Lead Climbing Coaching for Cliffhangers Juniors and Youth Club Students




For NICAS levels 1, 2 and 3 all our students are taught to climb on top-rope. Top-rope climbing is where the rope is in-situ at the top of the wall and the climber ties in at one end of the rope and the belayer controls the rope from the other end.

Lead climbing is a big step on from top-rope climbing in that the rope begins at the bottom on the floor and the climber takes the rope up as they climb clipping into protection as they go. Lead climbing is considered the next stage on from top-rope climbing and many climbers aspire to be able to lead climb because of the thrill and excitement it brings.


Rockstar's Cliffhangers Lead Climber sessions will immerse our students in the thrilling world of lead climbing under the professional coaching of two seasoned climbers with over 30 years of combined outdoor lead and mountaineering experience. 

Lead climbing introduces many new considerations from both a climbing and belaying perspective and naturally these skills are developed over time. As part of regular attendance to these sessions students will learn:

  • Advanced dynamic lead belaying techniques

    Learn how to keep your lead climber safe whilst they on the sharp end of the rope.

  • Clipping techniques for lead climbing

    Knowing how, when and what position to be in to clip your rope protection points (quickdraws) as you climb.

  • Learning how to rest & recover vital energy

    Learning how to rest on your climb to recover vital energy is key for lead climbing. It isn't always possible to rest on your rope!

  • Develop a strong climbing mind

    Being mentally ready to climb is as vital as being physically ready. We'll show you how!

  • Plus so much more...

    Students will expand and develop their personal climbing abilities into new territories by pushing their boundaries and achieving new milestones. Lead climbers have a confidence that is unmistakable! 


  • Every Thursday, 6.30pm to 8.00pm

  • Prices: £65.00 for a 6 session block

    Our lead climbing sessions are booked in blocks of six (rather than individual sessions) as it is important students receive consistency in their learning for lead climbing.

IMPORTANT: Our Cliffhanger Lead Climber sessions are not NICAS sessions and should not be considered a replacement to Cliffhangers Junior Technical or Cliffhangers Youth Club sessions. Students should continue their NICAS and NIBAS sessions as normal.



In order for a student to learn lead climbing safely they must meet a certain standard in both climbing and technical skills. This standard isn't hard and fast for every student and some flexibility may be permitted, however, we believe an acceptable standard is defined by the following:

  • Students must have passed NICAS Levels 1 & 2 and should ideally have the following components of NICAS Level 3 signed off in their NICAS log book:
    3.1 - Demonstrate detailed knowledge of climbing equipment commonly used
    3.2 - Demonstrate and explain 5 warming up exercises
    3.3 - Belay skillfully with two different belay devices (in addition to those used in Level 2)
    3.4 - Demonstrate 5 named climbing techniques
    3.5 - Describe and demonstrate the principles of good climbing movement
    3.8 - Complete a minimum of 30 logged top-rope climbs under NICAS Level 3
    3.11 - Complete 20 boulder problems showing progression under either NICAS Level 3 or NIBAS Level 2
  • Students must be able to consistently on-sight F5+ on top-rope
  • Students must be able to consistently climb the Purple bouldering circuit (V1 to V3)
  • Students must have perfect belaying to the highest standard and belay on their NICAS Level 3 sessions without the need for instructor back-up
  • Students must demontrate consistent safe behaviour and a mature attitude towards their climbing


The above criteria is a benchmark for the standard we feel is suitable for learning lead climbing, however, if you are unsure please email us at [email protected] and we can help ascertain whether your child is ready to begin lead climbing.

If you would like to book your child onto our Cliffhangers Lead Climber sessions then please click the big yellow button below.