• Overview
  • Syllabus
  • FAQ
  • Dates & Pricing
  • Gear list

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.

Technical Competence in Sport Climbing that participants will gain:


1. Sport Climbing History and Ethics:

  • The evolution and current trends in sport climbing.
  • NZ Alpine Club Code of Conduct for Rock Climbers.
  • Ethical considerations at climbing areas, including use of top ropes, bolts, chalk, etc.

2. Correct Equipment Usage:

  • Utilize well-maintained equipment as per manufacturer guidelines.
  • Describe pros and cons of climbing equipment and rationale for choices.
  • Perform pre-activity equipment checks and identify signs of wear.
  • Explain fixed protection commonly used in sport climbing venues.

3. Anchor Systems Construction:

  • Use of fixed protection and secure anchors.
  • Equal load distribution, minimal angles, redundancy, and smooth rope movement.
  • Linking multi-point anchors and mixed protection types.

4. Top Rope System Construction:

  • Secure anchors minimizing shock loading.
  • Rope positioned over intended route.
  • Personal safety demonstrated while setting up.

5. Climbing Techniques Display:

  • Leading a climb and setting it up for top roping.
  • Clearing a route after top rope use.
  • Moves required for a participant to complete a grade 15 sport route.

6. Belaying Techniques Demonstration:

  • Using manual locking and brake-assist belay devices.
  • Understanding advantages of different belay systems.
  • Systematic pre-climber checks, clear communication, and safe lowering.

7. Rescue Skills Display:

  • Top rope rescue with maintained tension, prusik access, and self-protected abseil.
  • Abseiling to an injured or stuck climber.

8. Environmental Practices:

  • Understand and promote landowner responsibilities and access protocols.
  • Comply with indoor climbing venue regulations.
  • Promote NZ Alpine Club Code of Conduct and Leave No Trace principles.

9. Cultural and Environmental Knowledge:

  • Indoor or artificial climbing walls.
  • Natural and cultural history of outdoor climbing areas.
  • Geology, flora, and fauna of the climbing site.

10. Group Management and Leadership:

  • Risk management planning.
  • Effective group communication and supervision.
  • Safety awareness and good judgment.


This comprehensive Sport Climbing syllabus focuses on developing technical competence and leadership skills. From history and ethics to equipment usage, climbing techniques, safety management, and environmental responsibility, this qualification ensures a holistic approach to sport climbing education.

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!

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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