2021 End of Season & 2022 Season Updates

Rick Green (Ricardo Verde), ACA President spending a holiday with friends in Baja, MX.


The Circle of Trust Grows

I want to start off with a huge thank you to all ACA Members, families and friends.

It has been on an extraordinary two year adventure for the American Canyoneering Association, one with uncertain challenges, significant risk and the potential of reward. By any measure, this time has required sacrifice from everyone, and most people have felt the weight of adjustments to their lives. During this period, the ACA Leadership has relied on the assistance from many wise and caring Members, and was given the honor to be there to help a few others too. Through it all, during times of almost constant ambiguity, the pure intentions of the ACA Team was the anchor to secure our way forward. And to offer our potential for egress, which indeed we needed. We were making last minute adjustments in group sizes, relocations of activities and even cancellation of events….it was a dynamic period that required extra work and grace from many. Yet time and again, each of these challenges (and much more) were respectfully managed with dignity for all. Differing viewpoints and experiences were the core strength that carried us along, helping us to reach the best results together. Diversity of thought with good intent is a powerful combination of forces, and I am thankful to have this positive view of people who give of themselves when things get “spicy”. Therefore, I want to say a huge heartfelt and sincere thank you to all Members, they’re families and friends too. A little over the top perhaps, but it feels like expressing true appreciation for everyones efforts is warranted in this situation.

Fun Stuff Ahead!:

This period in time has left us stronger as individuals and as a community, both technically and socially. We are wiser from our training and canyon experience, plus tighter as a group from the shared adversity. This positive strength will take us into the new year with our very best schedule of courses, workshops and events, release date today Jan 4, 2022. All of opportunity is supported by an incredibly strong and talented Team of Instructors, Assessors and peers who generously share their knowledge and time to empower others.

Here’s a run down of some recent successes and plans for continuing forward:

Recent Achievements:

-Number of students – 522

-Number of practice sessions, workshops and courses – 71

-Number Assessed – 35

-Philanthropy: Through the generosity and hard work of Members, we were able to send aid to 115 Families in Honduras after the hurricanes last year Looking into all sorts of opportunities to help. Ideas?

-Women Pro’s: The ACA Pro Guide Program has Certified very strong Professional Canyoneering Guides. Saori Barlow and Rebecca Haacke, outstanding work! An ACA First!

-GLAR: This gathering for participants of the ACA Leader Program is quickly turning into a World Class Canyoneering Event. The Instructors are awesome, the training areas are too! Quality stuff.

-Pro Guide Cert: Complete update of skills list. New in canyon training and assessments on commercial canyoneering tours. Internships coming soon!

New for 2022

-Updated Recreational Program: We now offer a two stage training program for the pure re-creationalist, Core Canyoneer and the new Sovereign Canyoneer. *See below

-Improved Performance: Our Instructors and Assessors have been training, refining skills and advancing personal knowledge. This dedication to excellence elevates student Members experience.

-Expanded Access: We are offering training in new locations and look forward to providing more opportunities in the future. Check the schedule.

-Travel Opportunities: Pro Guide Assessment in Baja MX Feb 22’. Rawacala-Fest in Honduras, Dec 2022. Opening up Rawacala for greater participation and improved training options.

-Assessment Prep School: Free workshops and paid courses to help students prepare for upcoming assessments in the Leader program. Aspirant, Assistant Leader and Canyon Leader.

-Canyon Rescue Intro Course: Geared for the Sovereign Canyoneer (or anyone) to use for continued education with essential partner rescue techniques.

Full 2022 Calendar of events can be found here: https://www.meetup.com/ACA-Canyoneering-MeetUp/events/calendar/

*The ACA Listens to you!!! The growing demand for a training program dedicated to the recreational canyoneer has been heard! and the ACA’s answer is Sovereign Canyoneer. A new Receational Canyoneer Program with a new technical level of training, to set free those on a journey to explore and have fun with peers.

Step one is ACA Core Canyoneer:

This very popular course helps students develop the skills to be competent as an active participant, when canyoneering. Capable to understand and manage personal safety, to make basic
assessments (weather, time, etc) and assist with some group responsibilities. This course provides students with the basic concepts and critical knowledge to begin seeing these stunning places with confidence and presence while gaining valuable experience.

Step two is the NEW Sovereign Canyoneer:

This course is tailored for the person seeking to be an informed canyoneering teammate. A “partner” in the assessment of challenges and provider of direct input into the processes of finding solutions. Using a hybrid of Skills from the Aspirant and Assistant Leader skills checklists, we have created a course that will increase canyon awareness, expand on workable solutions and provide options to solving some of the more exceptional challenges.

More info on Sovereign Canyoneer here: https://www.canyoneering.net/sovereign-canyoneer/

I want to say a special thank you to our human anchor, Amie Fortin. “The Meat”, who just happens to be vegan. She is a continuous source of knowledge and confidence, going to incredible lengths to improve the ACA experience on every level. The hard work and dedication she puts forth, so things will be better for us, is incredible. When Amies not working behind the scenes to make the ACA run smoother and stronger, she’s out front making sure we are organized, finishing our dinners at Fest and have the correct shirts for the right people. Bad colors are my fault:) When meeting Amie, and you’re organized when contacting her, life is good. If your not……maybe call me first:). Thank you Amie, for ALL you do.

That’s a wrap folks. If you want more yapping from me you’ll have to come down to Escalante or meet up for some vertical fun. I look forward to working together and seeing all of you again soon.

Safe travels,
Rick Green
ACA President