Trip Dates

Custom Day Programs April to October *daily bookings by request *shorter day 8 am-12:30 pm or 11:30-4 pm available at 2/3 cost (meet 1/2 hr prior)

School Programs May, June, Sept.
Learn to Climb Program (1 to 3 days) Climb team 1:6,  max of 10-12 students (age dependent), require 2 adults, for larger groups half day rotations


Cost is based on ratio, per person is: 1:6 $116; 1:5 $130 ,1:4 $150, 1:3 $183, 1:2 $250, 1:1 $450 plus 5% tax *all technical gear (helmet, shoes, harness) provided

Group Size

Maximum 1:6 ratio, depending on age (12 & under may need parent participation, youth programs require extra adults)

Skill Level

Beginner to Intermediate kids as young as six can climb, request a family program

Related Trips

Advanced Rock Climbing Courses
Daily Guided Rock Climbing
Alpine Rock Climbing

Introduction to Rock Climbing

Expose yourself to this rewarding activity with our certified instructors...

This 1 to 2 day beginner program is for families, groups and individuals wishing to safely learn the basics of outdoor rock climbing.

Topics covered on the 1 day program include; basic climbing knots, movement skills, equipment use, top rope climbing techniques and general crag safety.

On the two day program, you will learn personalized movement skills, basic anchor construction and rappelling while climbing as much rock as possible.


8:00 AM meeting at local climbing site

  • Welcome, introduction, goals & agenda
  • Issue of required gear
  • Intro to common rock climbing equipment
  • Movement skills intro and bouldering
  • Basic knots, belaying, rope handling and commands
  • Rock climbing with the safety of a rope
  • Integration of movement skills while roped climbing
  • Climbing different routes
  • On the 2nd day, we will introduce lead belaying, rappelling and basic anchor construction
  • Course debrief and wrap-up by 4:30pm
  • For the three day summer youth rock camps, there may be more advanced rock climbing skills offered for students to learn. There will be additional discussions weaved through regarding decision making, risk assessment, leadership and group role.

    In the event of wet weather, participants will do change activities and do a hiking program focusing on leadership skills, navigation, geology and ecology and explore both valley and alpine based hikes. Parents or supervisors will need to provide transportation to all meeting locations and/or trail heads.

    Our experienced instructors will customize your learning based on your background and recommend further training if interested.


    No previous climbing experience required however, previous climbing experience (indoors or outdoors) is an asset. Join us and safely learn this exciting sport from our skilled instructors.




    Spring and fall temperatures in the West Kootenays can vary wildly from 0C to +20C during the day. Conditions can change from warm sunshine to isolated showers quickly.  Ensure you are dressed for all variations as temperatures, wind and precipitation tends to change within the day.

    Summer (July and August) tend to be more predictable but can be very hot. The average mid-day temperature in the summer usually ranges from +20C to +30C. A lightweight rain and/or wind shell can come in petty handy in the event of an afternoon thundershowers. Be sure to pack a ball cap, sunglasses along with sunscreen and extra water during the summer season, see equipment list for specific details.


    This course is available throughout Western Canada, contact us with a desired location. The West Kootenay courses will take place at one of the many local outdoor rock climbing sites in the Nelson & Castlegar area (Slocan Bluffs, Kinnard Bluffs, Koch creek Bluffs, Waterline, etc.). The area is blessed with a fine variety of outdoor rock climbing sites in pristine wilderness.

    The group will be meeting with the instructor at 8:00 AM at a pre-establish outdoor rock climbing site in the West Kootenays. We will go over last minute equipment issues, review the planed itinerary and update you with present conditions.

    Services Included

    • Pre-course planning support
    • Fully certified IFMGA and/or ACMG Alpine Guide or Mountain Guide services
    • 20 years of experience in the area
    • Alternative plan based on current conditions
    • technical gear including harnesses, helmets, belay device and rock shoes (or use your own)
    • Rope use & all technical equipment
    • Park permits and Liability Insurance
    • Emergency response plan
    • Group safety equipment

    Services NOT included:

    • 5% gst tax
    • personal clothing *see equipment list for more details
    • personal lunch & snacks
    • wilderness permits for national parks
    • travel to meeting location and accommodation prior to field portion trip
    • gratuities
    • trip interruption, cancellation insurance or medical insurance
    • additional costs incurred if changes made to itinerary due to weather


    How experienced do I need to be?

    On this course, no previous climbing experience is required. This introduction to outdoor rock climbing course is for beginner climbers and climbers with some prior indoor climbing experience.

    Is it safe?

    For all of our climbing programs and courses, SMG provides you with fully certified IFMGA/ACMG Mountain, alpine and rock guides. This guaranties you the highest safety standards in the industry. Rock climbing remains hazardous and while it is impossible to eliminate all the hazards, our guides will maximize your experience and greatly minimize the risks involved.

    Can I rent some of the rock climbing equipment needed during the programs?

    On this program we offer participants access to all the technical climbing and rescue gear at no extra charge. This includes; harnesses, helmets, rock shoes, belay device, carabineers and much more. Contact us for specific sizes and availability.

    Where can I rent/buy climbing & outdoor equipment?

    Here are a few outdoor stores in Nelson that supply good service and quality outdoor equipment and gear rental, please ensure you rent gear well in advance.

    Rivers Oceans and Mountains 354-2056
    Valhalla Pure Outfitters 354-1006