • Review of Anchor Set-Up
  • Review of Passive and Active Protection Gear
  • Advanced Technical Body Work and Climbing Movement
  • Solid Foundation for Traditional Climbing
  • Introduction to Lead Trad Climbing
  • Group communication and teamwork

Lodging Information:

  • Campers will sleep in tents separated by gender.
  • We stay in public campgrounds such as East Mountain Campground and Pawtuckaway State Park.  Campgrounds have bath and shower facilities.

Food Information:

  • Campers join the leaders in preparing delicious, healthy camp meals.
  • Vegetarian options are available as well.
  • Sample evening meals include pasta with sauce and salad, vegetable stir fry w/ chicken side, etc.
  • Breakfasts, lunch, snacks, and dinners will be provided.
  • The food list will be provided separately prior to the trip – we will eat well!
  • Please let us know if you have any food allergies or requests. We will make sure that any food allergies regardless of severity are accommodated. We will also do our best to accommodate various food requests and preferences.
  • Day pack – appx 30L (1800 ci) 
  • Backpack or duffel bag large enough to hold your gear
  • 20 – 30 degree sleeping bag* 
  • 72” x 24” ground pad or inflatable* 
  • 2 one-liter water
  • Hiking shoes or sturdy sneakers
  • Insulating inner layer of clothing
  • Insulating middle layer of Lightweight, loose fitting long pants that dry
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • Warm socks (wool)
  • Underwear (amount at your discretion)
  • Hat
  • Shorts and tee shirts
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Journaling supplies
  • Sunscreen / lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Unbreakable cup, bowl, spoon and fork
  • Toilet kit (toothbrush, comb, etc.)
  • Camera (optional)

Climbing Gear (these are all provided for campers if they don’t have their own)

  • Climbing Shoes
  • Climbing Harness
  • Belay Plate/Locking Carabiner
  • Chalkbag
  • Trad Climbing Rack

Acadia Mountain Guides ask that you don’t send your camper with a phone for correspondence we thrive off of the experience of being in the wilderness and it allows your camper to more genuinely connect with their fellow campers.

We do understand that you are all parents and would like to be able to check on your camper or speak with our camp staff at various times. The best way to do that is by contacting our Bar Harbor store and leaving a message for the camp leaders. Camp leaders are expected to check in with the store every morning and night to ensure any messages that have come in will be relayed to the camper.

In the event of an out-of-camp emergency, you are encouraged to contact our camp manager directly who will subsequently get in touch with the camp leaders and your camper in the most efficient manner.

Our camps consist of four day of consistent activity from the time our camper’s wakeup/arrive at camp until they go to sleep/head home for the day. We expect all campers to be enthusiastic and energetic at the beginning of everyday. Here are a few ways you can get your camper prepared for all the fun activities they’ll be doing at summer camp

  • 15 minutes of general physical activity to raise the heart rate and break a sweat/ a day
    This will ensure that your camper has the stamina and fitness to accompany us on all adventures we might do during the camp in a comfortable manner, if your child gets some extra exercise before camp they are much less likely to become fatigued and discourage during camp.
  • 10 minutes of goal making
    Sit down with your child a week or so before they are destined to head for camp and help them make a goal sheet not only for camp but for after camp. What do they want to learn during camp? Why do they want to learn that? And what will they do with the skills they gain after camp is over?
  • 5 minutes of talking       Camp is most likely going to put your child in a position where they are a bit uncomfortable and maybe experience a camping overnight for the first times by themselves, take five minutes to sit down with your child and talk to them about how these experience might make them feel or any concerns they may have. (Our camp staff is more than willing to accommodate any concerns or discomforts your camper may have but we need you to tell us about them)

There are several potential summits we can reach and areas we could potentially travel in. We will make every reasonable effort to reach desired summits and provide great lines of descent, however, extreme weather, avalanche conditions, inadequate personal fitness, difficult terrain, or park weather / travel closures may make it impossible to achieve our desired summit or descent objectives.

A 50% deposit is required for registration.

Fifty percent (50%) of the deposit is refundable if cancellation is made more than 21 days in advance.

Cancellations made within twenty-one (21) days of the program forfeit the full tuition rate. 

A full refund will be given if Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School must cancel the course. 

Acadia Mountain Guides Summer Camps are closely following updates from the CDC, State of Maine, ACA, and the local public areas that we use. We will again be monitoring updates through the summer to be able to respond to this fluid situation and we are proactively making plans to address different scenarios.

We have changed our Cancellation and Refund Policy again in 2021. We want to encourage parents to go ahead and make summer plans for the outdoors. Should you need to cancel, for any reason related to COVID-19 or its repercussions we will gladly refund you in full.

Any gear you may need can be purchased ahead of the course from our gear store –

Alpenglow Adventure Sports – where you get a 25% off purchases made prior to camp and up to a week later as well as 15% discount off MSRP for life!!! 

Purchases may be made in-store or online. Gear purchased in advance of camp can often be prepared for you to have on the first day of camp.

Alpenglow will also price match any in-stock inventory if you find a better deal on the web for the same item. Simply send a link when you are ready to order to shop@alpenglowgear.com.

A minimum of four (4) participants are needed to run this program and there is a maximum of ten (10).

The decision to run the program will be made three weeks prior to the start date. In the case of low registration, you will have the options of joining another trip, receiving a refund, or possibly paying an additional amount to allow the trip to run with low numbers.

Tipping is never expected but always greatly appreciated. Like many in service industries, leaders supplement their income with tips generated from satisfied clients.

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is certified through the American Mountain Guide Association and the Professional Climbing Instructor Association.

Acadia Mountain Guides actively supports furthering their guide’s development throughout their career. That means our guides are constantly taking steps to progress their skills and will provide you with an exceptional experience. AMG is also a proponent of helping clients reach their goals, whether it’s having an epic day in the mountains or gaining skills to get into other terrains, Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School can get you there!

A History of
Leading the way…

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is the preeminent frontrunner in climbing instruction and guiding in Acadia and across Maine. Since 1994 we have specialized in designing customized experiences or training for you, your family, your group or company.

2021 Staff Coming Soon…


• Since 1994 •

AMGCS is one of 32 AMGA accredited programs in the US and was one of the earliest to pursue and achieve accreditation. AMGCS is the only climbing school in Maine to remain continuously AMGA accredited. We have had one or more full time AMGA rock guides on staff each year since 1994.

Owned by internationally recognized IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide Jon Tierney who has been climbing in Acadia since 1982. Jon has over 30 years of local and worldwide experience. The IFMGA requires full AMGA certification as a rock, alpine and ski mountaineering guide.

All instructors are certified as AMGA or PCIA Single Pitch Instructors and all guides have been trained or certified by the AMGA.

PCIA Accredited

• Since 2007 •

AMGCS has the distinction of also being accredited to the highest standards of the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. The PCIA requires all staff to be individually trained and certified.

Save 15% on
All Gear and Clothing

Become a client of Acadia Mountain Guides and receive a permanent 15% off MSRP on purchases in our stores or at AlpenglowGear.com.

Your Source for Adventure!

Gear Rental Program

AMGCS also rents outdoor equipment for your convenience. All clients receive 25% off rental equipment for use on our courses.
See what we have.