Seattle Canyoning Committee

Seattle Canyoning Committee

The Seattle Canyoning Committee aims to support canyoneers throughout their progression from beginner to advanced technician.

The Seattle Canyoning Committee aims to support canyoneers at all points in their learning progression, from beginner to advanced. We place an equal value on training and experience, and strive to make both accessible to anyone interested. We welcome folks who already have experience to join our programs at an intermediate or advanced level.

Check out some of our recent blog posts and trip reports!

Courses and clinics

Basic waterfall Canyoning Course

An intensive multi-day course that gives you everything you need to participate in Basic canyon trips. We partner with V7 Academy, an online canyoning education provider, which allows students to study concepts on their own time, and maximize in-person time with practice. This course is designed for beginners, experienced climbers, and desert canyoneers alike, and has no pre-requisites other than general fitness and ability to swim. The course teaches a variety of movement techniques on rope, which are different from, but related to climbing techniques. Students also learn anchoring and rigging techniques, assessment of whitewater and decision making in a whitewater environment, as well as emergency preparation. Most importantly - it's your gateway into a fun and welcoming canyoning community!

Registration for 2024 will open soon!

View Course

intermediate canyon skills course

The Intermediate Canyon Skills Course gives students the skills to plan and execute a trip with a focus on risk management. The course includes trip planning tools, more advanced rope movement, and a variety of rigging and rescue skills. Students must have descended a minimum of 8 unique aquatic canyons and a total of 12 canyon descents, and pass a personal movement and anchor management test before taking this course. The next course will be offered the first weekend of February, 2024.

View February 2024 Course


Intermediate Canyon Whitewater Clinic

The Intermediate Canyon Whitewater Clinic is a one-day clinic designed to teach the skills needed to navigate hydraulics and move a team through a highly aquatic canyon environment. While the primary focus of this clinic is personal and team movement in whitewater, the clinic includes some important whitewater rescue techniques for an a4+ environment.

Saturday, June 22

Sunday, June 23

Canyon Wilderness First Aid

Each year, the Canyoning Committee hosts a Wilderness First Aid course designed specifically for canyoneers. The course includes all of the fundamental WFA curriculum, and students will receive a WFA certificate after completing the course. All scenarios used to practice the WFA skills are framed in a canyoning context, and participants will have an opportunity to practice techniques using the unique gear and clothing (wetsuits) that canyoneers typically have with them. 

The next Canyoning WFA course will be offered in Fall 2024

canyon trip planning seminar

This interactive, self-directed online seminar is designed to give those who have experience as a competent teammate (not a passenger) in aquatic canyons the tools needed to effectively plan for a canyon trip. The focus of this seminar is on Pacific Northwest Canyons, but much of the information can be applied nationally or globally.

It focuses on using Ropewiki and Caltopo as tools for planning, as these are the primary tools used in the Pacific Northwest. It also includes templates that leaders can use to communicate to their participants and emergency contacts.

View Course

Practice Sessions

Throughout the year, we offer practice sessions to keep your skills fresh - especially those skills you hope never to use, but will need to be proficient if the time comes. Each of our practice sessions has a unique focus - some are for more advanced canyoners, while others are open to anyone and provide a great way to learn some basic skills and get to know the community.

View our calendar

Global adventures

The Canyoning Committee partners with the Global Adventures Committee to offer travel canyoning trips. Our trips are both in the US and International. We believe that one of the best ways to expand your skillset and experience is by traveling to canyon in another region. We also know that traveling to canyon can be intimidating, and it’s often much more challenging than it first appears. From gathering beta, to risk management, to group dynamics, and even simple things like knowing the local grocery stores and how to find road conditions, traveling to canyon is a lot of work. Add to that all of your regular systems (wetsuit storage etc) being askew, and it can be hard to get the most out of the actual canyoning. On Mountaineers trips, Canyon Leaders take care of all of the logistics, vet the team of participants, and set you up with a great itinerary, so that you can focus on experiencing new canyons and enjoying a new environment.


We welcome canyoneers to our community who learned to canyon elsewhere. Whether to join our trips, to take our Intermediate Course, or to volunteer as a Leader or Instructor, we encourage experienced canyoneers to check out our equivalency process. 

A benefit of joining Mountaineers trips is confidence in leader training as well as the training level of your entire team. Our goal is to have a transparent and low-barrier equivalency process, while ensuring the level of proficiency we expect of our participants. 

Learn about Basic Equivalency

Learn about Intermediate Equivalency

leadership & Instructing

Our Canyon Leaders and Instructors are all volunteers who have been mentored by others in the community and are excited to pay it forward. All of our Leaders first serve as Assistant Leaders, and complete both technical assessments and mentored leads before leading groups in-canyon.  Not only does leading and instructing benefit our community, it provides new growth opportunities for the leader. We have a strong community of Canyon Leaders, who dedicate time every year to personal growth in more challenging canyons together, making them stronger leaders, and more connected as a community of leaders.

Interested in joining as an Assistant Leader or Instructor? Please complete our short application. Thank you for your interest!


An example progression

Everyone has a unique learning progression that works for them, but in general, most people spend 1-2 years at the Basic/Beginner level - taking introductory courses and getting mileage with those skills. Most people should anticipate spending 2-4 years at the Intermediate Level, as that is often where the biggest learning curve is. Courses become more complex and significant mileage in progressively challenging canyons is needed to apply and hone those skills. For those starting out with The Mountaineers, a reasonable progression might look like this:

1-2 years Basic Canyoning

  • Basic Waterfall Canyoning Course
  • 10-15 Basic Canyon Trips
  • Practice Sessions throughout the year
  • Basic Global Adventure Canyon Trip

1-4 years Intermediate Canyoning

*Note that progressing from Basic to Intermediate typically takes 2+ years unless you dedicate your summer to getting canyon mileage and/or travel to the southwest for canyons during the fall

  • Canyon Wilderness First Aid Course
  • Intermediate Canyoning Course
  • Intermediate Canyon Whitewater Course
  • 10-15 Intermediate canyons 
  • Intermediate Canyoning Global Adventure
  • Practice sessions throughout the year
  • Help teach the Basic Waterfall Canyoning Course
  • Canyon Trip Planning eLearning seminar
  • Supplement your experience with additional non-Mountaineers courses

1 year Assistant Leading

  • Take the Assistant Leader Assessment
  • Become an Assistant Leader
  • Continue gaining canyon mileage and attending practice sessions
  • Help teach Intermediate Courses

1 year becoming a Leader

  • Complete 2 mentored canyon leads
  • Apply to become a Canyon Leader
  • Lead Canyon trips
  • Become a Lead Instructor for the Basic Waterfall Canyoning Course

Ongoing Advanced opportunities

  • Participate in advanced or specialty clinics
  • Become a Lead Instructor for the Intermediate courses