This is Yamnuska Mountain Adventures’ lead rock climbing training course in Canada! Our Rock 2 outdoor climbing class focuses on the skills needed to become a confident sport climbing leader. Using the local crags of the Bow Valley we will develop the technical skills required to belay, lead and clean single pitch sport climbs. We will also help you develop your climbing skills to be able to efficiently move across the rock while leading. Many rock climbers have completed their first lead on this outdoor climbing class. Outdoor lead climbing requires an entirely different focus than seconding or top roping and this course will cover the curriculum to develop your lead climbing skills.
This lead rock climbing training course in Canada is designed as the next step for guests who have taken our beginner rock climbing course or for guests who have equivalent top roping experience either indoors or outdoors.
Sign up for our ‘Plus Day’ on the optional ‘Day 3’ where you can join a guide-led team to climb one of the many great multi-pitch climbs in the region. An introduction to multi-pitch systems will be covered on this day before starting our climb.
(The guide) had a great mix of experience, knowledge and fun. Instruction was thorough and we had lots of practice time. This was truly one of the best weekends of my life. All around amazing experience! – Shane
Day 1: 7:00 am At Yamnuska Office & Local Sport Climbing Area
- Welcome, introduction, goals, agenda, and issue gear
- Review of hazard evaluation and risk management at the crag
- Review climbing equipment fit and strengths/weaknesses
- Warm-up, review, and practice movement skills on rock (bouldering)
- Top rope belay review (technique, positioning, communication)
- Review and expand upon anchor construction (bolts and trees)
- 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 a controlled setting
Day 2: At Local Climbing Area
- Local crag hazard evaluation and risk management
- Guidebook use and route selection
- 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 and anchor threading (‘switchovers’) practice at height
- Continued movement coaching
- Debrief and instruction for further progressions for rock climbing
Stay for an extra day and put your new skills into practice on a classic Canadian Rockies multi-pitch climb. The instructor-to-student ratio is 1:2. We divide into compatible teams, choose a suitable ‘multi-pitch’ route (several rope lengths in height) and spend the whole day climbing it. This may be a guide-led route depending on suitability and comfort level. Climbs include routes on Mt. Yamnuska, Kid Goat Buttress, Tunnel Mountain, and Cascade. $385 plus GST. Available following ‘Learn to Lead’.
Meeting Time and Place
The course begins at the Yamnuska office at 7.00 am on Day 1. The Yamnuska office is located at 200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore. See this map for location.
Instructors and Group Size
Enthusiastic and extremely talented, your instructors hold climbing certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Your safety and enjoyment are paramount to them. There will be a maximum of 12 students. Instructor/student ratios range down from 1:6. On multi-pitch days 1:2 is the norm. The minimum group size is 3.
Participants are responsible for their own transport to Canmore and during the program. Canmore is a 1 hour (100km) drive west of Calgary.
If you are flying from afar for the program we suggest that you rent a car for your visit. In addition to getting you to the climbing locations, it will allow you to explore our region a bit after program hours. For example, you can visit Banff and enjoy the hot pools and sample the numerous restaurants.
Please note that program venues may be within National Parks and/or Kananaskis Country. For programs where transportation is not provided by Yamnuska/Canadian Rockies Hiking by Yamnuska, guests will be required to purchase their own pass.
National Park passes are available both online at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/admission and in-person at National park gates and some information centres.
Kananaskis Country conservation passes are available online at https://www.alberta.ca/kananaskis-conservation-pass.aspx
Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation in Canmore is not included. A variety of accommodation options exist in both Canmore and Banff, including campsites, hostels, all levels of hotels as well as condo-style accommodation with kitchens or suites. We recommend that you book your own pre and post-trip accommodations well in advance as all levels of accommodations in the Bow Valley fill quickly.
Food is not supplied. You will need lunch and something to drink each day. Bring plenty to drink and lunch plus energy snacks.
Equipment and Clothing
The course fee includes the use of rock shoes and technical gear although you should feel free to bring any gear you already have.
The weather encountered on this program varies greatly, with the courses at the beginning and the end of the season more prone to cold conditions. The list below covers all possibilities. Should sunny warm conditions be forecast some items may be unnecessary. Remember that weather can change fast so even if the day starts out sunny you may still need rain gear in the afternoon. Conditions on the higher climbs on the ‘Plus Days’ are often colder.
Clothing and Equipment List
- Lunch, snacks, and plenty to drink
- Daypack (large enough for spare clothing, your lunch & personal and group climbing gear)
- Sun cream
- Rain Gear
- Clothing allowing for easy and complete range of movement
- Warm weather gear (fleece jacket, long johns, warm hat, etc.)
- Rock shoes (available for your use at no extra charge, please let us know in advance if needing to use these)
- Harness (we will loan you this if necessary)
- Chalk bag and chalk
- Helmet (we will loan you this if necessary)
- Hiking boots or running shoes for the hike to the climbing area.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment on booking.
We ask that you familiarize yourself with our detailed booking instructions and conditions.
Risk is an inherent part of all mountain activities. We strive to manage and reduce it however, it is impossible to totally eliminate. Learn more about our safety and risk management approach here. Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the program. Please view our sample waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travellers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the national and provincial parks, however, costs such as air or ground transportation, long-term care, and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries, and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical, and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure trip.
$485 CDN covers instruction and the 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.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Please note you will be required to sign the Yamnuska Release of Liability, and Waiver of Claims prior to commencing the program. Please review the sample waiver prior to booking and call us with any questions.
Is it for you?
You need to be an active gym climber or outdoor climber, familiar with top-rope belay systems. You should be comfortable climbing 5.7.