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Outdoor Lead Climbing in New Zealand

It is and intermediate form of Outdoor Rock Climbing known also as 'Sport'-Climbing. Clipping bolts with a quickdraw and leading the rope up as you go. These courses are ideal for people with some previous climbing experience who want to take the sport to the next level.

Maybe you are an indoor sport climber wanting to learn the next step and climb safely outdoors? Come and experience a full day’s sport lead climbing course with us! Grab your climbing partner or join our groups and come learn the fundamentals of lead rock climbing on bolted sport routes, with some of New Zealand’s highest qualified instructors.

Learn the best practices to safely lead climbs, with the added bonus of improving your climbing.

To see us in action, click here 


Flexible lead climbing options to suit you

The Social Nature Movement team offers you the choice and flexibility to choose your duration of sport climbing.

We have options for a days lead climbing, two days/overnight, four days and seven days of sport climbing.

Our lead climbing options are for anyone wanting to start sport climbing, get guided around, learn more about skills and knowledge or simply spend time in nature and lead climb as much as possible with a guide on your side.


Sport Climbing

During our sessions, it is likely you will experience falling; the scariest part of sport climbing. Though we have safe and subtle progressions making this less scary and teaching you ways to manage fear and decrease risk. Push yourself mentally and physically by learning to lead climb in New Zealand’s premier (and most scenic) sport climbing venues.

This course teaches the essentials for leading bolted sport routes. It is also a must do for people needing to go beyond learning from a friend; to check they are using good and safe techniques.


We keep our ratios small, so the course is tailored to you

If you have lead climbed before, our instructors will check what you already know. Don’t worry if you don’t have any equipment – we can provide it all, however you are welcome to use your own if you have it, so you can learn to use your own sport climbing equipment safely.

Push your grade and fill those gaps which may be in your technical repertoire such as anchor building or rescue techniques. Having a concentrated burst of climbing with professional instructors can let you step up to a new level of skill.

Learn skills and attain knowledge to demonstrate your experience in lead climbing for others:


Transcend your Outdoor Rock Sport Climbing and go further with us


Check out our booking tab, click the book now button or fill an enquiry here.

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Lead Climbing

Psychological approaches and mental awareness

Advanced climbing techniques and styles

Effective higher-level training techniques

Avoidance and rescue systems

Lead on sport bolted routes

Lead belaying

Quickdraw placement

Clipping methods

Safety considerations

How to lower and clean a route safely

Lots of climbing

The ability to tie climbing knots and an understanding of when/where to use them

Abseiling independently utilising self-protection systems

Knowledge of equipment, use and properties

Safe and effective belay techniques

Lead climbing on bolted routes

Climbing techniques and styles

Anchor building principles

Lead belaying

Quickdraw/runner placement – how to correctly place the quickdraw on your harness and the rock

Clipping methods – efficient ways of clipping the rope into the quickdraw

Safety considerations – when to clip, spotting, rope management, buddy checks

The development of sport climbing and current trends

Advantages and disadvantages of current equipment used for sport
climbing and reasons for choice e.g. dynamic rope, karabiner types, belay devices,
quickdraws, personal safety

Types of fixed protection commonly used at sport climbing venues in
New Zealand

New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA)

Lead climbing is not that hard, most people can learn how to lead climb with good progressions and quality instructors.

To get better at lead climbing one should seek professional assistance from a lead climbing instructor and go out wiht them to practice.

For beginner lead climbers, seek a professional lead climbing course.

No, because you need a lead belayer. Without one it is called free solo or rope solo climbing.

Rock climbing is harder for beginners who struggle with fear of heights, while bouldering is more of a challenge for beginners who lack finger and upper-body strength.

Like mock lead climbing, the best way to practice lead belaying is to have the climber still attached to a top rope, meaning that you will need a third person. With the climber secured to a top rope, the mock lead belayer can practice feeding slack without the pressure of catching the climber if they fall.

Z-clipping is when you clip the rope to your next bolt from below your last bolt or gear. This is most common on routes with bolts closely spaced and when the climber grabs blindly below their waist for the rope to make the next clip.

Lead climbing is relatively safe, it is as safe as the two people lead climbing and lead belaying. Accidents will usually occur due to user-error

We select the best staff for the job based on their skills, knolwedge and experiences. They will be an SNM staff member or we will bring in support from equally competent contractors. Sometimes we also bring in (semi)celebrity guests!

This changes depending on what we do and where we go, but generic items are:


  • Thermal bottom leggings,
  • Underwear,
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Swimwear
  • Socks
  • Thin merino shirt / thermal shirt x 2
  • Fleece jumper x1
  • Woolen jumper x1
  • Wind and Rain-proof Jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm beanie
  • Neck warmer / scarf
  • Warm gloves


  • Jandals
  • Closed-toe footwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal medication
  • Water bottle,
  • Head torch,
  • Toiletries.
  • Waterproof pack liner
  • Backpack to put all of the above in

If we are staying overnight, should you choose not to be accommodated and fed by us, here is what you will need:


  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable mattress
  • Tent


  • Cooker
  • Fuel / gas
  • Lighter / matches
  • Pot / frying pan
  • Cutlery
  • Crockery

All of the above is available to rent / hire / buy



One staff


Activity specific items:



Staff carry:

First Aid Kit
Emergency shelter

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