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The ECP Rock Climbing School is a gym-to-crag course for climbers taught by ECP volunteers.  This class is for climbers with some experience rope-climbing in the gym and would like to get started in the world of outdoor climbing. The curriculum will have a strong focus on safely setting up top ropes, off of both natural and fixed gear anchors, as well as rappelling. Classes alternate between indoor classroom and outdoor sessions. The School is offered from April to May every year.


General introduction to climbing outdoors, knots and friction hitches, rappelling (extended mode, etc.), building top rope anchors, and environmental site considerations and safety.


Description Date Time
Intro Party
(pick-up equipment, course materials, etc.)
Apr 3 Wed, 2024 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Class 1 Apr 9 Tue, 2024 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Outing 1 Apr 13 Sat, 2024 9:00am to 5:00pm
Class 2 Apr 23 Tue, 2024 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Outing 2 Apr 27 Sat, 2024 8:00am to 5:00pm
Class 3 Apr 30 Tue, 2024 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Outing 3 May 4-5 Sat-Sun, 2024 8:00am to 5:00pm


  • You must be at least 21 years of age.

  • You must have a belay certification from climbing gym (Ascend, Climb North or similar gym)

  • Must be able to tie the figure 8 / figure 8 follow-through

  • Must come equipped with own climbing shoes, harness, assisted braking belay device (must be Pretzl Grigri or Edelrid Giga Jul), and a tube belay device (e.g., Black Diamond ATC or Guide)

  • Must have helmet (can rented from ECP)

  • You must also review the schedule and be sure you can attend all sessions before submitting the application. If you cannot make all of the classroom AND outdoor sessions, please do not apply.  There are no make up sessions.

  • You must be an up-to-date, dues paying member of the ECP.  If you are not an ECP member, please click the following link to join or reinstate your membership:

Join / Renew Membership


    1. Removal from the ECP Rock Climbing School will be at the discretion of the directors. You may be removed from the rock school if you fail to satisfy school requirements including, but not limited to, attendance, participation, basic safety competency
    2. Admittance into the Rock Climbing School is competitive and class size is limited. Registering for the school does not guarantee acceptance.
    3. Based on the number of participants and volunteers and the nature of rock climbing, only students and instructors are allowed to attend classes and outings. 
    4. Although you can join or renew your membership to the ECP at the same time as submitting this application to the Rock Climbing School, payment of the ECP annual membership fee does not guarantee a place in the Rock Climbing School Class. If not admitted to the school, only your Rock Climbing School fee will be returned.
    5. Once the class is filled, wait-listed applicants will only have the Rock Climbing School fee refunded.


    Applications Are Closed!

    COST:   $160 - some basic personal equipment that is yours to keep, rental fees for the club equipment and other fees accepted only using Paypal. Please use the link in the application. Also, a $50 deposit is required for use of a club helmet for the duration of the class and will be refunded upon equipment return.

    DEADLINE:   Friday March 29, 2024 11:59 P.M.

    The Rock Climbing School relies on graduates returning in the following years to volunteer their time and help run the program. We are seeking enthusiastic applicants that have an interest in becoming an active member of the ECP.

    If you have any questsions:   Email the Directors

    If after reviewing and agreeing with the above requirements, terms, and conditions, and you are ready to apply, click on the link below to begin:

    * Note * Your application is not complete and it will not be considered for selection until you have paid your school fees using paypal.

    Adopting the motto "Research, Education, and Adventure" in 1947, for three generations the ECP has provided the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new friends who share a willingness to accept the physical and mental challenges of outdoor exploration and adventure.

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    Mailing Address:
    5715 Beacon Street, No. 516
    Pittsburgh, PA   15217

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