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The ECP Rock Climbing School is an introductory rope and rock course for beginning climbers taught by ECP volunteers. Topics include use of equipment, development of climbing skills, and rigging for top-rope climbing. Other types of rock climbing will be touched on, but not formally taught.  No prior experience or equipment is necessary. Classes alternate between indoor classroom and outdoor sessions. The School is offered from mid-April to mid-May every year.


General introduction to climbing outdoors, knots and friction hitches, belaying, rappelling (with and without a pack, extended mode, etc.), building top rope anchors, prusiking, and environmental site considerations and safety.


Description Date Time Location
Intro Party
(pick-up equipment, course materials, etc.)
Apr 7 Fri, 2023 6:30pm to 9:30pm TBD
Class 1 Apr 11 Tue, 2023 6:30pm to 9:30pm Ascend South Side
Outing 1 Apr 15 Sat, 2023 9:00am to 5:00pm Coopers Rock, WV
Rock City Area
Class 2 Apr 18 Tue, 2023 6:30pm to 9:30pm Ascend South Side
Outing 2 Apr 22 Sat, 2023 8:00am to 5:00pm Coopers Rock, WV
Roof Rocks Area
Class 3 Apr 25 Tue, 2023 6:30pm to 9:30pm Ascend South Side
Outing 3 Apr 29 Sat, 2023 8:00am to 5:00pm McConnells Mill State Park
Rim Road
Class 4 May 2 Tue, 2023 6:30pm to 9:30pm Ascend South Side
Outing 4 May 6-7 Sat-Sun, 2023 8:00am to 5:00pm White Rocks, Fairchance, PA
(Camping Overnight)
Outing 5 May 13 Sat, 2023 8:00am to 5:00pm Coopers Rock, WV
Sunset Wall area
Post-graduation Trip
(invitation only)
A weekend planned by each team 8:00am to 5:00pm Seneca Rocks, New River Gorge or Red River Gorge


  • You must be at least 18 years of age.

  • 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 open: Wednesday Mar 1, 2023 12:00 A.M.

COST:   $200 - includes training manual, some basic personal equipment that is yours to keep, rental fees for the club equipment and other fees accepted only using Paypal. You can use the link at the bottom of this page to pay your application fee using Paypal. Also, a $50 deposit is required for use of a club helmet and harness for the duration of the class and will be refunded upon equipment return.

DEADLINE:   Friday March 24, 2023 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.

Applications are now CLOSED!

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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