Camp Highlights

  • Sport climbing specific course designed for people new to climbing outdoors 
  • Professional instruction by fully certified ACMG guides
  • Experience two different crags in the Banff/Canmore area
  • Max. 6:1 participant to guide ratioHTML

Dates & Price

  • $350 + Tax / Person
  • May 28th - 29th, 2022

Kick off Your Climbing Career Right With the First of the ACC Weekend Climbing Courses

Are you an indoor climber wanting to transition to outdoors but intimidated by the risks?

Our Intro to Sport Climbing course is our first offer of 4 climbing courses to build your confidence and skills to eventually climb trad multi-pitches 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.

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!

The ACC and the Restrictions Exemption Program

We strive to have the highest level of safety on our courses. Based on the recent local case numbers and the spread of the omicron variant, we have made the decision to extend our implementation of the Alberta Restrictions Exemption Program to all our programs (previously just for overnight programs).

What this means for you: We will be verifying proof of Covid vaccination at this time. Please use the button on the right of you camp webpage to upload your proof of vaccination. If you are unable to get a vaccination due to medical purposes then please send us documentation of the medical exemption to [email protected] If you are unable to provide proof of vaccination for other reasons then we will be required to see your results of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the program commencing (if the program is longer than 72 hours then a new PRC test will be required at that time to continue the program). All information will be used solely by ACC Adventures staff and be kept private.

Specific to overnight camps: Due to the remoteness of our overnight camps and the inability to get a new PRC test every 72 hours, we can only allow individuals who have been fully vaccinated on overnight camps.

What are we accepting as proof of vaccination: 
- Government Issued QR code
- First Nations vaccine record
- Canadian Armed Forces vaccine record with QR code
- US Military Proof of vaccination
- Out of country vaccine records

These records must show that you have received at least two vaccinations of either Pfizer or Moderna (or at least one of each) or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

What if I don't send this in before the camp?
If you cannot provide proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test or documentation of a medical exemption you will not be allowed to join the program. No refunds will be issued inside of 1 month for overnight camps and 2 weeks for day programs.

Please contact the office at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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.

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 


  • Meet in parking at 8:00 am (MST). 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 (MST). 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?

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


This camp will ensure 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. 

The ACC hires guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Visit the ACMG website to learn more about what they do!


If you don't have everything on the gear list and aren't ready to invest in your own, there are many awesome local businesses that rent out all of the equipment you will need.  Be sure to reserve your rentals ahead of time to make sure everything you need is available for you when you need it.

  • Coming from the Bow Valley? Check out GearUp in Canmore. ACC members get 10% off all gear rentals!
  • Coming from Calgary? We recommend renting your gear from MEC, the University of Calgary Outdoors Center, or the Norseman.
  • Coming from the Revelstoke? Give Revelstoke Powder Rentals a try.


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

  • 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

Before registering, please review our Waivers and Liability page:

Trip Waivers and Liability Page

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 alpine guides
  • Group gear such as ropes and first aid kit


  • Transportation to and from the field locations
  • Accommodation
  • Snacks 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