5-day Trad Climbing March 7, 2022

A 5-day multi-pitch trad climbing course based from Pinnacles Hut, Mt Somers.

trad rock climbing in New Zealand
5-day trad climbing course, Mt Somers.

5-Day Trad Climbing Course Overview


Our 5-day trad climbing course is an expedition style course. This means that the course is delivered at a backcountry hut and requires hiking into the location. This course includes sport climbing, trad climbing, multi-pitch sport, multi-pitch trad as well as rope rescue skills.

This course is suitable for recreational climbers and professional instructors working towards  NZOIA (New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association) NZOIA Rock1 & Rock 2 awards.




This is an intermediate to advanced course, before attending this course, you must  have:

  • completed our 2-day trad climbing course.


  • Be Competent at lead belaying with an ATC/belay plate
  • Can lead climb NZ grade 15 without taking rests or hanging on the rope
  • Have some trad climbing experience or have attended an introductory trad climbing course with a club
  • Have placed cams, nuts and slings while lead climbing.

If you are unsure if you meet the prerequisites for this course, please get in touch with us to discuss before completing your booking.

Note: if you don’t meet the prerequisites for this course have a look at our 2-day introductory trad course or our 7-day trad climbing course.


Rock Climbing Course Location

Climbing at Mt Somers
Mt Somers Climbing


Based out of Pinnacles Hut, Mt Somers, this course starts and finishes in Christchurch. Accommodation at Pinnacles Hut and return transport from Christchurch is provided.

Pinnacles Hut climbing area is one of New Zealand’s best trad & multi-pitch rock climbing areas. The area featuring incredible climbing on hexagonal rhyolite columns and freestanding pinnacles. Grades range from NZ grade 12 to NZ grade 25

Full route guide available @ ClimbNZ  

Getting to Pinnacles Hut


Mt Somers is approximately 1.5 hrs from Christchurch. It takes most groups 3-3.5 hrs to walk into Pinnacles Hut from the Sharplin Falls car park. As this is a remote location, you will need to carry all your gear and some climbing gear into the hut. Once we are established at the hut is just a short walk to climbing crags.




Trad climbing new zealand by Pinnacles Hut, Mt Somers
Pinnacles Hut, Mt Somers


**All your accommodation at Pinnacles Hut is included**

Pinnacles hut is a standard DOC backcountry hut with 17 bunks and a fireplace.

Note: There may be other users staying at the hut during your course.




This course is self-catered, please pack your food for the duration of the course. Fresh drinking water is available at the hut. A full packing list is available to download at the bottom of this page.



Oenz-Outdoor Education New Zealand
OENZ car


Return transport from Christchurch is included with this course.

If you’re staying in a hotel

Free transport is available from any Christchurch accommodation if you’re travelling from out of town to attend one of our courses.

Meeting locations

If you live in Christchurch or have your own transport, please meet us at one of the following locations.







We recommend that you arrive in Christchurch the day before your course. We have a few hotel & hostel suggestions on our FAQ’s page. Please avoid booking accommodation north or east of the city centre.  At the end of the course, we are more than happy to drop you back at your accommodation or directly to the airport.  The earliest time we can have you back at the airport is 6 pm.






We have all the specialist gear & equipment available for you to borrow. If you have your own gear, we encourage you to bring it along as it’s better to train with the gear that you will end up climbing on.  A full gear list is available to download at the bottom of this page.




Trad climbing courses run from October to May each year, visit our Course Calendar for course dates and bookings. If you would like to talk to someone about private training or creating a custom course, get in touch with us today.





We believe that small groups are better for this type of training. So we have a maximum client to instructor ratio of just four clients to one instructor. If there are six clients, you will have one guide and one assistant guide, eight clients, which means there will be two guides, and you’ll operate in two smaller groups.



Learning to climb in christchurch
Climbing at Mt Somers, NZ


Yes, the minimum number for the course to proceed at the advertised price is two clients. We won’t cancel your course if we don’t meet the minimum numbers though. Instead, we will offer you the following options:

a.) A shorter private course with 1-1 tuition – e.g. with one person we can cover the course content much faster, so far fewer days are needed.

b.) You will be offered to continue with the course as planned and cover the extra cost.

c.) We can transfer you to another date.



This trad climbing course includes




trad climbing course with oenz
Climbing at the Fortress, Mt Somers
  • NZ rock climbing grading system
  • Interpreting NZ climbing guide books
  • Knots for trad climbing
  • Racking and selecting gear




  • Climbing calls
  • Buddy checks
  • checking gear & equipment for damage
  • Assessing the safety of climbing routes
  • Vector pulls
  • Fall factors




  • Trad belaying
    • Stance
    • positioning
  • Multi-pitch belaying
      • Redirecting an ATC
      • Belay plate in guide mode
  • Belaying with two ropes (half or twin ropes)


Trad gear placement


Rock climbing New Zealand
Multi-pitch trad climbing
  • Using natural protection
    • Trees
    • Boulders
    • Threads
    • Horns
  • Placed protection
    • Nuts
    • Cams /SLCD’S
    • Hexes
  • Placing the first piece/directional piece


Anchor systems


  • Natural and placed protection anchors
  • Linking systems
    • Slings
    • Cordlette
  • Y-shape anchors
  • W-shape anchors
  • Single point anchors
  • Multi-directional anchors


Climbing Skills


Learn to rock climb at Mt Somers
Multi-pitch rock climbing
  • Lots of time spent climbing!
  • Efficient movement techniques
  • Footwork


Advanced rope and rescue skills


  • Tying off a belay device
  • Prussic up a rope (self-rescue)
  • Escaping the system
  • Lowering an injured climber
  • Haul  Systems
    • Drop loop/2:1 assisted rescue
    • Z-drag/ 5:1 unassisted rescue
  • Multi-pitch abseil descent with an injured climber






Gear List
Course Outline







“I really liked learning about the reasoning behind proper trad placements” -George Norcross, Christchurch

“Thank you for helping me do my first trad climb! I had a blast and learnt a lot, thanks so much.” – Alida Van Vut

“Actually feeling pretty good about leading trad now, so I guess the course worked!”- Steven Torrance



PHONE: +64 3 329 9076                                EMAIL: [email protected]

*Minimum people needed to run a course

Course booking form

Participant Details

Participant details

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Course cost

Course Cost: $ NZD

You can choose to complete your booking using Credit/Debit Card (via Paypal - PayPal account is not required), or by using your Paypal account. If you would like to make payment by Internet Banking or request an invoice please contact us in advance.


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