Technical Canyoneering Course, May 16-17-18

Learn to Canyoneer!!

“Canyoneering has enjoyed a tremendous surge in popularity over the past several years. Unfortunately many of the people who are discovering this exciting sport remain unaware of the inherent risks and the complex technical skills required to enjoy it safely. The rope skills learned from rock climbing and rappelling are a good start, but will prove to be inefficient and sometimes dangerous in an aquatic or semi-aquatic canyon environ. This curriculum is designed to enhance safety, efficiency and enjoyment for canyoneers of all experience levels."

Prerequisite: None

This is a beginner to intermediate course which teaches the skills necessary to safely descend canyons as part of a group (being a competent participant and the knowledge to recognize and implement safe canyon practices). This course is designed to quickly get the beginner up-to-speed on basics, to give both the rookie and intermediate canyoneer new tools for his/her toolbox, and will help intermediate cayoneers refine their current skill set! The topics and skills covered will include:

  • Knots, Bends and Hitches
  • Canyon Rating System
  • Rules, Ethics, Style, Communication and Courtesy
  • Specific Gear Choices, Requirements, Use and Care
  • Belays, Lowering and Handlines
  • Natural, Artificial, Transient & Human Anchors
  • Static and Contingency Riggings
  • Rope Deployment, Coiling, Bagging and Etiquette
  • Rappelling Techniques & On-Rope Skills
    (Adding Friction Pre-rappel, Mid-rappel, Locking Off, etc.)
  • Specialized Rappelling Techniques
    (Hard Starts, Soft Starts, Free-Hanging, Over-Hanging, etc.)
  • Basic Climbing & Down Climbing Skills
    (Bridging, Stemming, Partner Assists, Partner Captures, etc.)
  • Safety Checking and Basic Self-Rescue
  • And, within each of these broad subjects are a myriad of skills and tools.


Instructor: Klaus Gerhart
ACGA Certified Guide, Officer and Instructor, Certified Rappel Master, Wilderness First Responder, Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue Technician, Basic Mountaineering Instructor for Sierra Club's Wilderness Travel Course and a Master Educator for Leave No Trace wilderness ethics.

The cost of this course is $395. A $100 deposit is required within 2 days of your RSVP to reserve your place in the class. Mail the deposit to Klaus Gerhart, 427 S Serrano Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020 or PayPal to: [masked] (The deposit is non-refundable, but may be put toward a future class during the same calendar year if 30 days notice are given, cancelling your participation in this course.) Feel free to post your questions on this site or contact me directly through e-mail or a greeting.

This class will begin on Friday evening (7:00-9:30) at the Visitor's Center in Griffith Park, with an orientation, introduction, and presentation with an emphasis on the canyon rating system, gear, weather, canyon topography ... and getting to know each other.  The class will reconvene on Saturday and Sunday at Stoney Point Park in Chatsworth and will run from 7am-5:00pm both days.

Required gear for this course is a harness and a helmet (I can loan these out if you don't have them), and I'll also be loaning out carabiners, descenders, tethers, foot loops, prussiks, etc.  Feel free to borrow my gear for this course, until you determine what your needs will be.

Here's what some recent students are saying:

"This course was FANTASTIC! It far exceeded my expectations. Klaus was an awesome instructor with an impressive knowledge of all things canyoneering. He gives you hands on experience in several rappelling devices (and rappelling off a Munter hitch), rappel starts in several positions, self rescue, and building anchors (just to name some of the major components, the course content is far more extensive). He is an organized and patient instructor. Every second of the course is filled with either classroom or hands on experience with little down time. After Klaus' class, I feel very confident that I could go out and be a member of a canyoneering meetup. I would give this class my highest recommendation possible. Klaus rocks!!!" --Scott Merrill

"This was an excellent class. I've been canyoneering for about 5 years but never fully gotten all of the fundamentals of canyoneering. A very comprehensive course that enables one to competently descend canyons, even if you don't have any experience prior. It was a really full class and didn't skimp on anything. Klaus is an excellent teacher and always makes it fun while packing in so much information." --Alden Anderson

"I had attended Klaus' last training and it was Amazing! I never expected that I will be able to do so much adventure stuff in a 2.5 day course. Klaus is a great instructor and the training was great fun and totally worth the money. Exceeded expectation!!!!" --Gokul Ramachandran

"This course was great, and it was taught by an even greater guy. Klaus knows his stuff and teaches it well. After only a few days I feel like I can take on just about any canyon. I recommend this course to everyone, and I hope no one hesitates to take it. A great experience!" --Mark Crawford

"Klaus is an amazing canyoneer and a terrific instructor; smart, funny, engaging - but most importantly knowledgeable and SAFE! He's one of the few people I trust with my life, literally. If anyone is waffling on whether or not to attend, DO IT. I assure you you will not regret it." --Nick Brogna

"This 3 day class was awesome. Klaus was knowledgeable and patient. His technical skills taught me confidence in building my own anchors and validating the strength of others. I enjoyed learning with this group. Klaus was able to give individual instructions to all of us. Can't wait to get back out there." --Julie Mello

"Great course with an excellent instructor. Klaus is patient and makes everything challenging and fun but most importantly safe. I don't think he left anything out. I had a great time out there with a good group. I look forward to the intermediate/advance course. Anybody considering this course at a later date, don't hesitate, you won't regret it. Thanks Klaus!" --Darin Matus

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  • John K.

    Klaus and Dave are excellent instructors. Ours was a fun and enthusiastic group of students. The course was full of valuable information. I am confident I can safely participate in many of the local canyoneering adventures having taken this course. I would recommend it to anyone interested in this sport.

    May 27

  • Yvonne

    A big thanks to Dave and every member of the group as well! The group made the experience even better. I look forward to doing some canyoneering with you all.

    May 19

  • miki k.

    Fantastic instructors and members! Very efficient and clear instructions - and excellent location choice :-) I cannot wait to put skills in use and travel canyons! Thank you Klaus and Dave for being excellent trainers and making us laugh. Thank you Angela for sharing your home and spending time together for non-stop 3 days, and being so fun. Thank you everyone for a great time. I couldn't ask for anything more :-) :-) Best experience ever :-)

    2 · May 19

  • Aline M.

    fantastic!

    May 19

  • angela k.

    Truly excellent! Klaus and Dave were just fantastic! Our group was a bunch of fantastic people. I learned, I laughed, I had a great time. I can't wait to use my skills (three canyons planned in the next couple of weeks) couldn't ask for more from this group and my instructors. You Guy rock!

    3 · May 18

  • Yvonne

    This was the funnest course I have ever taken. If you are interested in learning about Canyoneering, start with Klaus. He is a Canyoneering guru who clearly has a passion for teaching. Every course topic listed was thoroughly covered. I felt every minute of the course provided technical information and hands on learning. He gives good attention to each of his students and their needs. As added bonuses, he made us laugh plenty and reenforces many of his important lessons with great stories. Highly recommended! Thanks a lot Klaus!

    4 · May 18

  • Christine

    So, if we've already attended the Friday evening section, what time do we have to meet on Saturday morning? Also, what is the cost (is there a discount if we've already done the Friday evening section)?

    May 15

    • Klaus G.

      I sent out an e-mail through meetup earlier this week with all these details. We're meeting at Stoney Point on Saturday morning to leave the cars by 7:00am ... There is no discount for taking the Friday evening portion of the course already ... since that was free. The balance is $295. If you need any gear (harness/helmet/gloves, etc ... you gotta let me know!) K-

      May 15

  • Scott K.

    I just posted a Bailey Canyon event for 5/31 *just* for people taking this class. You will be eager to put your new skills to work. Check it out here: http://www.meetup.com/canyoneering/events/182140422/

    1 · May 9

  • Klaus G.

    Howdy Folks! There's a lovely woman interested in flying in from Washington State to join this course ... she was hoping to crash on someone's couch to save a bit on accommodations. She thought it would also be nice to carpool to the course together ... Is there anybody who could open their home to a stranger? Thank you in advance for your generosity! Klaus

    1 · April 28

    • miki k.

      I'm in :-) Thank you Angela a million!

      April 29

    • Klaus G.

      Fantastic!!

      April 29

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