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Difficulty descriptions are by nature very subjective. The categories below represent generalized distinctions in terrain, level of commitment, time spent at elevation and overall trip duration. Level of commitment refers to the ability to opt out of activities such as peak ascents from a base camp. A committing trip requires a daily mileage to be completed each day.

These trips typically travel on groomed trails at a leisurely pace. You can expect maintained trails, gentle grades and more flexibility in terms of your destination for the day. Hikers will carry mainly the essentials in a light daypack and travel anywhere from 3 to 8 miles depending on the trip or preference.

Moderate- Basecamps
These include hiking, backpacking, or stock-supported trips that take place mostly on maintained trails to get to camp. These trips hike into a set basecamp and then offer optional destinations with varying degrees of challenge. You can expect modest climbs on uneven terrain. Total distances are often 4-7 miles of hiking per day over 3-4 days of hiking.

These trips include on- and off-trail hiking or backpacking or stock-supported trips. The trails can consist of uneven terrain with modest to difficult climbs and some steep passes (gains of 1000-2000’). These trips are typically 3-5 days in duration but can be longer. For backpacking trips, they can include carrying a fully weighted pack (30-42lbs) and travel 6-10 miles per day.

These trips include on- and off-trail hiking, backpacking or stock-supported trips with uneven terrain and steep grades and passes. These trips are more physically and mentally challenging and usually 7-8 days in duration. For backpacking trips, pack weight will consist of (30-40lbs). Because these types of trips have a required mileage to complete each day, the level of commitment is high. Trips in this category spend significant time at higher elevations and often cover 8-12+ miles per day with average gains/losses of 1,500-3,000’ per day. The most successful people on these trips have some prior overnight backcountry experience.

These trips include on- and off-trail hiking or backpacking on uneven terrain with steep grades. These trips travel 10-12+ miles per day and can vary from 8-21 days in length. Given the mileage and duration, there is an increased amount of physical and mental challenge throughout the trip. Pack weights will consist of 35-45lbs depending on the resupply schedule. Because these types of trips have a required mileage to complete each day, the level of commitment to reach your destination is high. The most successful people on these trips have extensive overnight backcountry experience.

Rock Climbing Skills Day

About the trip

Increase your climbing skills! Customized classes with SYMG’s professional guides are a great way to improve your climbing technique, dial in your technical skills, and add efficiency to your style. Classes can include learning to lead sport or trad, anchor building, rescue skills, multi-pitch climbing, improving your technique, or a variety of other skills. Tell us about your goals and we'll create a customized day just for you!

We guide in the scenic southern Yosemite high country with access to more than 1,000 different climbs including Fresno Dome, Shuteye Ridge and The Balls areas. Sport, trad, top-roping or multi-pich routes are all possibilities. Away from the hustle and bustle of Yosemite Valley, this spectacular area is perfect for teaching and creating intimate, personalized experiences.

Our professional guides have spent years perfecting their climbing skills in and around Yosemite and hold certifications commiserate with the level of guiding they provide. All of our guides are exceptionally personable individuals who look forward to not only teaching and guiding you in these spectacular locations, but getting to know you as well.

Equipment: We provide all ropes & climbing protection. We can also provide rock climbing shoes, harnesses & helmets free of charge as indicated on your registration form.

Meals: Meals are not provided. Please bring snacks & light lunch food, as well as 2 liters of water.

Your Cost Includes: All climbing gear (as noted above) and professional climbing guide(s).

Not Included: Transportation, personal gear (except as noted above), lunch and water, tips for guides (10-20% of trip cost is typical).

Preparation: No experience required. We cater to all levels of physical and technical proficiency.


Meet at your hotel, or other designated location in Southern Yosemite. You'll follow your guide in your vehicle to the climbing sites (all roads are accessible with a two-wheel drive vehicle, though an SUV style vehicle may be more comfortable on the dirt roads). All climbs are catered to your own abilities and interests. Tell your guide your goals and they will do their best to meet your needs. Some possible options are:

An introductory day of climbing at the tranquil Willow Creek Wall. Spend the day learning footwork, belaying, or knots at a tranquil crag away from the crowds.

Adventure out to Fresno Dome for a day of awe inspiring climbing above tree-line. Spend the day mastering the basics of multi-pitch lead climbing on some of the shorter routes or challenge yourself with climbs up to 600 feet. Fresno Dome is also great for learning gear placement, anchor building, and for self-rescue clinics.

A refreshing escape to the high country cliffs of Shuteye Ridge. These steep granite crags offer opportunities for all climbers to work on climbing technique and push their strength to the next level, whether it is 5.7 or 5.14. 

Trip Details

9am-5pm (8 hours )

Group size
1-6 climbers per guide.

Difficulty Rating

$395 for 1 Guide with up to 2 participants
$95 for each additional participant up to 6 people

Dates of trip in 2019
Daily June 1 - October 1. Call for availability in the off-season, 800-231-4575.


Alex impressed us not only by his excellent climbing skills and personality as a guide and instructor. His constant focus on the utmost safety was of the highest level we had seen from mountain guides in the Alps. Thanks to Alex these three days made the trip the "lifetime experience" my husband had looked for and left me very satisfied with the decision to trust on you experts at Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides.

-Annette & Sigfried Bruckner, 2014

It seems like every time I climb with SYMG, I have the privilege of getting to see the very best side you all have to offer. Each member of your company has a very special way of communicating and teaching. They are all unique, but they all also share two important characteristics--patience and knowledge. Our guide worked really hard with us all day-not just climbing with us or getting us up the wall, but teaching us as well--making sure we felt like we were learning everything we were doing. He was not just patient-he was kind, and respectful.

-- Melissa Stack, May, Multiple Rock Days