The time has come! You’ve spent the winter training hard at the gym and are ready to ditch plastic holds for warm rock in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Join Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and Sonnie Trotter for three days of learning the ropes from one of Canada’s most accomplished rock climbers. Throughout our rock climbing training program, we’ll focus on getting you set up and poised for a summer of endless sending.
Sonnie Trotter has been joyously climbing for 24 years, and within that time has established hundreds of first ascents around the world. While having climbed multiple 5.14c and 5.14d sport climbs, as well as a dozen 5.14 trad climbs, Sonnie’s energy has gravitated mostly towards first ascents and exploring new terrain no matter the grade. Now at 39, Sonnie calls Canmore, Alberta home. With its endless mountain aspects and small-town feeling, he claims it’s the perfect place for him and his wife to raise a family. Sonnie has two kids, a boy and a girl ages 5 and 1, it’s no doubt he has his hands full these days. Trotter recently made headlines again with a first free ascent of El Cap’s North America Wall which he climbed in a surprising 13 hours leading all 26 pitches with Tommy Caldwell at the belay. Sonnie says he’s only getting warmed up, and still has dream projects scattered all over the world, from Patagonia to the Yukon. He’s a self-proclaimed ‘lifer’, stating that no matter how much he climbs, he can never get enough. He’s been a certified ACMG member since 2007.
Objectives and Agenda
Day 1: We meet in Canmore at 7:30am where we will complete waivers and go over the program objectives and information. From there we will head to our first destination to climb, working on skills to help you progress over the next couple days.
Day 2-3: Let’s get climbing! We will work together to pick the best routes for your personal objectives! Amazing single pitch routes, movement coaching, lead tactics and how to push your grade are all possible objectives for these days.
Day 2 Evening: Join us at Yamnuska’s office for some beverages and snacks. Sonnie will do a presentation and slideshow from his pursuits in the mountains.
Meeting Time and Place
We will meet at the Yamnuska Office (200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore) at 7:30am on Day 1.
Instructors & Group Size
Enthusiastic and extremely talented, your instructors hold climbing certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Our instructors are chosen not just for their technical climbing virtuosity but also for their ability to instruct and coach.
Sonnie has taught climbing clinics all over North America. Today, Sonnie works part time as the Head Coach of the Canmore Junior Climbing Team (CJCT), a group of over 20 youth local competitors ranging from ages 9-19. Together, they travel to local, regional and national events throughout the year.
Instructor to student ratio 1:6. Minimum 4 guests, maximum 12.
Transportation is not included for this program. We will rely on guest’s vehicles to reach the trailheads.
Canmore is situated 100km (65miles) west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway. It is well served by scheduled bus lines both from Calgary (airport and downtown), Banff (20km west) and points further west. Calgary International Airport is well connected to major cities throughout North America and Europe. Vehicle rental is available both in Calgary and in Canmore.
Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation in Canmore is not included. A variety of accommodation options exist in both Canmore and Banff. 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. Each day bring plenty to drink and a lunch plus energy snacks. We particularly suggest bringing a Thermos and hot drink.
Equipment & Clothing
For this program guests should have their own personal climbing equipment as listed below. Yamnuska will provide group climbing equipment (ropes, anchors, draws).
The weather encountered on this program varies greatly. With the course at the beginning of the season it is more prone to cool conditions. The clothing list below covers all possibilities. Should sunny warm conditions be forecast some items may be unnecessary. Remember that weather can change quickly so even if the day starts out sunny you may still need rain gear in the afternoon.
Clothing and Equipment List
- Lunch, snacks and plenty to drink
- Day pack – 25-35 L (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
- Rock shoes
- Approach shoes or running shoes for the hike to the climbing area.
- Belay device with locking carabiner
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require a deposit of 35% at the time of booking. The final balance is due eight weeks before the program start date. We will also need you to complete the mountain experience questionnaire.
We ask that you please 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.
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.
$998 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 program is for climbers seeking fun, adventure and great climbing. You must be comfortable top roping 5.10 at the gym and have a good level of fitness.