This course is designed for new climbers or less experienced climbers in the over 50 crowd who are interested in gaining some exposure to outdoor rock climbing. You will learn the skills to set up your own top-rope and follow a multi-pitch climb.
Curriculum will be taught in a logical manner to transition your indoor skills and knowledge to the outdoor rock climbing environment. We will be building your confidence in rock movement skills and reinforce technical skills through practice and coaching.
Our classroom for the first two days will be the limestone cliffs of the Bow Valley. The program will culminate on a classic multi-pitch route that suits your abilities and reinforces the skills you have learned.
Your instructor: Sharon Wood – Sharon is a fully certified ACMG Alpine Guide and was the first woman from North America to climb Mount Everest.
Day 1: 8:00 am At Yamnuska Office & Local Climbing Area
- Welcome, introduction, goals, agenda and issue required gear
- Introduction to outdoor rock climbing hazards and risk management at the crag
- Review climbing equipment fit, strengths and uses
- Learn and practice movement skills on rock
- Modifying the Top Rope system to the outdoor rock climbing environment
- Building top Tope Rope anchors
- Introduction to rope care and management
Day 2: 8:00 am At Yamnuska Office & Local Climbing Area
- Lead belaying outside
- Instruction and practice rappelling
- Top Rope anchor cleaning and transition to lower or rappel
- Introduction to the ‘multi pitch’ system in preparation for the following days multi pitch climb
- Introduction to the basics of ‘Traditional’ gear placement and removal
Day 3: Meeting time to be determined by your guide based on conditions and the objective. Complete a local multi pitch climb!
- Equipment check
- Hike to your selected multi pitch climb
- Spend the day climbing a classic multi pitch climb while putting the previous two days training into practice!
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
Seasoned and age appropriate instructors certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides will be your guides and coaches. Your safety and enjoyment are paramount to them. There will be a maximum of 8 students. Maximum Instructor/student ratios are 1:4 on instructional days, and 1:2 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 rock shoes and technical gear although you are encouraged to bring any gear you already have.
The weather encountered on this program can vary greatly. 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 multi-pitch climbs are often colder.
Clothing and Equipment List
- Lunch, snacks and plenty to drink
- Backpack (30-40 Litre alpine back large enough for spare clothing, your lunch & personal and group climbing gear)
- Sun screen
- Rain Gear (minimum jacket, pants if available)
- Clothing allowing for easy and complete range of movement
- Warm weather gear (fleece jacket, base layers, warm hat, gloves etc.)
- Approach shoes or running shoes for the hike to the climbing area.
- Rock shoes*
- Belay device with pear-shaped locking carabiner*
- 1 locking D shaped carabiner*
- 1 120cm sewn sling*
- Chalk bag
*We can loan you the items marked with an asterik but you must advise us in advance that you need them.
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.
$715 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?
This course is the perfect progression for climbers who are 50+ years old and climbing 5.7 or above in the gym. Guests should have top rope belay certification attained from any indoor climbing gym.
The program will also be a great fit for those who have some basic outdoor experience, are climbing at approximately the 5.7 level and are looking towards a multi pitch objective. Approaches to climbing areas range from 10-60 minutes on hiking and climbers trails. Learning is paced for guests that are looking to build skills in logical progression while reinforcing learning with practice.