Camp Highlights

  • Sport climbing specific course with Kris Irwin
  • Fathers Day discounted course available!
  • Professional instruction by fully ACMG-certified guides
  • Experience two different crags in the Banff/Canmore area
  • Max. 6:1 participant to guide ratio

Dates & price

  • June 12-13 -> $350 + Tax / Person
  • June 19-20 Fathers Day course -> $300 + Tax / Person

Kick off Your Climbing Career Right With Level 1 of the ACC Weekend Climbing Courses with Kris Irwin

Are you an indoor climber wanting to transition to outdoors but intimidated by the risks? Are you comfortable climbing on bolts but lacking the confidence to start leading trad routes independently? 

Our Intro to Sport Climbing course is our first offer of 4 climbing courses to get you confident to climb trad multipitches outside. The sport course focuses on rope management, clipping, taking gear off the wall "cleaning" and leading techniques to keep you safe while boosting up your confidence. If you pair this course with another offering of the 4 weekend climbing courses you will receive $25 off each course.

And this year we are offering a discounted Fathers Day course for people who want to spend the weekend learning outside with their Dad/kids.

No matter your background, either our Intro to  Sport Climbing course will teach you the required skills. Many experienced climbers will tell you that when it comes to  safety, it is important to get into the right habits from day 1. Taking one of these course will ensure just that. And who better to teach you than long time bow valley climber Kris Irwin.

Get professional orientation to the spectacular rock climbing on offer in the Bow Valley and kick off your lead-climbing career right this summer with the ACC!

Camp Objectives

Your "classroom" could be anywhere from the front range crags in Kananaskis all the way through to the "back of the lake" crags at Lake Louise. The climbing areas will be determined by your guide(s) based on a number of factors i.e. weather, distance, group size and dynamics.

Sport Edition
Our experienced guide will take you through basic to advanced techniques that will give you the knowledge and confidence to head out on your own sport climbing. Climb 5.5? Climb 5.13? Doesn’t matter, this course will focus on skills development rather than grade of climb. This will allow all participants to learn on an equal footing.

Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 

Sport Edition


  • Meet in parking at 8:00 am. Location will be emailed to you one week before the course start date. Go over waivers.
  • Go over gear and hike in to crag.
  • Review safety and basic climbing skills.
  • Rappelling and cleaning, progress from top rope, to mock lead to leading


  • Meet in parking at 8:00 am. Location will be decided and communicated on day 1.
  • Hike in to crag.
  • Review lessons from previous day.
  • Continue progression from mock lead to lead.
Is this Camp For Me?
Sport Edition - Entry Level

Sport Edition - This camp is designed for those with little or no previous climbing or mountaineering experience and will help you get started and build your confidence. However, you must have a good level of fitness and be able to carry up to a 16 – 18kg (35 – 40lb) pack for several hours. This is not a course on climbing technique (although feel free to ask the guides for help) but rather a course on rope systems, safety and building confidence.

Food, Accommodation, Guiding and Gear Rentals
To keep the cost of this course as low as possible for participants, food will not be provided as part of the course. So please brink along your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or favoured alternative), a packed lunch and some snacks for both days.


If you are traveling from out of town we recommend staying in Canmore. There are various hostels and hotels to choose from including our very own clubhouse with hostel style accommodation. Located on a high bench overlooking the Three Sisters, Ha Ling and Mount Rundle, our purpose built hostel is the perfect place to relax while completing your course.

For full details on the Canmore Clubhouse accommodation click here


Our guiding team will comprise of ACMG-certified guides with a maximum 6:1 participant to guide ratio to ensure you get sufficient one-on-one coaching. Our guides know the Bow Valley inside out and will be able to recommend future routes and crags to further your skills. 

Gear Rentals

Don't have all the gear on the gear list (located on the right near the top of this page)? We recommend renting from Gear Up in Canmore . ACC members get a 10% discount. We recommend calling ahead to book gear.


  • Doing the Learn to Lead course helped me progress my rock climbing rapidly and I now feel much safer taking out less experienced partners
  • Climbing on cams and nuts always scared me! The weekend has given me the confidence boost I needed
  • Our excellent guide taught me new tips and tricks and pointed out things I could do more safely
- Past Learn to lead Course Participants -

Adventure Map

More Information

- Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues please try to have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

  Email us
  403 678 3200 ext. 213

Course Documents

Gear List    

ACC Liability Waiver (En)   

ACC Liability Waiver (Fr)  

Covid Health and Exposure Declaration    

ACC Model Release   

ACC Covid Protocols   


Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
Cancellation Policy  
We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

Travel Insurance


  • 2 days instruction by ACMG certified ski guides
  • Group gear such as ropes and first aid kit

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from the field locations
  • Accommodation
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

Organizing Fantastic ACC Adventures For Over 100 Years

  • Local Knowledge - based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers, guides and porters
  • Dedicated resources - full-time office staff, ACMG guides and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit - any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community

Your Guides

Kris Irwin

Kris is an ACMG Alpine Guide. He lives in Banff with his wife Ellen and their daughters Aria and Annie.

Kris is certified to lead all types of rock, ice, and mountain climbs. He has been climbing in the mountains at home and abroad since 2004. Although he feels most at home on the classic ice climbs in the Rockies he has also made several first ascents in Alaska in the past few years.

Kris is one of the most active waterfall ice climbing guides in the winter and in the summer can be seen leading guests throughout the Rockies, Bugaboos and Rogers Pass. An excellent instructor and personable guide, Kris always gets rave reviews from his guests