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: Core; Sovereign, Aspirant; Assistant Canyon Leader; Canyon Leader

Skills Checklists covering pro canyoneering skill levels: Assistant Pro Guide; Lead Pro Guide

These Skills Checklists 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.
Click on the desired list below:

Core

Sovereign Canyoneer

Canyon Leader Skills:
Aspirant Canyon Leader
Assistant Canyon Leader
Canyon Leader

Pro Guide Skills:
Assistant Pro Guide
Lead Pro Guide

All ACA 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.


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 the ACA. Some rights reserved. The ACA'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

The ACA offers this material to you in the spirit of a gift. The ACA 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 the ACA's work can do so.

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Gallery

Visit the ACA Canyon Gallery to browse canyoneering photos from courses, rendezvous, meetups and photo contests.

What people are saying …

"I have been a rock climber for over a decade and didn't really expect to learn anything new. Was I ever wrong. I didn't realize that there were so many specialized systems employed in canyoneering. All of it makes sense. Rock climbing systems are fine for dry rock, but not at all appropriate in a canyon - especially if there is water present."

May 28, 2015

"It's unbelievable how much we have learned in one week. Great teaching and patience displayed by all instructors. Great body of knowledge taught. Good hands-on experience. Good pace and sequence of topics."

July 14, 2019

"I just wanted to let you know I had a great time at the canyoneering course. Thank you guys for being so flexible with the group and for making sure we were all being taught material that suited our experience and interests. I hope to be able to attend one of the advanced courses in the next year."

August 28, 2019

"I am really impressed with not only the skills and techniques but the fact that you put together such a great course. You did a great job and I learned a lot."

July 5, 2018

"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