This is Yamnuska Mountain Adventures’ lead rock climbing 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. Lead climbing requires an entirely different focus than seconding or top roping and this course will cover curriculum to develop your lead climbing skills.
This lead rock climbing 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.
Day 1: 8:00 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 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. $280 plus GST. Available every Monday following ‘Learn to Lead’.
Meeting Time and Place
The course begins at the Yamnuska office at 8.00am on the Saturday morning. 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. 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 from 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.
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 a lunch plus energy snacks.
Equipment and Clothing
The course fee includes use of ropes, draws, harness, helmet, belay device and shared 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
- 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.
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 travelers 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 the 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’s trip.
$425 CDN covers 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.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
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.