Development of the ACA's training and certification programs began in 1999. Since then, they have been continually refined to insure we always present the most current skills and techniques, while adhering to the highest standards. The cornerstones of the programs include training, mentoring, experience and practice, assessment and certification.

Training for Canyoneers of All Skill Levels

Canyoneering is not a new sport; it has been around for decades. It has, however, enjoyed a tremendous surge in popularity over the past several years. Unfortunately, many of the people who are discovering this exciting sport remain unaware of the inherent risks and the complex technical skills required to enjoy it safely. The rope skills learned from rock climbing and rappelling are a good start, but will prove to be inefficient, and sometimes dangerous, in an aquatic or semi-aquatic canyon environment.

Since 1999, the American Canyoneering Academy (formerly the American Canyoneering Association) has been the premier source for training, technical information and services for recreational canyoneers, canyon leaders, guides and rescue professionals in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and around the globe.

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Canyon Leader Training

The ACA's Canyon Leader credential is intended as a recreational designation for those who facilitate canyoneering programs in group settings such as Boy Scouts, universities, camps, schools, clubs, and our own canyoneering meetup group. The mission of the Canyon Leader program is to improve canyoneering safety by developing qualified mentors, thereby reducing the number of canyon descent parties that have only beginner level skills. Goals of the program include: (1) Provide training and mentoring for beginner canyoneers, and (2) Provide advanced skills and canyon rescue training for experienced canyoneers who volunteer to serve as mentors for beginners.

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The ACA currently offers three certifications:

  • Professional Canyon Guide
  • Canyon Rescue Technician
  • Rappel Master

 

Pro Canyon Guide Certification

ACA-PROThe ACA is the only organization in America to offer a comprehensive certification program for professional canyon guides. Certification from the ACA involves rigorous training and assessment with two key factors in mind: (1) Becoming the best canyon guide possible, and (2) Delivering the greatest reward for your clients. Success in the program indicates that an individual has been assessed to the standard of an internationally recognized, professional body.

Professional Canyon Guide certification is offered in three levels:

  • Fixed Site / Single Pitch Canyon Guide
  • Pro Canyon Guide
  • Master Canyon Guide

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What people are saying …

“Rich did a great job (as usual).

He knows how to cater to a large, diverse group and make everyone feel welcome.”

“Just wanted to drop you a quick note

to let you know that I really enjoyed your course. Thanks for your patience. You are a great teacher. I have found in the past that just because one has the knowledge on something, doesn’t mean they have the ability to convey that information to others in a way they can retain it. You actually have the gift. I know I retained more that I thought I would. It was a pleasure spending those three days under your guidance.”

“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.”

“ART of Canyoneering

3-day course was very informative. It included indoor class time & outdoor practical application. Rich is a “true” teacher, very patient and knowledgeable. I concur with others that this course was a bargain & absolutely worth my 8-hour drive to get there! I will be telling others about this course. Thank you, Rich, for your servitude.”

“Rich’s­ Anchors, Rigging and Techniques class was excellent,

and well worth attending. We learned so much that was useful from this master teacher. Thank you Rich!”

“The technical info and application of methods was outstanding.

Rich and Stefan provided some great approaches to common canyoneering problems. If Rich had not told me that it was the first [ACA] course, I would not have known. Everything went very smoothly.”

“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!”

“I learned more ropework

in 6 days with Rich than I learned in 25 years of climbing. Thank you for introducing me to the world of canyoneering.”

–Tom Jones

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