Rich’s Instructional Videos

If you love adventure – whether you are a rock climber, mountaineer, canyoneer, caver, or rescue technician – and want to learn some new skills and techniques …

Grab your gear and a rope (and maybe some popcorn) and follow along.

Test Your Canyoneering IQ

Take a quick and fun quiz to find out what you really know about technical canyoneering.

I don’t even climb, but I dig rope stuff and recovery/emergency kit hardware. You sir, are an addictive, glowing, rope sensei. Your calm voice delivering vertical sorcery of the good kind just has my head shaking. Amazing stuff!

Rider Mak

I first want to say I love your videos and thank you so much for showing the nuances in rope rigging! Very informative to see visual demonstrations of things I have heard and read about before.

Dylan Burdine

Clipping Short

Clipping short is a simple technique you can use to address a common concern with daisy chains. You can also use it for passing a knot while ascending and for transitioning from ascending to rappelling.

Static Blocks

There are many advantages to rigging static blocks, including the ability to set rope length for rappel. But you also need to be aware of some potential problems.

Static Twin Ropes

A mindful group can use these rope systems to dramatially increase their efficiency when descending from a climb or traveling through a technical canyon. 

Intro to Canyoneering

Intro to Canyoneering Course

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 the core principles behind safe and efficient anchor, rigging and rope techniques.

Rigging Glue-In Bolts

Glue-in bolts are a good alternative to traditional mechanical bolts. However, there are some differences in how they can be or should be rigged.

Single Point Anchors

There is a difference between a bend and a knot and situations where one is more appropriate than the other. You will find the answer in this video.

I will also demonstrate how you can use different ways of tying webbing to hold it in place on an anchor, provide redundancy, optimize strength and be more efficient.

Technical Canyoneering

Technical Canyoneering Course

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

Quick Links, Bolt Hangers, Bailout Rings

Simple, basic gear that we all use without giving it much thought. In this video I will help you distinguish what is appropriate and what is know, whild demystifying some “always” and “never” rules/myths.

Anchors, Equalized vs Focused

Multi-point anchors can be rigged to optimize equalization or focused to better address redundancy and reduce or eliminate extension that could cause greater forces on the anchor. In this video we will discuss the thought process that should go into making your decision between the two approaches.

VT Prusik

Destined to become one of your favorite pieces of gear, the VT Prusik performs well when used for ascending, self-belay while rappelling, in hauling systems and a myriad of other uses.

Anchor Loading

In this video we will look at how mechanical advantage can affect the load that we put on our anchors.


We rig releasable contingency systems, like the munter-mule-overhand, to make responding to emergencies quick and efficient. Some people argue that they are not necessary and take too much time, but with a little practice the difference is a matter of only a few seconds.

“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.”


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

EDK – Flat Overhand

The flat overhand is a knot used in the place of a bend for connecting two ropes. It has some advantages and some disadvantages. It often comes down to knowing in which applications it is appropriate and when it is not.

Lift & Shift Rescues

Lifts and shifts are simple rescue techniques that can be used to help a rappeller free stuck gear (or loose clothing or hair).

Courtesy Rigging

When your anchor is far back from the edge you have the benefit of sufficient safe space for rigging your rappel — but rope pull can be very difficult and you are more likely to get your rope stuck. Extending the anchor over the edge will make rope pull easier, but requires difficult and risky rappel starts. Courtesy rigging provides us with a good solution.

Prepared for Rescue when Rigging Tail Up

When your most likely rescue will be a lower it makes sense to rig with extra rope kept in reserve on top. But what do you do when your most likely rescue will be a haul? In this video I will teach you a few options.

The Ubiquitous Overhand Knot

The overhand knot is easy to tie. So easy that you have probably tied it accidently on occasion. Also easy to take for granted. An overhand is an overhand is an overhand … NOT!