Experienced and professional instructors

Swiftwater canyons like nowhere else

All team canyoneering equipment provided

If you enjoy swiftwater canyoneering and are ready to take that passion to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. The North Cascades is a world class swiftwater destination and provides some of the best canyoneering in the US.
Advanced Swiftwater Canyoneering is an intensive course designed to provide students with the necessary skills to become effective and efficient team members and leaders.

This course is designed to develop strong decision-making skills, critical thinking skills, efficiency and rescue techniques putting you on the path to becoming a confident and skilled swiftwater canyoneer.

$695 per person | 4 days

Trip Details
Price

Tuition for the course is $695 per person


Departure time

8 AM


Meeting point

Meeting location will be provided in your pre-trip information packet.
We’ll meet outside of Seattle, Washington. Typically it’s a 30 to 60-minute drive, but we’ll let you know with plenty of time in advance.

Click here to see map


Availability

August 27-30, 2020
Custom dates available for private groups. Contact us for additional information.


Duration

4 days


Group size

2-8 people


Experience level

This course is designed specifically for those with previous swiftwater canyoneering experience.  To attend, you must have taken an introductory swiftwater canyoneering course or have equivalent experience.


Difficulty rating
Level 1
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy hiking on well maintained trails
    • Canyoneering: Easy hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 2 miles
  • Surfaces: Easy terrain
  • Elevation Change: Little to none. Short sections of uphill travel.
Level 2
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy to moderate hiking
    • Canyoneering: Easy to moderate hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 3 miles
  • Surfaces: Flat or rolling terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 600 ft/day
Level 3
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Moderate, off-trail hiking on rugged trails
    • Canyoneering: Moderate, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 6 miles
  • Surfaces: Rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 1200 ft/day
Level 4
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 10 miles
  • Surfaces: Rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 3000 ft/day
Level 5
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Very difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Very difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs. May require advanced canyoneering techniques including guided rappels, multi-pitch rappels, complex ropework difficult pothole escapes, and advanced problem-solving and anchor building.
  • Distances: Hike up to 14 miles
  • Surfaces: Extremely rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 4000 ft/day

Solitude rating
  1. Expect to be around other hikers and travelers most of the time.
  2. Expect to have some solitude, as much as an hour at a time without seeing other groups.
  3. Expect several hours of solitude at a time.
  4. Expect to see no more than one or two groups on your trip.
  5. Expect to see no other hikers or travelers on your trip.

Included
  • Experienced and knowledgeable instructors
  • Wilderness-based classroom
  • Group campsite
  • All team canyoneering equipment (i.e., ropes, webbing and rigging)
  • Course-specific handouts
  • Federal land permit fees
  • Safety equipment, including a team first-aid kit and satellite messenger
  • A commitment to make the course as exciting, challenging and informative as you’d like

Not included
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Personal equipment
  • Gratuities or tips for instructors and guides

What to bring
  • Harness, helmet & rappel device
  • Layered clothing
  • Comfortable, high-friction footwear
  • Medium backpack
  • Sun Protection
  • Water bottles or bladder
  • Headlamp or flashlight

A full packing list will be provided upon booking.

What Lies Ahead of You

3 days of exciting swiftwater canyoneering in some of the top locations

Full guidance throughout the trip that teaches you new techniques

Abundant wilderness and nature at its finest

What You'll Learn

The advanced course broadens the curricula taught in introductory courses by utilizing real-life scenarios in actual swiftwater canyon environments.

Through the application of these techniques in concert with an understanding of hazard recognition and risk management concepts, you will gain increased confidence in your abilities and decision making to overcome a variety of canyon challenges more comfortably. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your competence and gauge your readiness for more challenging canyons while leading sections of swiftwater routes.

Specific skills you will learn include:

-Advanced jumping and sliding

  • High jump scoop entry
  • Flat/lateral jump over whitewater
  • Near jump/step off
  • Push-off slide to avoid the ledge

-Rappelling into/over a hydraulic trap

  • Flat jump/lateral jump
  • Aggressive swim exit
  • Floating anchor

-Guided rappels

  • Constructing bomber anchors
  • Setting releasable tension line
  • Target practice
  • Guided rappel practice

-Hydrology and weather

  • Hydrology/weather review
  • In-canyon whitewater reading
  • In-canyon flash-flooding awareness
    + Nearest escape/exit point
    + Nearest waiting safe zone
    + Signs of previous flashes

-Ropework

  • Passing a knot on rappel
  • Passing a knot ascending
  • Zip-lining packs target practice
  • Setting retrievable traverse line by self-belay
  • Setting retrievable traverse line by the top belay
  • Creeping the anchor

+ After each rappeller
+ While on rappel

-Anchor Building

  • Bolts

+ Inspecting bolted anchors
+ In-line vs. American Death Triangle
+ Basic bolting talk

Natural

  • Inspecting natural anchors
  • Replacing webbing
  • Tree anchor considerations
  • Boulder pinches
    Logs
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have experience to do this tour?

Yes. This course is designed specifically for those with previous swiftwater canyoneering experience. To attend, you must have taken an introductory swiftwater canyoneering course or have equivalent experience. If you’re still interested in learning the basics, join us on our beginner’s course!

What should I wear?

Wear clothes you can move in and don’t mind if they get “worn-in” by the canyons. We recommend wearing clothing that covers your knees and elbows. Layers are also key! For your feet, comfortable medium-weight hiking shoes or boots work best. You definitely need closed-toed shoes that you’ve worn before and broken in well.

Have more questions? Head to our FAQ page to read more!