Sussex School utilizes the outdoors to promote skills in creativity, courage, citizenship and critical thinking. The Sussex School Climbing Program is one facet of our outdoor programming, which is available to all 6th-8th grade students. There are 3 levels for students to choose from, based on prior climbing experience. Students split time at the bouldering wall at school (renovations are coming this summer!) and Freestone during the duration of the program. A breakdown of the required skills and desired outcomes of each level are below:


As the name suggests, this is an introduction to some of the basics of climbing. This is the perfect launch point for a student who has never or rarely climbed, but is interested in learning more. We focus only on bouldering and building a baseline of fitness and technique. Students  progress from “rainbowing” to the top of the bouldering wall to eventually completing set bouldering problems. If student progress allows, students will have the opportunity to begin top rope climbing.


This program is for students who have spent 10-15 days either in the gym, outside, or both. This group is both bouldering and top rope climbing. Students are expected to complete routes and problems, both inside and outside, as they are set. Students learn safe top rope belay techniques, basic climbing knots, and how to safely communicate with their climbing partners. Students work on progressing through more difficult climbs over the course of the program.


 Students will be expected to be proficient in top rope climbing, bouldering techniques, and climbing communication. Students in the advanced group  focus on pushing their abilities through focused training, advanced instruction, and multiple opportunities to climb outside. If students demonstrate focus and competency in these skills, students  have the opportunity to begin learning the basics of lead climbing. 




  • Beginner $250: Includes 2 Freestone passes and a day of bouldering at Lost Horse

  • Intermediate and Advanced $300: Includes 2 Freestone passes as well as a day of bouldering at Lost Horse Canyon, a day of top-roped climbing at The Heap, and a 4-day, 3-night trip to City of Rocks National Reserve

Select Program Level

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