Advanced Trad Climbing Course

An extensive and in-depth training tailored for advanced trad-climbers and alpinists. During the course will perfect your skills, polish your habits and improve your knowledge and safety.

Vratsa, Bulgaria
5 days
Spring / Summer / Autumn

This is a complex course that will expand your technical skills, your ability to improvise, your tactics and technics of tackling big walls. The emphasis, as always, will be on safety and prevention of accidents but as well as the various solutions in case anything goes wrong. The course will improve your cause and effect way of thinking and expand your ability to improvise in critical situations – whether it will be a self rescue or rescue operation, building an emergency abseiling anchor with low amount of gear or setting a tricky anchor.

The place for the course is the Petzl Rock Trip 2014 destination – Vratsa. It is the perfect limestone paradise to accommodate such a course but any other destination of your choice containing multi-pitch climbs can do the job as well.

*A condition of booking is to have an extensive trad climbing experience as well as a red point level of 6b+.     

* The itinerary depends on your skill level, speed, overall endurance and current weather conditions. 

Day 1


Assessment and revision of your trad-climbing skills: leading on double rope, placing gear, setting up anchors on multiple points, abseiling.


You will lead a 4 pitch route with grade up to 6a to practice:

  • gear placements (between bolts)
  • setting up anchors on gear (at least 3 points)
  • setting up a personal abseil stations with the least amount of gear
  • demonstration on abseiling technics from very unstable anchors

Day 2


You will lead a 3 pitch route with grade up to 6a to practice:

  • multi-pitch climbing on single rope
  • gear placements (between bolts)
  • hauling up gear with pulley systems
  • abseiling with Gri Gri on single rope + rap line
  • simultaneous abseiling on Gri Gri on counterweight


Demonstration and practice of effective algorithms of descent with an injured partner below us (conscious or not). Practice of effective ways of critical first aid with climbing gear (prevent bleedings; immobilizing limbs etc). Practice of different means of evacuation depending on conditions:

  • simultaneous descent of the party
  • abseiling on ropes already on tension
  • abseiling with the partner attached to you
  • lowering on connected ropes
  • rescue technic for unconscious leader

Day 3


You will lead a 3 pitch route with grade up to 6a to practice:

  • gear placements (between bolts)
  • fixing lines with minimum gear


Movement on fixed ropes up and down with minimum or specialized equipment, passing a knot during ascend or descend.

Day 4


You will lead a 4 pitch route with grade up to 6a to practice:

  • fastest ways to manage bolt anchors
  • gear placements (between bolts)
  • best algorithms for changing leadership
  • best algorithms for multiple abseils


Lecture on the specialized gear for technical aid climbing (sky hooks, bird beaks, copper heads, ladders, fifi hooks, pitons etc.). Demonstration and practice of technics for technical aid climbing using the gear listed above. Work with hammer and pitons. 

 Day 5


Ascent of Central Wall /260-430m/.


Revision of the course and further practice of technics of your choice.

*Optional: Setting up a hanging bivouac – hammock / portaledge.

All items marked with * can be rented from the guide.


  • Approach shoes with climbing zone
  • Climbing shoes
  • Chalk bag*
  • Climbing harness*
  • Climbing helmet*
  • 3 locking carabiners; belay sling; belaying device, short 6mm prusik*
  • Glasses
  • 30l backpack


  • Warm jacket
  • Hat/Buff
  • Thin 5 finger sturdy gloves

Other Items

  • Thermos
  • Sunscreen & lip protection
  • Headlamp
  • Snacks
  • Personal items /prescription medicine; contact lenses; blister kit; maintenance equipment etc./

Guest House Lodging

  • Spare socks; underwear; clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Ear plugs
  • Phone charger


  • 1 person: 900 EUR
  • 2 people: 1400 EUR

* The prices cover the guiding fee. Yours and the guide’s expenses for logistics and accommodation are on you.

* The prices may vary based on the length of the trip and the specific topics tailored for your personal preferences.


Having an insurance is mandatory for the booking. You must be insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to opt for coverage against cancellations and curtailment as the outdoor activities are strongly dependent of constantly changing meteorological conditions.


All programs of Vertical Vector are led by IFMGA mountain guides with substantial experience in the fields of skiing, climbing & mountaineering. The guide to client ratio for this course is up to 1:2. For larger group another guide will join.


During the program we will sleep at a guest house of choice in Vratsa or Zgorigrad. Both are located at a 5 min drive from the rocks. We can also set a tent camp in the vicinity of the rocks.

Getting There

We can pick you up from Sofia airport or meet you directly at Vratsata pass where most of the course will take place.

Cancelation by the client prior to the trip

If you book your Tour more than 30 days in advance, you will have a 48-hour span after booking to cancel and receive a full refund without any deductions. After that period of time, if you decide to cancel the Tour, you will have the possibility to do so in accordance with the following indemnity scheme (refunded or to be paid depending on whether the payment was made and received) plus covering the non-reimbursable expenses the Guide paid to organize the Tour.

  • 100% refunded (or 0% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide up to 60 days before the first day of the Tour.
  • 75% refunded (or 25% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide between 59 and 30 days before the first day of the Tour.
  • 50% refunded (or 50% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide between 29 and 21 days before the first day of the Tour.
  • 0% refunded (or 100% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide less than 21 days before the first day of the Tour.

Cancelation by the guide prior to the trip

If the guide receives injury, illness or is somehow unable to attend and also to find a replacement, he will reimburse the full amount of money invested by the client in the form of advance payment and other expenses like hut bookings. However the Guide would not cover your transportation costs (booked flight tickets, car rental, etc.) You are strongly advised to insure such investments.

Trip cancelation due to external circumstances

  • In case of possible bad weather or unsuitable conditions recognized up to 7 days prior the trip, the guide will:
    Propose a similar or different activity in line with the weather/conditions possibilities. If you refuse this option you will receive 0% refund.
  • If similar activity is impossible and cancelation occurs, the guide is to be paid the minimum daily fee (380EUR) for each day canceled.

Trip cancelation on terrain

In case of unexpected or unforeseen weather / terrain conditions or client skill deficiency, the Guide keeps the right to cancel the trip in order to guarantee safety. In this case you will receive 0% refund unless the Guide offers you otherwise. If there is mutual agreement of cancelation due to bad weather the day before the guide is to be paid the minimum daily fee for each day canceled.

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