Learn to Lead: Sport Edition 2017

Dates & Price

  • Adventure Dates: June 17 + 18, 2017
  • Adventure Rates: $375 + applicable taxes
  • Information Package: Download Info Pack

Fast Track Your Lead Climbing

Photo by Sarah Hueniken

Have you been climbing for awhile now and haven’t seen your skills progress? Whether or not you have been climbing inside or outside, this course will teach you the basics and give you the confidence to start sport climbing on your own. Learn to Lead will focus on all the required skills to make you safe.

With our experienced guides, they will take you through basic to advanced techniques that will give you the knowledge and confidence to head out on your own sport climbing. Climb 5.5? Climb 5.13? Doesn’t matter, this course will focus on skills development rather than grade of climb. This will allow all participants to learn on equal footing.

Photo by Claire Dionne

Photo by Claire Dionne

Surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, we have this playground at our door step. Why not take advantage of it? Classes may range anywhere from front range crags in K-Country further back to the Lake Louise area. The climbing areas will be determined by your guide(s) based on a number of factors i.e. weather, distance, group size and dynamics. Come join the ACC and expand your horizons.

A past participant in our May course tweeted “Climbing camp in Canmore was fantastic! Thanks to , Kris Irwin, and Phil Wilhelm”. So what are you waiting for? Come see what you’re missing out!

Top slider: all images by Kris Irwin, Jeff Stewart, Claire Dionne

Planned Itinerary

  • Saturday

    Photo by Kris Irwin

    Photo by Kris Irwin

    • Meet at Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. at 8:00 am
    • Car pool to climbing area and hike in
    • Review safety and basic climbing skills
    • Rappelling and cleaning
    • Progress from top rope, to mock lead to leading
  • Sunday
    • Meet at Rocky Mountain Bagel Co at 8:00 am
    • Car pool to climbing area and hike in
    • Review lessons from previous day
    • Continue progression from mock lead to lead

Gear, Food, Lodging


  • Instruction throughout the camp by ACMG guides
  • Ropes and group gear

Participants must provide:

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation to/from Canmore and climbing areas (participants are expected to car pool)
  • All your meals
  • Personal gear (see equipment list in Info Pack)
  • National Park passes (if required) – FREE for 2017

Level of Difficulty

For those that already climb with basic rope-handling and belay skills, this is the course for you. Difficulty of grade is not important for this course as hard skills will focus on lead sport climbing development. This is not a Learn to Climb course, this course is designed for those that already climb and want to develop their leading skills.

Learn to Lead 2017 Staff

  • Kris Irwin

    Kris Irwin

    Kris is an ACMG Alpine Guide. He lives in Banff with his wife Ellen, daughter Aria, and their dog Ruby.
    Kris is certified to lead all types of rock, ice, and mountain climbs. He has been climbing in the mountains at home and abroad since 2004. Although he feels most at home on the classic ice climbs in the Rockies he has also made several first ascents in Alaska in the past few years.
    Kris is one of the most active waterfall ice climbing guides in the winter and in the summer can be seen leading guests throughout the Rockies, Bugaboos and Rogers Pass.  An excellent instructor and personable guide, Kris always gets rave reviews from his guests

  • Sonnie Trotter

    Sonnie Trotter

    “Climbing is freedom” says Sonnie Trotter (30) of Squamish, BC. “I love the freedom of movement without coaches or rules, freedom to travel, freedom to explore and the whole time living it all under open skies.”

    Sonnie Trotter is one of if the most accomplished free climbers in the world. He has been grappling rocks and setting standards since he was 16 years old – has over 14 years of experience under his belt. When not climbing the worlds hardest routes, Sonnie can be found at home in Squamish BC, looking for possible first ascents and rock guiding on the Stawamus Chief. Sonnie is a certified assistant rock guide through the ACMG. He is also an accomplished writer, photographer and product developer – basically, anything that has to do with climbing and mountain life. After spending nearly two years in Canmore, Sonnie moved back to the coast for the world class granite, but says he will always be drawn to the majestic rocky mountains.

    “Climbing and it’s community have given me so much and allowed me to live such a rich existence, that I feel honored to be able to share my passion and my experience with others. I hope my guiding can have a positive impact.

    For more about Sonnie go to: www.sonnietrotter.com