Technical Canyoneering Course, July 18-19-20

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

Join or login to comment.

  • Klaus G.

    logistics e-mail sent .. search your mailboxes for 'logistics'

    July 16

  • Jazmine

    I'm devasted I can't afford this class right now! Will you be offering it again in the future?

    July 2, 2014

    • Klaus G.

      Yeah. It's already posted for August. I do one almost every month.

      July 2, 2014

  • Matt G.

    Klaus, is there a minimum number for the class to be a go or will you do it with just 4 or 5?

    June 28, 2014

    • Klaus G.

      I never cancel a date. It's always a go!!

      1 · June 28, 2014

  • Matt G.

    I am still seeing if I can schedule in this course. Is there anywhere in the area to park my truck camper for the weekend? I am in Central Valley Fresno area.

    June 28, 2014

    • Matt G.

      I found a spot to stay in Canoga Park.

      June 28, 2014

    • Klaus G.

      awesome! Try this place. It is close to our Saturday/Sunday venue, though the Friday evening venue is more near Hollywood. Let me know how it goes! Klaus[masked] http://www.ventura.or...­

      June 28, 2014

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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