ACA Canyon Rating System

Explanation of the ACA Canyon Rating System, including technical terrain, rope work and water classifications.


ACA Skills Checklists

Skills Checklists covering recreational canyoneering skill levels:  Level 1 = 'Core'; Level 2 = 'Aspirant'; Level 3 = 'Canyon Leader 1'; Level 4 = 'Canyon Leader 2'

This Skills Checklist will guide you through the sequence of skills acquisition. Seek out training that will provide you with those skills in roughly the order recommended in the checklists. Consider our Skills Checklists as your road map to becoming a more competent, safe and self-reliant canyoneer.

Skills Checklists

Skills Checklist in Spanish

Skills Checklists also provide you with a useful objective tool for evaluating potential canyoneering partners. Experience does not necessarily equate to competence. Stories are all too common about a beginner who trusted a partner who claimed to be an expert because he/she had descended 20, 50 or 100 canyons, but when things went wrong, the "expert" didn't have the technical skills required to deal with the situation. Instead of being impressed (and trusting) by the number of canyons your prospective partner claims to have descended, use the skills checklists to quiz them about their actual technical competence.


ACA Canyon Resume

Spreadsheet you can use to record your canyoneering adventures and keep track of your training progression.


Canyoneering Signals

Common whistle and hand signals for canyoneering. Trim and laminate the sheet to take it with you on all of your canyoneering adventures. Be sure to make extra copies for your canyoneering partners, too.

signals


Canyons • Canyoneering Primer

Created as a joint effort by many members of the canyoneering community, this informative 24-page booklet addresses canyoneering safety, trip planning, style and ethics. More than 40,000 copies in circulation.


Cañones • Fondo de Cañonismo

La versión en Español de nuestra popular Folleto Cañones.


Mechanical Advantage Primer

An introduction to mechanical advantage systems used in technical rescue.

 

ACA Incident Report

Print this form, or use it as a guide to report incidents on our ACA Facebook Page or Facebook Regional Groups


Copyright Notice

A substantial portion of the material available on these pages was created by Rich Carlson. Some rights reserved. Rich's work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. For more information, visit:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0

Rich offers this material to you in the spirit of a gift. He chose a Creative Commons copyright, which allows you to freely share this material for any non-commercial purpose. That means you can make photocopies, put it on your own blog, and so forth, as long as you don’t sell it or use it to carry advertising. You must also provide attribution so that people who want to find more of Rich's work can do so.

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What people are saying …

"My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the course and now have a new rule for choosing canyoneering partners - ACA course graduates only. You guys are the real deal and you are raising the bar for all canyoneers.”

May 23, 2015

"I wanted to thank you again for the course on technical canyoneering last weekend. It truly was a great course and I am very glad I took it. I learned so much that I think I went into information-overload. So I tried to focus on the main principles you reinforced in the scenarios more than anything else: repetition, repetition, repetition. I guess I am writing because I am so grateful. I have been on the ACA website these last few days and I have noticed how much effort you put into the site, promoting the sport and the proper techniques. Thanks, it has opened up a whole new world for me.”

May 28, 2015

"This course will easily become the standard by which any other canyoneering course will be judged. It was amazing that the professional mountaineering guides found a lot to learn, but the pace was such that a neophyte like me could also pick things up quickly."

May 28, 2015

"As always I am much the richer for my time with Rich. An excellent instructor. Always come away with having learned something new."

May 28, 2015

"I'm so glad I went! I felt like I was learning from the source of knowledge on canyoneering. Really, Rich teaches guides and rescue teams. Instead of me going to a guide, who was probably trained by Rich, I was able to learn from the source! That really shows when he would explain the different techniques/views and how those have changed over time and why. I felt like I was well trained in canyoneering, and also given a depth of understanding that I couldn't get anywhere else. I would highly recommend Rich's classes!"

June 1, 2015

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