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  Phone: 403 678 4164 - 1 866 678 4164

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Dates and Prices


$975 CDN includes instruction and use of technical gear. Accommodation and meals are not included but low cost, easy options exist. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is extra. Gratuities not included.

Cancellation Insurance available through the Simpson Group.

Is it for you?

This course is designed for:

  • Basic & Intermediate level indoor rock gym climbers (you can top rope lower grade climbs < 5.9, you are not leading climbs).
  • People who have not climbed before or who have a little outdoor climbing experience but who are in good physical shape.

If you are an indoor climber and climb 5.9 and greater and you are leading or feel ready to lead you should consider our 'Rock Climbing Level 2 - Learn to Lead' course or if it's multi-pitch climbing you want then 'Hot Rock'.

Rock Climbing Level 1 & 2 - Rock Evolution

Rock Evolution is an innovative and modern rock climbing development program designed for beginner to intermediate climbers.

This 5-day course incorporates elements from Yamnuska's ‘Rock 1 - Outdoor Rock Intro’ and ‘Rock 2 - Learn to Lead’ programs, starting with the basics of movement, equipment and the top rope system and progressing onto learning to lead on bolted sport climbs. The course also introduces instruction on the multi-pitch system, traditional gear placement/removal, rope handling techniques and of course plenty of movement skill coaching and development.  Our program is designed to accelerate the learning curve with the goal of having guests become competent and independent top rope and sport lead climbers.

As with all Yamnuska programs, this course is taught by technically gifted instructors who are certified by the ACMG or other member countries recognized internationally by the IFMGA. Our personal approach to instruction allows for each participant to develop at their pace.

Course Agenda

Please note that this outline is a sample only as we may change locations and alter the progression of subjects to best adapt to weather conditions and student abilities.

Day 1: 8:00 am At Yamnuska Office & Local Climbing Area

  • Welcome, introduction, goals and agenda and issue gear
  • Introduction to hazard evaluation and risk management at the crag
  • Introduce climbing equipment (proper fit and strengths)
  • Learn and practice the basics of movement on rock (bouldering)
  • Introduction to the ‘Top Rope’ climbing system
  • Learn to tie-in to the climbing rope
  • Practice the ‘Top Rope’ belay and lowering system - establish proper techniques and habits
  • Learn Climbing communication
  • Introduction to rope care and management
  • Continued movement skills training and development while climbing routes

Day 2:  At Local Climbing Area

  • Local crag hazard evaluation and risk management
  • Guide book use
  • Learn and practice intermediate movement skills on rock (bouldering)
  • Consolidate ‘Top Roping’ skills
  • Top rope anchor construction using bolts
  • Instruction and practice rappelling
  • Continued movement skills training and development while climbing routes

Day 3: Multi Pitch climb

  • Instructor led multi-pitch climb. The real thing! Ascend a rock face in the Banff or Canmore.  We divide into compatible teams, choose a suitably challenging route and spend the whole day climbing. The goal will be to climb a personally challenging objective while learning the skills required to second a multi pitch rock climb. We will introduce lead belaying prior to starting our climb.

Day 4:  At Local Climbing Area

  • Hazard evaluation and risk management at the crag
  • Guidebook use and route selection
  • Warm up, review and practice movement skills on rock (bouldering)
  • Introduction to the ‘Lead Climbing’ system
  • Instruction and practice with quickdraw use (clipping bolts, direction, efficient clipping)
  • Simulated leads to practice the lead climbing system
  • Introduce anchor cleaning ('switchovers') and practice in controlled setting
  • Introduce rappelling

Day 5:  At Local Climbing Area

  • Local crag hazard evaluation and risk management
  • Leading techniques for sport climbs
  • Refine clipping technique
  • Managing high first bolts (stick clipping)
  • Simulated or real leads (dependent on both you and your guides comfort level)
  • Anchor cleaning ('switchovers') practice at height
  • Continued movement coaching
  • Debrief and instruction for further progressions for rock climbing


The Bow Valley is blessed with varied rock and lots of different climbing crags. Expect to climb on sandstone at Mt. Yamnuska Practice cliff, Limestone slabs at Wasootch Creek, quartzite at Lake Louise (one of Canada's greatest climbing cliffs) and at one or more of many other locations such as Grassi Lakes, Cougar Creek, Heart Creek, Kid Goat, East End of Rundle or Mt. Yamnuska. We will be based in Canmore but will travel each day to get the most from the variety of climbing available in the area. Your instructors are very familiar with rock climbs in the Bow Valley.

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