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ACA Tech Course

Essential Skills for Canyoneering

ACA Tech Course

This American Canyoneering Academy (ACA) Technical Canyoneering Course is a great way to bolster and improve your technical canyoneering skills and overall safety. This extremely popular course has set the standard by which all other canyoneering courses are judged. This course provides students with the anchor, rigging and problem-solving skills and techniques they need to become safe, efficient and independent canyoneers.

This course was designed primarily to meet the needs of recreational canyoneers, but also forms the training foundation for those planning to seek certification as a canyon leader or professional canyon guide.  San Juan Mountain Guides has customized this course to meet the demands of the growing population of canyoneers venturing into more of Colorado’s canyon country.

Course Topics

Topics covered are taken from the ACA’s Level 1 Skills Checklist including:

  • canyon topography and rating systems
  • canyoneering style and ethics
  • canyoneering gear selection, use and care
  • climbing, belaying and handlines
  • utilizing transient anchors for belays and hand lines
  • how to evaluate and rig specialized canyoneering anchors and belay systems
  • the importance and proper use of tension-releasing hitches and contingency anchors when rappelling into moving water
  • rappelling and passive lowering systems
  • efficient rope deployment and rigging
  • group dynamics and problem solving
  • pros and cons of using autoblocks or prusiks for self-belay
  • locking off on rappel

Prerequisite: None