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Few experiences are as exciting or rewarding as an Arizona Climbing and Adventure School wilderness course.

But this is adventure with purpose. Our courses are designed to bring you face to face with nature and with your own abilities. They offer you the chance to develop skills, to learn to get along outdoors, to discover firsthand the fascinating diversity of America's Western wild lands, and to find that you are capable of doing things that perhaps you never dreamed possible.


"But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need - if only we had eyes to see."- Ed Abbey

Note: We do have minimum age limits to participate on our Adventure Trips. You should be in very good to excellent physical condition and we recommend that you have prior hiking and backpacking experience. Call us for pricing and discounts on our trips.



2014 Adventure Courses/Trips
click the course/trip you are interested in


Arizona to Utah Rock Climbing & Canyoneering Trips
(Fall, Spring and Summer – 6 & 7 days / 5 to 6 nights)
Trip Rating: Moderate
This adventure trip starts in the cool pines and tall granite walls area of Prescott Arizona. You will learn basic to intermediate level rock climbing and rappelling for two-days with a relaxing base camp environment. We then continue our trip northbound through the Grand Canyon National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell), Monument Valley and Natural Bridges National Monument. We then set-up a base camp near North Wash Utah where narrow canyons abound. Hidden throughout the deserts of the Southwest are numerous slot canyons carved hundreds of feet deep into the geologic ancient sepia colored stone. These remote canyons see few visitors, and only by the use of ropes for rappelling and rock scrambling can their narrow passages be navigated. Using ropes, anchor systems, climbing and rappelling techniques, and friction devices, you descend into a beautiful desert canyon, section by section. Some sections require team effort. Sometimes you may need to squeeze by or scramble over lodged boulders, navigate deep pot holes or swift moving streams, rappell down waterfalls over 100 feet high. It is generally a day long effort to descend a canyon, but it is an incredible experience that you will never want to forget!


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Joshua Tree Climbing Camp
(Year Round – 3 & 5 days / 2 & 4 nights)
Trip Rating: Challenging
Spend three or five-days away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get your feet off the ground with us at our Joshua Tree Climbing Camp. The high desert of Joshua Tree has been known for decades as a mecca of desert rock climbing. Camping at Indian Cove, just feet away from the crags, spend your day in one of our rock clinics (beginner or advanced) which are designed for improving your rock climbing skills. Whether just beginning or climbing for years, you will find the excellent coaching and training to meet you skill level. If you decided you want to get away from the climbing for a late afternoon trek, join one of our group hikes to a unique spot in the surreal desert landscape. Returning back to our basecamp for a fantastic meal and a campfire with crazy stories of daredevil bravado to chase away the evening desert chill.


Rock Climbing & Rappelling Vertical Adventure
(Fall, Winter, Spring -A ll Day)
Trip Rating: Moderate to Challenging
Join our Professional and Certified Climbing Instructors for an exciting, full day of rock climbing and rappelling on tall, vertical walls in various locations of Arizona.

This Adventure begins with a short interpretative hike within the beautiful Sonoran Desert which leads to the base of majestic rock cliffs which are considered to be some of the best climbing routes in Arizona. Here we will don rock climbing shoes, helmets and harnesses. After a climbing introduction on the "basics", including several knot tying skills, belaying skills, safety protocols and climbing techniques used on real rock - we will then rope up and start climbing the sheer granite walls utilizing top rope climbing methods. Expect to be surprised by what you are capable of climbing after just several hours of instruction and training.





Our instructors are all active climbers, kayakers and backpackers.
Our staff are among the best in the Southwest.
They become full instructors after one year of rigorous training, testing and field work during which they learn ACAS's safety procedures, curriculum, process, technical standards, interpersonal/educational methods, and low impact backcountry techniques.

Our select staff are former instructors or graduates of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and/or Outward Bound School! Their years of climbing and teaching have made them unequalled in safety and experience. Climbing and wilderness adventures are more than our business, it's our way of life!




"Arizona Climbing and Adventure School's outdoor trips have conditions. They require great energy, exertion, teamwork and planning. They also involve me in a process of discovery. It is impossible to hike up a canyon, traverse across a steep hill, rope up on a difficult ridge, establish a new camp, without becoming immersed in the symbolism of the adventure.

I am one person, climbing from the bottom, trying to make it to the top. I am going one step further than I have gone before. I am declaring myself, at least for one moment, free from the sometimes confining shackles of the work world. I am passing upwards, into the clouds, into the sky, into fresh clean air, into a new appreciation of my strength and the strengths of my companions.

When it is over I have not changed the world. But I bring back one small part that allows me to feel more alive, that allows me to give a little more to the ones I love, that allows me to dream new dreams. These adventures are critical, they are the adventures of my passage from the old me to the new. I don't believe that they can be had by sitting and waiting for someone else to do them.

The conditions of these passages require me to take every step. Without them I am less. With them I am more. It's that simple."




Arizona Climbing and Adventure School is a unique opportunity for individuals to experience the spirit, courage and exploration of the Southwest. It is an initiation into the unexpected, a chance to accomplish something very exciting and to discover strengths you never knew you had. Additionally, the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School provides education in wilderness skills and working effectively with others.

To achieve a high learning curve among our students we keep our groups small in size. We consider the impact on the safety and flexibility of the group above all. Everyone knows that large groups and large student-to-instructor ratios are what make money for a guide service. But we feel that groups and ratios compromise the safety, enjoyment and success of individual participants. Better for you and better for us.

Having smaller groups also means you receive more attention and guidance from our professionals when you need it the most.

The skills you must learn in order to safely and ecologically negotiate the terrain, climate and altitude in which our courses are offered include:

• safety skills for travel through rigorous terrain.

• how to pack a backpack.

• physical fitness

• competence with map and compass, gps, route selection, navigation.

• rope use and knot tying, bowline, water knot, square knot, clove hitch, half hitch, figure eight

• basic first aid so that every student can handle reasonable emergencies and recognizes and aid in treating illness related to altitude, hypothermia, fatigue.

• rescue preparedness

• rock climbing, belaying, backpacking, canyoneering, rappelling, anchors.

• campcraft including minimum impact camping, ecological considerations, wilderness cooking, food selection and nutrition.

• water purification, hygiene and sanitation.

• care of equipment, ropes, clothing, packs, etc.

• environmental stewardship and Leave No Trace (LNT) techniques.

• safety from storms, flash floods and lightning.





Level of Difficulty
We rate each of our trips as "Easy", "Moderate", "Challenging" and "Strenuous" based on the level of physical ability and prerequisite skills required. This rating system is designed to help you decide which trip is most appropriate. Some trips may be a combination of different activity levels. In these cases we do our best to approximate the general difficulty level for the entire trip. Our trip ratings are subjective and relative to fluctuating environmental conditions as well.


easy


moderate


challenging


strenuous


description


most days involve fairly easy travel and easy activity, if required at all.


these trips combine a moderate level of activities for both "off the beaten track" and basecamp exploration


these trips are physically challenging and usually set in remote and rugged wilderness regions. challenging terrain encountered.


these trips involve strenuous activity in remote and rugged terrain and encounters with wildlife, loose footing, rough seas, extreme weather, etc.

activities and weather


day hikes, 4wd, flat-water kayaking, average weather conditions


trekking. sea kayaking, white water rafting, camping, single pitch rock climbing, moderate weather conditions


backpacking (light loads under 35 pounds), sea kayaking, multi-pitch rock climbing, cold or hot weather conditions


backpacking (heavy loads over 35 pounds), sea kayaking, multi-pitch rock climbing


experience
required


no experience required


some experience required


previous experience often recommended


previous experience strongly recommended and sometimes required


fitness
required


good


very good


excellent


excellent


activity
per day


4 - 6 hours


6 - 8 hours


6 - 10 hours


8 - 12 hours


highest altitude


5,000 feet


6,500 feet


9,000 feet


13,000 feet





To sign up for our canyoneer course call or email us to check availability. If a course is open click on the On-line Application Form or go to our application and map (meeting point) site, print out both the Application (PDF), Map and Waiver. Fill out the application and fax or mail it to us (don't fax the waiver, just bring it the day of your course).

Note: *Summer courses start at 6:00 a.m. - October thru April Intermediate courses start at 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 depending upon weather at the designated pick-up point. Call us the day before your course starts to verify start time. Bring your own snacks, lunch, water, sunblock and wear appropriate clothing. Camera (disposable), writing pad and pen are recommended.
*Summer courses - May 1 thru September 30.





course cancellations
While it is unlikely, if the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School cancels a course due to insufficient reservations or conditions beyond our control (weather, etc.); alternate dates or refunds will be given as preferred. If you cancel within 14 days prior to your session, rescheduling your course can be expected. There are no refunds on gift certificates. If you fail to show at the designated meeting place at the appointed time you will be charged for the course - there are no exceptions. If you would like to reschedule within 48-hours of the course's starting date, you may do so. To receive a full monetary refund (minus a 20% handling fee), 14 days notice is required (expect a refund within 2 billing cycles or 60-days of your course date). You may also want to purchase travel insurance due to cancellations – click here for more information.

liability
Although we spare no effort to assure a safe program, we can assume no responsibility for your safety or loss of personal equipment. In a sport of this nature an element of risk is inherent and beyond human control. A signed release (waiver) will be required of all participants. A parent or guardian release is required for students under the age of 18. These can be obtained in advance by contacting our office or downloading from our website.




Our select staff are certified outdoor guides and have received extensive training from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Outward Bound Wilderness (OBW). the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), Climb Smart! and Leave No Trace (LNT) or are members and partners of the American Alpine Club, American Safe Climbing Association and Access Fund. They follow strict procedural guidelines and safety protocols set by these institutes and by the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School (ACAS).