Here's how to get into outdoor rock climbing in Calgary right now

Mar 6 2018, 9:54 pm

Calgary is in close proximity to one of the world’s most beautiful, natural playgrounds: The Rocky Mountains.

While going for hikes, strapping on the skis, or casting out a fishing line is all well and good, nothing brings you (literally) closer to the mountains than scaling up those rocky walls.

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You don’t have to be the most intensely fit person in the world to try your hands at outdoor rock climbing – though we’re sure it would help – but you do need to have a basic understanding of the ropes, crags, harnesses, carabiners, knots, and belays that will come between you and a serious injury.

Luckily enough, there are plenty of classes, courses, and training guides available around the area to get you ready for your first outdoor route.

Good luck!

Calgary Climbing Centre

  • What: Before heading outdoors to those rough, rocky surfaces, it’s always a good idea to spend some time at an indoor climbing centre to learn the basics.
  • Where: Multiple locations around Calgary
  • Cost: $17 for adult day pass

Calgary Climbing Centre outdoor beginner lesson

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  • What: Try out some outdoor climbing with Calgary Climbing Centre. They’ll provide all the necessary equipment, and you’ll be able to top rope up a natural surface during the full day course.
  • Cost: $199
  • Registration: Book online or call 403-276-6484

Calgary Climbing Centre lead lesson

  • What: It’s the same deal as before, but this time with lead climbing! Learn how to work your way up the wall without a top rope to depend on, during this three hour course that will find you both indoors and outdoors.
  • Cost: $225
  • Registration: Book online or call 403-276-6484

Yamnuska Mountain Adventures outdoor rock intro

  • What: This one may be a bit of a ways away from Calgary, but that’s where all the best mountains are! The two-day course will see you learning the basics, including top rope, lead climbing, belaying, hazard evaluation, and the multi-pitch system. Anyone hoping to extend their course can pay a bit extra to go on a guided multi-pitch climb with an instructor the following day.
  • Cost: $395, plus $280 for extra day.
  • Registration: Book online

Mountain Sense rock climbing intro courses

  • What: Mountain Sense offers it all. From ice-climbing instruction to a family pack for intro rock climbing, there’s a suitable course for everyone to get outdoors. The single person, full-day rock climbing beginner class covers technique with a certified ACMG instructor, and the custom courses are located in Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise.
  • Cost: $450 for basic, full day training course
  • Registration: Email [email protected], or call 403-707-5566

Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures

  • What: This two-day introductory course will show you the ups and downs (ha!) of outdoor rock climbing, including an intro to anchors, how to second sport and trad routes, and it is all about an hour’s drive from Calgary in Canmore and Banff.
  • Cost: $299
  • Registration: Book online
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