Please Read our Course outline below-- It's changed a little bit :)


Pre-course reading (received after you sign up)


-Each participant will receive information about the following items

-ACA canyon rating system



-Proper gear selection

-Canyoneering ethics

-Simple first aid


Students are asked to take the time to read over this information and familiarize themselves with the terms used. Students are to email DarkHorse with questions that they may have. At the beginning of our 1st classroom session we will answer these questions.


Classroom session


Will offer two classroom sessions for each class. Students are asked to attend at least one. 


  • Classroom session will be a hands on session. You will need a harness, belay device, a couple of carabiners, 15’ of webbing, notebook and camera to take notes, students will begin to work through the following topics. Classroom session is 4-5 hours

-Knots- (a variety of knots used in various aspects of canyoneering)

-Anchors -Proper anchor set-up and recognition will be covered

-Rigging- Simple static and releasable systems (basically how to hook up your rope and get it back :) )

-Personal on-rope skills (hooking up, adding friction, locking off, freeing stuck gear)



There will be a week or two time between our classroom session and field session. Students are required to spend 8 hours practicing skills that they have learned. If they have questions, they can Skype with DarkHorse and we will answer their questions and help them remember what they have been taught (practice, practice, practice)



Field session 


  • As a Class we will go to our local outdoor training ground and each student will practice the following skills


-Anchors- building anchors using natural and artificial methods.

-Rigging- applying the right type of rigging for the situation you are in.

-Rappelling- applying skills practiced over the past few weeks.

-Knot skills- demonstrate when and where to use a few knots


Each student will be required to set up their own anchors, rig their rope, rappel properly using good techniques, pull their rope and demonstrate basic canyon movement. During the field session we will continue to answer questions about reading material and hands-on instruction. 


There will be a few weeks  to practice between our classroom session and canyon/field day. 


Exam Day 


-This is a new portion of our training that we are implementing. One of the best ways to see if a student has locked down information in their brains is to actually test them. Please know that we are not going to let anything unsafe happen. But we do want to see if the information covered has been understood and retained. Exam will occur on the rocks.  During the day each student will cover the following;

-Gear selection

-Route finding

-Anchor evaluation and building (each student will have the opportunity to retie and anchor)

-Rigging- Rig your simple rappel using methods taught (instructors may contrive common situations that occur)

-Rappelling- rappel and demonstrate skills learned over the past few weeks. 


-Closing instruction -which will include a graded sheet of items covered. If you successfully demonstrate what you have learned and implement it properly you will receive a certificate from DarkHorse stating that you have completed and have demonstrated the skills on the level 1 skills checklist. If there are areas where you are still struggling we will isolate those areas and help you understand what it is to help you become proficient. 






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