Technical Canyoneering Course, August 22-23-24

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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  • Charlie G.

    The class was great. Folks on it was even better! Thanks for a great weekend. ;)

    2 · August 26

    • Sandra K

      Thanks for uploading pictures! They look great!

      1 · August 27

    • Charlie G.

      Glad you liked them ladies. Not my best work but .... Let me know if you Organise some trips. Id love to come. Probably going to the sierras to do some backpacking this weekend if I can get permits.

      1 · August 27

  • Micaela

    Hey, anyone want to see this with me? It's about canyoneering. Free to watch at Adventure 16 https://www.facebook.com/events/1451708788433638/

    2 · August 26

    • Micaela

      Aw. :-( .. ur baby's so cute!

      August 26

    • Mei L.

      I was there earlier for their Women's tour. Would really love to see Gorging (and yes, for free!). I'll let you know if I can get out of my other commitment.

      1 · August 26

  • Mei L.

    Great class! Superb instructor! Learned much more than I expected. Must-do for every canyoneer.

    1 · August 26

  • Matt G.

    Great class instructor and participants.
    Thanks, Klaus.

    August 25

  • Scott C.

    Learned a ton

    August 25

  • Micaela

    Thank you Klaus! Hopefully I'll see ya soon!!!

    August 24

  • Sandra K

    Thanks Klaus. This class was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to learn canyoneering safely and I got that and more

    1 · August 24

  • Micaela

    Can someone post the gps coordinates to the griffith visitor center?

    August 20

    • Micaela

      [masked], [masked] found it!

      August 21

    • Micaela

      Ok, I'm not going to make it tonight but I'll be at Stoney Point Saturday bright and early. Joy.

      August 22

  • Micaela

    Hey, i want to buy a helmet - any recommendations? I have a small head - super small... I wear a boys fitted hat : 6 1/2 size ... I was looking at the Petzl Sirocco Ultra light.

    August 20

    • Charlie G.

      Hi klaus, can you advise what kind of shoes to bring too? I've got a 501. Do I bring that? Or rock climbing shoes? Or hiking shoes? I've also got rock Climbing harness and a mountaineering harness. I guess one of them should be ok? Thanks.

      August 21

    • Klaus G.

      either harness will work .. just trail shoes .. no need for climbing shoes or canyoneering shoes. I don't know what a 501 is.

      August 21

  • Charlie G.

    I just signed up and sent the payment over paypal. Let me know if you got it. Also, for accommodations, since I'm coming from the bay, can you advise how we can find a place to stay/camp. Do we need to settle our own accommodations for the 2 nights? Thanks

    August 18

    • Freddy

      Sage Ranch is just up the road.

      August 20

    • Charlie G.

      Thanks folks for the info. Really look forward to meeting you folks. ;)

      August 21

  • Danielle M.

    I am interested in signing up for this course. My husband and I have already taken a basic class from the Zion Adventure Company in Utah, but want more training before we tackle Pine Creek in October. Is there still space left? Also, I can make it on Friday but he can't. Would he still be able to do the course Sat and Sunday? When is the next class? (You can also contact me at [masked])

    August 20

    • Matt G.

      Next class scheduled for Sept. 19-21

      August 20

    • Danielle M.

      OK thanks - I'll try and sign up dor that one!

      August 20

  • Julian G.

    I won't be able to make this class. I hope you guys have a great time and I will keep an eye out for another class offering.

    August 20

  • Adi

    If I couldn't join for Friday evening session. Would it possible to get that info later in weekend.

    August 14

    • Klaus G.

      Yeah .. most of the material we go over on Friday night we also provide in the form of a hand-out ... what you'd miss, we would review on Saturday morning for you. K-

      August 19

  • Klaus G.

    Julian, Karina, Donald, Adi ... please take a moment to pay your deposit via paypal: $100 to [masked]

    August 18

  • Arbi

    The other night I was riding my bike home from work, I couldn’t tell what was wrong exactly, but I felt there is something wrong. It’s not like I had any tools on me, and even if I did, I wasn’t really in the mood to start pretending to be a bike mechanic on the side of a street. Unfortunately after a while the pedals jammed like the chain got stuck. I looked down, and it actually came apart, one of the links broke, and I watched the line of metal wind its way through the derailleur and then drop onto the floor. This all happened within maybe ten seconds. It was like I was watching it, but I couldn’t really comprehend what was going on. My eyes saw the chain leave the bike, but my legs kept pedaling futilely, with nothing to give them any resistance, it was just this hollow motion, all while my brain simply could not make sense of the visual, the tactile, finally my momentum came to an end and I had to get off the bike then I walked back.'Cause of that I'll be missing this course.Sorry

    August 17

  • Freddy

    I have posted a canyon just for this class. It's for Sept 6th, Classic Canyon and Fall Creek. Everyone who attends will be using the skills taught in the class, rigging all three blocks, rope management, belays, reading and understanding beta so bring a copy of it, it will look like this http://www.dankat.com/advents/fallcr.htm

    August 14

    • Matt G.

      Looking forward to it Freddy.

      1 · August 14

  • Sandra K

    I'm in the South Bay if anyone wants to carpool any of the days

    August 7

  • Emilio

    Is their some sort of proof of certification after the course? Like a card, paper or anything?

    August 1

    • Klaus G.

      Yeah, we issue a certificate of completion showing that you took the course.

      1 · August 1

    • Emilio

      Cool thanks

      August 1

  • Arbi

    I'm really willing to join but I don't have a car to reach over there, Is there a possibility somebody give me a ride?

    July 22

    • Klaus G.

      Hey Arbi .. let's wait to see if anybody signs-up from your area ... If not, you could plan on spending Friday and Saturday night at my place and you could ride with me! Klaus

      July 23

    • Arbi

      I really appreciate

      July 23

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