The Arizona Climbing and Adventure School has instructed and inspired participants from all corners of the globe: Dr. K. Hamuro from the Japanese Embassy in Jamaica, to Andy Stapleton, an engineer living in Northern Ireland, to artists, computer and software engineers, waitresses, ceo's, college students as well as corporate groups - including Hershey, Pfizer, Motorola, Parke-Davis and Northrop-Grumman.

The Arizona Climbing and Adventure School has had the priviledge of providing these individuals and corporations with the most personalized and comprehensive rock climbing instruction available in the Southwest. Below is a small sample of the many letters we have received in the last several years.
With each new season we continue with the structure and scheme that has made our courses so successful, seeking out exciting destinations and activities, maintaining a safe environment, getting the best instructors and keeping costs below our competitors.

It's not just a rock climbing course or a canyoneering trip; it's an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, to explore the desert Southwest in a safe, enjoyable group, and to meet people with similar interests. 

Hi Mark,

Yesterday was another great experience. At 61 and never having climbed my job was 1) to show up 2) bring no ego, 3) listen and learn. I came away with being patient and confident to get to the top. 

I can't say enough about Saile. He did really did a nice job getting me up to raise my level of confidence which I had little of  going in either day.

It was mostly instilled by Sailes meticulous and patient teaching style. I quickly came to totally trust he always "had my back". And halfway up the 100 footer after a slip, I paused scared and he just kept his easy going encouragement saying "good job you got it". He was right. 

Thanks for putting together and leading such a great school. I plan on continuing learning but will always carry the discipline and patience Saile modeled for me. 

PS: Two things,

The other climber Shannon was great, very experienced and I learned a lot from watching her. Saile also demanded, in a respectful way, that she perform all the same safety basics as me. Caught and corrected a couple bad habits of hers which she ultimately thanked him for pointing out. 

If you ever need a recommendation totally happy to help. Look for me again and my adult kids too. 
Take care,
Dan Suffolk

Hi Mark,
Just wanted to say that Jared was an excellent instructor and that the next time we find ourselves in Arizona we'd love to go out climbing with you guys.
Thanks again!
-Brad and Holly Taylor

HI Mark,
Jared was the best guide ever! We learned a ton of knots and anchors, he focused heavily on safety, and was really easy going and pushed us to try some climbs that I didn't think I'd be able to do initially, but was so happy that I did and it really encouraged me to keep climbing in the future.  I'd recommend Jared to anyone as a guide! 
Thanks again,
-Anne Bolamperti

Hello Mark,
I just wanted to take a minute and let you know our class went AWESOME!  Jared was an amazing instructor. Julie and I had a blast climbing and camping with Jared and we learned even more than we expected. With the knowledge Jared passed onto us we definitely feel confident in going out on our own top rope climbing. We would definitely recommend your school in the future to any of our friends. When we are ready for our next class we would definitely like to contact you and have Jared be our instructor again.
-Brian Williams

he course was fantastic, both Don and had a great experience and learned a ton.
We had a couple of questions that Jared suggested he would send the info via email and I am not sure if he took any videos that he could share (he did provide Don with the pictures he took).

As we don't have his email address we hope you don't mind reminding him to get to us with the information we were seeking.  He has both of our email addresses if not please share mine with him.
-Gary Cyr

Good morning Mark.  I just wanted to let you know that we had the most amazing time in Utah.  Jared was exceptionally competent and patient.  We came out of the class with a world of knowledge and we are looking forward to taking another class with you guys as soon as money and time allow it. -Anna Fallini

Hi Mark,
Thank you for letting me do the training last weekend.
Now, I have anchoring and rappelling technique, thanks to Jared Bryant and your school!
Jared was polite, professional, thorough, safety-oriented and very patient with his uncoordinated/memory-challenged student.
Best regards,
-Kim Belknap

It was great time,   I learned a lot and had fun.    Colin stood out from most instructors I've had by showing us a variety of different techniques and explaining the pros and cons of each.   I also like that in addition to showing us how to do something he explained why we were doing it.     
Overall a great experience,  I would love to try one of your canyoneering/climbing adventure trips someday.  
Can I add a $100 tip for Colin onto the credit card charge?  I tried taking money out in Hanksville but both ATM's in town were out of cash. 
Thanks again,
-Justin McKeever

Hi Mark,
Thank you for letting me do the training last weekend.
Now, I have anchoring and rappelling technique, thanks to Jared Bryant and your school!
Jared was polite, professional, thorough, safety-oriented and very patient with his uncoordinated/memory-challenged student.
Best regards,
-Kim Belknap

Savanna loved climbing with Colin.
Thank you!!
-Angie Birchfield

Dear ACAS,
Jared has the patience of a Saint! Very thorough, knowledgable, engaging, safe and responsible - the perfect guide! Quality instruction and very fun too!
-Jean Quinsey

Hallie was a fantastic instructor, giving us an incredible experience and an unforgettable day!
-James Spainhower

Dear ACAS,
Jayci taught an awesome course - I expected to be pushed past my abilities and learned a lot in the process. Loved every minute of it!
-Brad Leaver

Mark, Jonathan was great and course very helpful.  Just a quick note to say thanks.
-Leslie Neville

What a great climbing experience! SO much better than a trip to the gym.
-Eric, Branwyn and Sean

Colin was a great guide with regard to climbing knowledge. I felt very comfortable with him. I felt safe and learned much of what I wanted.
-Stu Bakal

My instructor, Mike Riley was extremly patient and knowledgable. The class (Beginner II Rock Climbing) was a real treat!
-Sasha Bambas

Excellent course (Rappelling and Anchors) - Was one-on-one instruction. Very educational and looking forward to advanced courses from Mike Riley.
-Dwight Williams

Instruction was at my level. Hallie answered all my questions and more I didn't think of. Felt very safe and secure. Had lots of fun. Enjoyed the company of the instructor. I would definetly recommend the Indoor Gym to Real Rock Course and I will be back for more classes!
-Annette Campbell

Hallie was great. This course (Beginner Rock Climbing) was better than expected. Hallie was warm, friendly and made this a great day!
-Molly & Jeff Moloznik

John Reckling is a very personable guide, extremely patient and perceptive. Safety is always at every instance. I would definately recommend John for instruction!
-Patrick Adkins

Dear Amylee,
This was an absolutely incredible experience. It was perfectly tailored to me - challenging and exciting and fun! : )
-Christin Carbiener

Hi Mark,
My sons and I took to begin your beginner climbing class up in Prescott with John on Saturday. I just wanted to let you know that we found it to be an absolutely amazing experience! John was an absolutely fantastic instructor! My sons and I really liked him a lot and we are looking forward to taking the level 2 class with him in Prescott in the very near future. 
-Kevin Christensen

Dear Michelle
I just want to e-mail you to thank you and especially Jared for my beginner 1 and 2 rock climbing training this last weekend.
The trainer made me feel extremely comfortable and for a complete beginner like myself his presentation, patience and knowledge were outstanding. I never felt at any point during the whole 2 days unsafe, and his knowledge of rock climbing and rappelling/anchors was to me second to none.
I can honestly say since moving to Arizona (I am a brit) I have never had such a great time! I learnt so much about myself and this fantastic sport…. I can see a lot of money being spent soon LOL
I in fact want to book onto the intermediate course for rock climbing!
Is this a 2 day course or can it be condensed into 1? Or can I do this for 1 day and have Jared as a guide?
Please let me know my options
Once again thanks so much for having a great teacher on board and such a fantastic program!
-Michael McGrath

The course was very informative (Beginner I & II Rock Climbing). With the superior instruction I received from Jayci and Hallie, I feel confident to go climb on my own.
-Nick Haldeman

I just have to tell you how wonderful Amylee is and that is she is a very warm, gorgeous and smart young woman and is an amazing instructor. Amylee was patient, kind and understanding and taught me more in one day than I learned from a year of reading climbing books and climbing in an rock gym. The other student, Ian, also felt the same way.
I climbed trad in Flag the day after the course and utilized Amy Lees expert advice. It was awesome. Without this course, I would not have had the confidence to try trad. You guys rock!!! 
I feel so  blessed to have stumbled onto your website and found the instruction I so desperatly needed.
Thank you  and  I will be back.....thank you to Amylee:) 
 -Michelle Pashia

Dear ACAS,
This course (Beginner Rock Climbing) is more than I would have ever imagined. Hal was so great and encouraging, I think I found a new hobby. Thanks so much Hal!
-Jon Oberdick

Dear ACAS,
The course was completely awesome! Hallie was so knowledgable, kind and fun! : ) I loved it and will tell everyone! THANK YOU!!
-Cheri Roben

Hallie was great, lots of support and knowledge. She made us so comfortable! Thank you!
-Lina Camello

Experienced guides who know how to challenge you at your level!
-Matt Reid

Dear ACAS,
Awesome time with lots of climbing and I learned a ton!
-Chris Gatley

Dear ACAS,
Fantastic Class! Very knowledgable and inspiring instructors!
-Rodger Spainhower

Dear ACAS,
Had one hell of a time. Jonathan was wonderful to work with. I will I will use him again for any advsnce classes.
-Shaw Khalid

Hello Michelle!
I took a private climbing class from Mark last Tuesday at McDowell Mountain Preserve and it was AWESOME.

I was completely wore out at the end of the day and bleeding from most of my fingertips so I filled the critique sheet out quickly and didn't take time to write comments, but I wanted to make sure you got my feedback. (I'm a couple of glasses of wine into the night at the moment so please excuse any mispellings!...and I'm watching FOX news on TV which is causing me to drink even more :) )

Anyways, I would definitely recommend your course to others, and specifically Mark as an instructor. I've taken numerous outdoors related courses and in comparison to others, you guys had first rate customer service (very important in my book), were very professional, had quality equipment, and a more than qualified instructor. I am determined to be an independent lead climber, and Mark was very cautious and thorough in teaching me techniques, how to use the equipment, and he took extra time to make an equipment list, a recommended reading list, and practice techniques for me to reach my goal. I was very impressed and when I visit the Phoenix area again I will definitley book another lesson through you and will request Mark as my instructor. Thanks again for a great day!!
-Jennifer West

We had so much fun on our rock climb. Bill and I keep talking about going again, I'm not sure if we'll get Peggy out again but who knows. Thanks so much for the excellent day and putting up with our odd ideas of humor. Our pictures turned out great! My legs started shaking this first few times I looked at them.
Thanks again!
-Merita, Tom, Bill and Peggy

Dear Mark and ACAS Staff,
This letter is to thank you for your excellent climbing instruction which I received from the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School. I sincerely felt like you were interested in teaching your classes, and that says a lot after teaching as much as you have taught. Your interest in teaching greatly enhanced my learning process. I liked the environment in which we climbed, absolutely beautiful setting, and I felt that the beauty of the area helped me to learn. Your teaching style was excellent and I hope many others can benefit from your climbing expertise.
Wishing you all the best in the future.
-Josh Crothers

Dear Mark and ACAS Staff,
I wanted to write and let you know what an experience I had on January 9, 1999 in the beginners rock climbing course. The beginners class was perfect for learning the basic skills required for a safe climb. I thought you were more than thorough. I felt you made sure we were comfortable with our abilities before allowing us to start our first ascend. Although I had a fear of falling and heights, I felt comfortable with the safety factor. The feeling of accomplishment was unreal. I have been able to skydive, bungee jump, and hang glide with less fear factor then the first climb. To have been able to complete not only one climb but two was great. The humor was a great way to ease the anxiety level. All in all it was a great day that will always be remembered. Who knows, in the near future I may be talked into taking the intermediate class.
Thanks again for a great experience.
-Liz Gessaman

Hi Mark!
I just wanted to thank you again for an incredible experience Saturday. That was, by far, the toughest thing I have ever done (mentally - tougher than grad school!) and it was also a great physical challenge! I still cannot believe I was able to push myself to the top, even when it seemed like there was nothing for me to step on. I feel like, if I can do that, I can do anything! Learning to trust yourself and your co-climbers is also an excellent growing process. You were so patient and encouraging...and a great teacher.
I know Chris had an equally exciting time. If our finances are there, we will be taking more classes in the future!
Take care and thanks again.
-Kristi Meyer

Mark and Staff,
Well its been a little over a day since I was dropped off at the "school" and I still haven't stopped thinking about climbing Quaker Oats and Ego Trip. I still can't really describe what I actually got out of climbing this past weekend but its definitely touched me. I know I feel like I looked fear right in the eyes. Something inside of me is still afraid but yet screams to go again. I even went to REI today and used my dividend check on some new climbing equipment. I bought a Black Diamond Harness, Black Diamond ATC, Black Diamond Super 8, REI Gold Oval Carabiner and an REI HMS Auto Locking Carabiner. I still need to go back and purchase the rock shoes (they were a little costly). I will go back soon to get them though.
Regards and Climb Safe!
-Jim Pencek

Hey Gang,
Here's a little something I jotted down after I attended the Rock 1 &2 classes. As we approached the base of each climb, I was staggered by the beauty, size and degrees of steepness each presented. I was filled with excitement and couldn't wait to begin each ascent. Each route had it's own unique characteristics, and I just wondered to myself, "How many different ways can I tackle each climb." I recalled Mark's advice to keep focused and use the skills he taught me on the climbing wall at REI every Thursday night and during the classes on "THE ROCK". This would be different, because I would be on the real thing. As the day progressed, each lesson returned clearly: how to belay a climber, communication between climber and belayer, using my legs to ascend and my arms for balance, using the balls of my feet while keeping the heels up at the same time, which knots are used for "Tying in", and the importance of having proper equipment. Everything came back to me with startling clarity.

Faith was another lesson learned, and triple checking everything before you move up or down. Along with faith comes trust; another of the important lessons learned. Trusting the equipment and your climbing partner, after all your safety is in his hands. Being 100 feet straight up on a slab of granite is a great stimulus to ones memory, and as I was doing each climb I was so focused on what
I was doing that I didn't think of the inherent dangers, just on what I was taught. I enjoyed both days, the other climbers were great to be with, and the instructor was outstanding.
-Chuck Salisbury

Hello Mark and ACAS Staff,
Thanks for a great class. Your class brought my team closer together. We are ready to move on to bigger and higher challenges, both on the rock and beyond. I gained self confidence, and went out immediately after the class and piled up several more bills! This makes you better, right!? We are planning on trying a top rope ascend up a couple small boulders at Camelback. I was reminded of a time long ago when my dad and I climbed and repelled similar granite rocks in the state of Maine. It was a great time then and now, thanks for getting the kid back out of me. Thanks for the great class, I hope to return for the intermediate class some day soon.
-Bob Lacourse

Thanks again for an absolutely amazing experience! We made it back to our home in Ireland a couple of hours ago. Can't believe that only a couple of days ago we were rock climbing in AZ!! We already developed the pictures and they turned out great. We will send you a couple of them with our letters recapping the climbing. It was an event we won't soon forget!

I think we may have to go outside tomorrow morning and pray to the sun god as it is cloudy and rainy as usual.

Enjoy the sun! Keep us posted of any new articles or climbing Epics!
All the Best,

Mark and Michelle
People are quick enough to complain but I just wanted to drop you a  quick line to thank you for a fantastic day with Jason.
He was so good with the kids and they had a brilliant time. His  professionalism and knowledge was excellent. The way he got the safety message to the kids and trained them was excellent.
My daughter and myself would like to come back for a further training session next Monday 25 August with Jason.
We can come earlier to the same location but as Jason discussed we can do a different face.
Let me know if this is good for you.
Kind regards
-Tony Williamson

Well Mark,
You were such a great guide and instructor that I have to write and thank you for making my climbing adventure memorable. The one thing that stuck out in my mind the most about the trip was the fact that it was personable and fun. Around the fire at night and at dinner was like as if I was spending the time with some old friends instead of unfamiliar people. I also liked the fact that you were flexible on letting us progress on our own pace, which is then not too slow or too fast.

As far as the actual technical side of things, I know that I would not have been able to climb some of those rock faces without your guidance or instruction. Learning the basic techniques of rope knots, belaying, top rope climbing, rapelling and climbing safety will always stick with me. I may never become a fanatic mountain climber, but I do know that I will climb again and I will be confident at it.

Once again, thanks a lot for the climbing trip and maybe someday I will go on one of your "adventures to Alaska".
Until then, best of luck!
Your apprentice climber
-Roger Cameron

How are you doing? Things here are busy as usual, but I feel refreshed after my vacation. Thanks again for the fabulous climbing experience and great instruction, as well as some fun times and good food! Please keep me on the mailing list for future course offerings and trips.

I can't stop talking about my experience climbing to my friends and colleagues and I have already begun to talk a couple of them into going to a local climbing gym with me to practice.
Best regards,
-Jason Cameron

Hello Mark, Kristi, and Roger,
Back home again in Indiana! As if ending such a great vacation wasn't hard enough, it was 50 degrees and pouring when we got off the plane in Indianapolis.
The dark, damp, cloudy days are torture after eight days in the desert. And there are no mountains here!

Just wanted to say thanks for a great weekend of climbing! Mentally, it was a challenge unlike any other I have experienced. Physically, it was exhillirating and fun! I can't wait to go again (though as I am surrounded by corn fields, I will have to). Driving back to Vegas from Phoenix, we drove past so many things I know I can climb! Some even without the magic shoes.

Holly may be moving there soon (though I doubt we will get her back on the rocks) which gives me another excuse to visit. With any luck, I will be climbing again before the end of the year.

Thank you again, all of you! It made it easier that we were able to really relax and have a good time with you all. Tell Kristi we forgot to get pie at Reata Pass so we will have to do that next time. Would you ask Roger to send me that Salmon commercial?
Back to work, I'd rather be climbing.

I arrived back in Illinois late last night and wanted to send back my "what I learned" note. Here goes...

My first rock climbing trip in April covered a lot for a one day trip, so when I arrived for this trip I was already familiar with a number of the basic concepts. I was already familiar with belaying, the figure eight knot, and top rope climbing when I arrived.

The guides on my first trip didn't spend much time discussing climbing techniques. On this trip, I learned that the ball of my foot (smearing) can be very useful when climbing (although I'll need some more practice with that). You also made some helpful pointers about different ways of using my hands on the rock.

Although we didn't do any lead climbing, it was interesting to see you lead climb to the top to set the top rope. During my last climb of the day, when the top rope was way over to the right of the climbing route, there were a few moments when I imagined the rope wasn't there to help me, and my determination to reach the top without messing up took over.

Finally, it was great to learn a little bit more about how to set up the climbing ropes. When we arrived at the climbing site for my trip in April, everything was already set up and ready to go. On this trip, it was interesting to see how natural anchors and that "really big bolt" are used along with the webbing and the carabiners to anchor the rope on top.

Thank you for the Southwestern hospitality, the great camp fire stories (with the assistance of Roger and Jason), and the personalized instruction that comes from climbing with a smaller sized group. I look forward to having the opportunity to climb again the next time I am in Arizona.
-Ed Dudek

Jim Matt here from Indianapolis.
How goes it? I don't expect that you would remember me or Ed (my climbing buddy), but I wanted to touch base with you. We learned how to climb with you several years ago, I think it was back in 2000 or so. Then we came out again to climb with you about a year later (March, 2001).

Anyway, I wanted to let you know how positively you inspired us back then. Despite the fact that we are in Indiana, we try to get out West 2-3 times per year. I cannot speak for Ed, but I feel comfortable now leading up to 5.8 trad, and seconding up to about 5.10a-5.10b. I've climbed quite a bit in Colorado (several alpine 5.8s like the Petit Grepon and Culp-Bossier), Red Rocks (just did Solar Slab last week), Joshua Tree, and even mountaineering in Ecuador.

Anyway, the last time we were out there, we got the scoop on you "used pacemaker", how are you these days? You also offered us a "freebie" the next time we came are considering it for the winter time.

It would be nice to see you again and climb some harder routes with you, although we won't hold you to the "freebie" :). I think you also promised us women...but we can see.
I've enclosed a picture from then (with you) and more recently on Solar Slab (last week).
Take care, and hope to hear from you. We've come a long way, and value your guidance on our development as climbers!!

Dear Mark and ACAS Staff:
Just a note to thank you for the great time we had last week in the beginner's climbing course and to share some thoughts regarding such.
We found the course to be as exactly as we had hoped. Your priorities seemed to be safety, grasp of the fundamentals, fun and "get up on the rocks". These were ours too.
We're grateful for the small class sizes and the gift of patience that you have with novices like us. Bottom line: we had a lot of fun and look forward to our next lesson with you.
Until then, Best Wishes and God Bless!
-Joe & Sue