After having the most wonderful time on a previous trip with Get In The Wild a few years ago, I just had to go back for more. (You can read my previous review on TripAdvisor.) Yup, just what I thought it was going to be… more of the terrific, safe, and adventurous fun that I remembered, only just a little more technical and challenging on this route. My first-timer friends who came along with me can’t stop raving about it. Christopher Hagedorn is the quintessential guide. Patient, caring, ultra-safe. He doesn’t just take you along, he makes you part of his team. As an educator, he freely shares his endless knowledge of the activity, the area, and it’s history. And he packs you a darn good lunch too! Hoping to be back again in a couple of years, next time with my all my kids and grandkids. It’s just way too good not to share it.
Learn to canyoneer with the support of the PNW’s first swiftwater canyoneering guide service
Experience the Pacific Northwest’s most exciting new sport
Develop technical and leadership skills to safely descend swiftwater canyons
Our Introduction to Swiftwater Canyoneering course is the premier introductory course designed specifically for swiftwater canyons in the Pacific Northwest. Get in the Wild has been teaching wilderness educational courses in the Pacific Northwest for the past 25 years and is the first commercial guide service to offer canyoneering-specific courses and guided experiences at this world-class destination. Canyons with running water, waterfalls and hydraulics (Class C) pose unique risks that dry canyons (Class A) and standing water canyons (Class B) don’t. This course will provide you with a comprehensive set of skills, knowledge and techniques designed exclusively for Class C, swiftwater canyon systems. All skills will be taught and practiced in a swiftwater canyon environment.
$695 per person | 4 days
Tuition for the course is $695 per person
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.
July 23-26, 2020; August 6-9, 2020; August 20-23, 2020
Custom dates available for private groups. Contact us for additional information.
This course is designed specifically for beginner canyoneers and those with existing Class A and B experience who wish to learn swiftwater-specific skills and techniques.
This course does not teach you how to swim. You must be a good swimmer to take this course.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Expect to be around other hikers and travelers most of the time.
- Expect to have some solitude, as much as an hour at a time without seeing other groups.
- Expect several hours of solitude at a time.
- Expect to see no more than one or two groups on your trip.
- Expect to see no other hikers or travelers on your trip.
- 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
- Personal equipment
- Gratuities or tips for instructors and guides
What to bring
- Harness, helmet, rappel device, ascenders, full-wetsuit
- 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
Experience the excitement and thrills of swiftwater canyoneering
Learn and refine your skills in the canyons, not in a classroom
Grow as a leader and refine your decision making skills
Meet new adventures and experience the power of the team
What You'll Learn
This course is designed specifically for beginner canyoneers and those with existing Class A and B experience who wish to learn swiftwater-specific skills and techniques. This course does not teach you how to swim, so you must be a good swimmer to take this course. We promise to teach you fun new techniques that will either put you to the test or complement your current knowledge and help you improve quickly, allowing you to challenge yourself more and more. Check out the skills you’ll learn in the course:
- Anchors, belays, and rappel techniques
- Hydrology and hydraulics: flow rate and velocity, siphons/sieves, holes, rapids, laminars, eddies and entrapments
- Jumping, sliding, and tobogganing
- Ropework: knots, hitches, guided rappel, Tyrolean traverse and floating anchors
- Swiftwater-specific gear and equipment
- Trip planning techniques
- Navigation and route finding
- Personal and group safety
- Hypothermia and submersion
- Hazard recognition and avoidance
- Group problem solving
- Self-rescue techniques
- Rules, ethics, style, communication and courtesy
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely not. If you’re a keen adventurer looking to discover the pleasure of canyoneering, this trip is for you.
Wear clothes you can move in and won’t tear easily. 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!
My husband were able to spend a couple days with Chris gaining and practicing new skills that are necessary to safely navigate some of Utah’s canyons. Chris is knowledgable, methodical and sequential with his teaching. We are excited to come back next year to practice!! I love canyoneering!!
My husband and I took the technical canyoneering course from Christopher to learn more about anchoring, knot tying, varying canyoneering techniques, and have fun. We’ve explored numerous slot canyons prior to the class but always had friends/family who lead the way and we just followed their lead. Our goal was to gain more independence.
The course is 3 days long and each day was 10-13 hours long. Christopher was great to really listen to what our goals/expectations were and customise the teaching to our skills and abilities. We’d come home really tired every day but excited with what we’d seen and learned. On the last day, each member of our group took the lead in choosing the route, anchoring, assuring all team members were safe. It was a fantastic course and I’d like to return next year for more!