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Canyoning Course

Waterfall Canyoning Course - B

Learn the technical skills needed to explore the aquatic canyons of the PNW


The Mountaineers is committed to helping make the outdoors accessible to all. In addition to providing gear to loan, we aim to reduce financial barriers by providing scholarships. Our scholarships are funded by donors who believe in The Mountaineers mission to help folks get outside, and to preserve our wild landscapes. If your current financial situation limits your access to the outdoors, we encourage you to complete a scholarship application. The link is easy to find in the course header at the link above. If you're inspired to contribute to making the outdoors more inclusive, we encourage you to make a tax-deductible donation through our website.


Within 2 weeks of registering, students are expected to complete the participant questionnaire found in course materials.


The world-class aquatic canyons of the Pacific Northwest might be our best kept secret. This course will give you the skills to safely descend our aquatic canyons and become a part of one of the fastest growing canyoning communities in the world. It is appropriate for complete novices, as well as desert canyoneers and climbers who are new to an aquatic environment. View our Course Overview page for more information.


Fitness Requirements: 

  • You should be able to hike 2 miles with 1000' of gain and a 25lb pack in 90 minutes.
  • You should be able to swim 20 meters without flotation

Complete Online Pre-Learning at levels 1 and 2

  • Each activity within the course will specify which sections of V7 will need to be completed in advance. Be sure to check with enough time to complete the pre-work.

Complete the required 1-day seminar: Waterfall Canyoning Pre-Course: Canyoning Fundamentals

  • This seminar teaches rappelling and knotcraft. Those who have previous experience can optionally test out in the morning. Those who are new to rope work are encouraged to attend multiple days.
  • Additional optional evening and weekend pre-course sessions will be offered, and we encourage you to attend!

Attend all course sessions - no exceptions.

Pass the movement and technical assessments.

  • There will be an opportunity at the end of the course to take the assessments. Those who wish to have more practice can schedule an assessment later in the summer.


All course dates are listed below under “Course Requirements”. This is one of three scheduling options. Go to the Course Overview to view alternate scheduling options.


Pre-course dates

April 15 - you will receive access to V7 Level 2 (at this time cancellations are eligible for no more than 50% refund)
May 20, 21 & June 10 (8am-5pm)- Choose one of these dates to attend Day 1: Canyoning Fundamentals  (those with no prior rope experience are encouraged to attend more than one)
Other dates in May - keep an eye out for evening and weekend practice sessions!

Course dates

Sat-Sun, June 17 & 18th
Sunday, June 25
Sat-Sun, July 8-9
Sat-Sun, July 15-16
Wednesday, July 19 (6:30-8:30pm)
Thursday, July 20 (evening celebration!)

*All days are full days (roughly 8am - 5pm) unless otherwise noted.


Students who have canyoning gear are encouraged to bring their own gear so that they can learn on their personal gear. The Mountaineers will provide all personal gear except wetsuit, shoes, and neoprene socks. Students will be required to provide their own wetsuit which can be rented locally (minimum 5/3mm). Neoprene socks can be purchased online for around $15 (minimum 3mm).
No additional gear purchasing is required for the course, as any gear that students do not have will be provided to loan for the course.

Click on the "Required Equipment" tab below for a comprehensive gear list, and to learn about gear available to graduates to use after the course.


Students can receive a full refund before April 15, 2023. Cancelations between April 15-May 15 are eligible for a 50% refund. Cancelations after May 15 are not eligible for a refund,

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Students who have canyoning gear are encouraged to bring their own gear so that they can learn on their personal gear. However, no technical gear purchasing is required for the course, as any technical gear that students do not have will be provided to loan for the course.

Students will need to purchase or rent the following gear for the course:

Wetsuit (full body, minimum 5mm on the core). Drysuit is also acceptable though less desirable.

Neoprene socks (minimum 3mm)

Closed-toed approach shoes with sticky rubber or canyon-specific shoes

The Mountaineers will provide the following for students who do not wish to purchase their own:

  • Canyon harness (caving harness is also acceptable. Climbing harnesses are not allowed)
  • 2 dynamic lanyards with locking carabiners  (PAS is not acceptable)
    • students will get to keep their lanyards, which will be sized to each student. Students will NOT get to keep the carabiners. If there are two pieces of gear we recommend purchasing, it’s:
      • An HMS carabiner with a keeper wire (Sterling Falcon Talon is preferred because it is round-stock, but a flat-stock carabiner is acceptable, as is an HMS carabiner without a keeper wire)
      • A small locking carabiner (Petzl Sm’D twist lock is recommended, but a Petzl Spirit or other locking small carabiner is acceptable)
  • 1 variable-friction descender with locking carabiner (examples: Critr, Pirana, Hannibal, Hoodoo, Oka, Resonator)
  • 1 compact mechanical hand ascender (Petzl Basic recommended)
  • 1  mechanical chest ascender (Petzl Croll recommended)
  • 1 single runner (60cm sling) OR chest harness
  • 1 foot loop
  • 1 canyoning knife
  • 1 pea-less whistle
  • 6 pear shaped locking carabiners
  • 1 locking XL Master carabiner OR Grivel Vlad (recommended)
  • 1 Figure Eight Descender
  • 1 locking alpine draw (60cm sewn sling plus two locking HMS carabiners)
  • Canyon Pack with drainage and flotation
  • Rope bag with drainage & flotation
  • Helmet (Climbing helmets & Paddling helmets both acceptable)


Our goal is to make canyoning accessible to everyone. Graduates of this course will be qualified to participate on Mountaineers Basic Canyon trips. On Mountaineers trips, participants will have access to borrow the gear they borrowed for the course.

Wetsuits can be rented at

Many participants choose to purchase canyoning shoes, however many others use old approach shoes. Any shoes with sticky rubber soles will work.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.