Youth Leader Specific Training

Many leaders have the opportunity to take groups of youth out on adventures. These adventures can bring a sense of accomplishment and success.

DarkHorse offers a 3- day fast track course designed to teach a few of the skills needed to ensure a safe and fun experience for all. We encourage everyone involved in Canyoneering to get as much training as possible. This course offers a few parts of each course to help jumpstart your knowledge as a leader.


This course will cover the following:

-Understanding and applying the canyon rating system


-Leave no trace principles

-Proper gear selection and care

-Personal on rope skills (including hooking up, adding friction and locking off)

-Simple static and releasable rigging systems



-Simple mechanical advantage

-Canyon sequencing

-Problem solving

-Group dynamics and leadership

Youth Leader Canyoneering Certification Course




  • Explain the ACA canyon rating system (written)

  • Explain proper gear use and techniques (written)

  • Complete a BETA BREAKDOWN (written)

  • Explain what EARNEST and DEAR are used for (written/practical)

  • Demonstrate good rope management 

  • Demonstrate the following Anchors:

      -SPNA (single point natural anchor)

-MPNA (Multi-point natural anchor)

-SPAA (Single point artificial anchor)

-MPNA (Multi-point artificial anchor)

-Construction Project (Dead man)


  • Demonstrate the following rigging for single and double strand:

-Static Block (knot block, biner block, stone knot)

-Releasable( totem 8, 8 block, Joker) 


  • Demonstrate the following personal on rope skills

-Hook up for rappel

-Add friction before weighting system

-Add friction on rappel

-Lock off

-Pass a knot (SAFELY)

-Ascend a rope 40’ (SAFELY.. no "Batman-ing")

-Demonstrate the proper use of safety tethers


  • Demonstrate how to sequence a group using transient anchors/thigh belays etc.


  • Demonstrate the following Rescue skills

Set up a guided rappel (tie, tension, use and retrieve)

Assisted rappel 

Built a hauling system and demonstrate it’s use (2:1/ 3:1)

Demonstrate a lowering system :)

Pick off




  • Pass the Exam

If during any portion of the exam you demonstrate a skill unsafely you will receive an automatic fail. You are allowed to tinker around a little but if it comes to  your own life or someone else’s life there are no exceptions!!


  • Complete at Least CPR (Highly recommend wilderness first aid)

  • Each year of your two years you must descend a minimum of 10 canyons

  • Certification lasts for two years. 


NOTE: this certification is a skill assessment. Good Judgement, problem solving, is assessed by your local leaders. 


           -COURSE FEE $495.00 (includes exam)                -EXAM FEE $95.00

                            3 day course

                            1 day exam



Contact Us

Darkhorse Leadership and Retreats


  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Facebook Clean

2018 DarkHorse Leadership and Retreats. Proudly created with