Rock Guide Training - Cloud Nine Guides Staff Training SS 2018

C9G / IFMGA Aspirant Guide, Nino Guagliano instructing our TRCI's Dylan Abel and Logan Grasby in Teaching Multipitch Anchors.


Preparation for the Guiding Season is Here.

3 times a year, we get the Guides together to prepare for the upcoming work season. With a growing list of Rock Climbing Programs and a growing partnership with the Calgary Climbing Center we've taken the time to carve out 72 hours of dedicated time this spring to prepare solely for the upcoming rock climbing guiding season. Day 1 we met at our offices here in Canmore; given how frequently our Guides work on their own, It's important for us as an org to be able to get all the Guides together around the table to discuss ideas for the improvement of all our trips and courses and look at a clear plan to see us through our summer programs. It's incredibly valuable for the admin and operations staff to hear the feedback of from Guides in the field, but also for the admin and ops staff to be able connect with the Guides - all in the interests of creating efficiency and a better end product for you (!) our students on course.


Calgary Climbing Center & Cloud Nine Guides


Outdoor Lead Lesson Course - 1.5 Days - Click For Info

We're now on our 3rd season running our popular partner programs with the Calgary Climbing Center, and to date the programs have been a great success with what we hope will be just under a 1000 students through the program by the end of the season. We've had great feedback on our Outdoor Lead Lesson Programs through the past summer, and being the first course our students often sign up for, it's been a focus for us the last few days. The program is designed collectively between ourselves and partners at the Calgary Climbing Centre to help students develop a baseline of skill sets that will allow them to move easily, and with confidence from the Climbing Gym to the Crags and has easily been the most popular program in the offerings. Day 2 of our Rock Guide Staff Training was spent dedicated to streamlining and improving our delivery of this course, with a day out at Sunshine Slabs. This field day gives us a chance as Guides to look at the systems we're teaching, compare them to those being delivered and taught by other Guides as well as review any changing best practices coming down the pike from our governing bodies, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and review and apply as needed. In the end with the input of all our Rock Guide Staff, we settle on changes to any technical systems, discuss the delivery of the material and coach, critique and polish on teaching and delivery styles. Our goal being to improve the delivery and create continuity between the delivery styles of each of the Guides, making sure the students receive the same course regardless of which of our Partner Program Core Guides are delivering it.


Multipitch Systems Course - 2 Days - Click for Info

With many of our students having worked through the Outdoor Lead Lesson and spending lot's of time at the crags we're finding many are again looking ahead at what's next in the course flow. Our Multipitch Systems Course has become on of the more popular offerings and was the focus of our Day 3 on the Rock Guide Staff Training. Again, while we spend a healthy amount of time with contributions from all the Guides, our goal early in the day is to review course curriculum and delivery and look for ways to improve what the course offers you, our students! Half our day in the field was spend reviewing the teaching methods for providing students a skill set to build their own anchors and how to both transition through them, but also to create efficiency and manage risk at the belay station changeovers. There's a lot going on at a Multipitch Belay Station, so our focus for the morning was how to distill our delivering down into something easily digestible and retainable for our students. Not an easy task as it turns out, but plenty of good conversation arising on teaching methodology, and technical best practices for systems. Through the afternoon, our we set up mock simulations of teaching the actual process of climbing a multipitch route to our students (yes... you actually get to lead your own multipitch route for the first time on our course!). Our Guides throughout the afternoon, spend time looking at ways to not only ensure reasonable protection for themselves but also ways to manage risk for our students all while facilitating their own, autonomous ascent of the route. For the more experienced Guides on Staff this is a great way to polish and work on the mentorship of the more junior guides (the young guns!), but also a great way for our Top Rope Climbing Instructors who work on our Day Rock Experience Programs to acquire more experience as many hope to be moving on to their exams in the Mountain Stream in the next few years.


Training wrapped up yesterday and as I type this today we have 2 full courses in the field on both our Outdoor Lead Lesson and the Multi Pitch Systems Course today. Right into the thick of it for the Guides :) With the next week off our Mountain and Alpine Guides have their 4 day Staff Training beginning late the following week. We'll be sure to post a conditions report from Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefields.


Our Mountain Guide Simon Meis has also just returned from a week of Private Guiding and Instruction from Lake Louise up to the Columbia Icefields with his Guest Vivek, and thankfully has a few days to hang out in Canmore recharge the batteries, drink lattes, and relax before the next trips. We should have his report in later today and up for you to check out late this weekend or early Monday and will be sure to pass it along.


If you would like more info on our Rock Climbing Skills Courses, you can contact or Guest Experience Manager, Becca Newton at or by phone at 1-403-707-5877 for more information or to kick some tires. Really psyched to meet all the students jumping in on these courses for the upcoming season! Hope to crack that 1000 mark, we're fired up to see all the students out there looking to get educated and make good choices out there! 


All the best,


Mike Trehearne
IFMGA Mountain Guide
Director of Operations - Cloud Nine Guides Inc.


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