Our courses include online and hands-on options to provide you with the most comprehensive training available.

Canyons & Crags offers an approach to learning that goes far beyond memorization to provide you with a logical path to technical excellence, as you gain confidence and an increased sense of self-reliance.

Comprehensive Training for Canyoneering

Canyons & Crags continues to set the gold standard for courses in recreational canyoneering, canyon rescue and professional canyon guiding. From our first official curriculum developed for the American Canyoneering Association in 1999 to our recent work with Canyon Guides International, Canyons & Crags continues to develop and refine courses that are simple, yet comprehensive.

Whether your goal is safer, more enjoyable adventures with friends or a career in canyoneering, your training courses with us will be a valuable investment in yourself.

ART of Canyoneering 1

Don't let the Intro to Canyoneering title mislead you. This course is your first step in transitioning from a handful of memorized techniques to a true understanding of anchor, rigging and rope techniques.

ART of Canyoneering 2

Gain knowledge and competence with anchors, rigging and rescue systems while honing your personal rappelling, ascending and problem-solving skills.

Canyon Leader

Ideal for both recreational leaders and professional guides who desire the skills needed to lead canyoneering groups safely and efficiently.

Rappelling and Technical Rescue Courses

Although best known in the canyoneering community, the principles, skills and techniques taught by Canyons & Crags have applications across the spectrum of vertical rope work. Students in our rappelling and technical rescue courses have included outdoor leaders and instructors, professional and volunteer rescue teams, law enforcement and the military.

Rappel Master Course

Our 3-day Rappel Master training program will provide you with the knowledge and fundamental skills you need to manage and supervise non-tactical rappel operations, while you are also honing your own personal on-rope skills.

Rigging & Rescue Course

Rigging & Rescue goes far beyond memorization of basic systems. You will learn to rely on knowledge and skills rather than the latest hardware, along with improv methods to accomplish your mission with minimal lightweight gear.

Online Courses

All of our courses include online components. Many also include a hands-on component. The following courses are offered online only. You can start when you want and complete each course at your own pace.

Canyoneering Essentials

Included with your Canyoneering Karma Membership ...  You have been acquiring knowledge and skills from a variety of sources -- formal courses, instructional videos, books, online groups and forums, as well as from friends. Kudos to you. However, you only need to observe a few discussions in online groups and forums to know that many among us have been left with serious gaps in the knowledge needed to explore canyons safely and efficiently. The intent of this comprehensive online course is to fill those gaps; whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced canyoneer.

ART of RopeWork

Included with your Canyoneering Karma Membership ... This is Rich's flagship online course, providing the foundational knowledge you need for safer, more enjoyable adventures using rope. ART is an acronym for Anchors, Rigging and Techniques. In this comprehensive online course you will learn basic physics as it applies to anchors and rigging; plus, how your anchor and rigging choices affect your options for responding to emergency situations. The focus is on understanding principles to allow you to accomplish tasks with minimal, lightweight gear.

A person's most useful asset is not the head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help.

-Unknown
I’m so thoroughly satisfied with how much l learned this weekend! I feel so revved up to keep at it! We shared so many different ways to complete various tasks on rope. My favorite thing about Rich Carlson as an instructor was how open he was to let others share how they like to do things. I dig a leader that doesn’t have pride issues. Very personable, lots of stories, thorough and patient with all my questions. Thank you Rich for expanding my abilities this weekend.
Lisa Hewitt