Your outdoor climbing journey starts here!

Over two days, build essential skills to safely top-rope climb on your own. We’ll begin with an introduction to technical systems and expand to movement skills. By the end of the second day, your rope work will be solid, and you’ll be moving more confidently over rock. These fundamental skills can be applied in a multitude of ways. For many, Intro to Rock is a stepping stone towards learning to lead or climb in the mountains.

Please read the pre-trip document for details.


Courses will take place at Comox (Cumberland) Lake Crags unless stated otherwise.

  • April 23-24: Mount Wells in Victoria
  • April 30-May 1: Nanaimo River

If you're interested in setting up a course at another location, please reach out. We also offer courses at Crest Creek Crags, Naniamo River, Mount Wells (Victoria) and on Quadra Island.


  • Equipment overview (selection, use and care)
  • Basic movement skills on rock
  • Rope skills & management for top rope
  • Top rope anchor building using trees and bolts
  • Rappelling from anchors
  • Introduction to removable anchors
  • Coaching, progress evaluation & feedback
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details about our booking and cancellation policy, and other commonly asked questions.


All Island Alpine Guides courses and trips take place in an outdoor, wilderness environment. This means that as a participant you will be encountering various risks, dangers, and hazards, some of which include avalanches, cornices, crevasses, cliffs, trees, creeks, rockfall, difficult travel conditions, weather, illness, equipment failure, wild animals, becoming lost as well as the possibility of mistakes being made by IAG guides and instructors. To participate in these activities you will be required to read and agree to our waiver as part of the registration process. You will also be required to sign the waiver at the start of the course or trip. In doing so you will waive or give up certain legal rights including the right to sue or to claim compensation following an accident.

Included in the price:

  • 2 days of instruction
  • Group technical gear
  • Personal technical gear (harness, helmet, carabiners, belay device, rock climbing shoes)

Not included in the price:

  • Transportation to and from meeting point
  • Food
  • Accommodation

  • Apr 23 - 24, 20220 spots available.$395.00 Sold Out
  • Apr 30 - May 1, 20225 spots available.$395.00 Book Trip
  • May 7 - 8, 20225 spots available.$395.00 Book Trip
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Important pre-trip information
As low as:

$395.00 / person

(at 4:1 ratio) Next Trip: Apr 23 - 24, 2022
My Grandson had an incredibly positive experience because of the knowledgeable, experienced and supportive instructor. Michael Walton, Cumberland, B.C.
I thought your Intro To Rock course with Graeme was excellent. Graeme was extremely professional and taught the course at just the right pace for our group as we had all had a little bit of experience climbing but were looking for a refresher and some professional guidance. Graeme definitely planted the climbing bug in me I hope to take your Learn to Lead course soon! Grayson Kerr, Victoria, B.C.
I had a great time at the course. I am sure everybody really enjoyed themselves as well. We're planning to go out next week to practice our skills. With the skills we gained and the little we already had, I feel confident that we can go out and safely enjoy ourselves. Graeme's casual professionalism made the course very enjoyable and safe. I would not hesitate to take another course led by him or put on by Island Alpine Guides. I look forward to the opportunity to take my next course, probably mountain skills. Paul Spencer, Victoria, B.C.
The Intro to Rock course was wonderful, as I expected. Lyle was such a great instructor; his calm, professional demeanor made it easy for us to feel comfortable trying out all the new skills we were learning. I loved the combination of taught sections and hands-on experience that the course offered, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to become confident and well-prepared to begin top roping outdoors. This was a perfect start to the season! Easha Acharya, Nanaimo, B.C.
It was such a great weekend. I am surprised at the amount of learning and climbing we were able to do within two days. I am happy to report that I seem to have retained the information and feel confident on the rock. A valuable introduction to rock climbing! Lisa Jackson, Cumberland, B.C.
We had a fantastic time. Graeme taught us so much and made us feel comfortable enough to go out again this weekend and bring our son. We appreciate all the advice on gear too. I will keep trying to trust my foot holds! Steve hopes to beat that crack! This was a Fathers Day present for Steve and it looks like the gift will be enjoyed all summer and for years to come. Jen & Steve, Victoria, B.C.
Had a great time and learned a lot. Graeme did a great job and was extremely knowledgeable and professional, and the other participants were good fun. Raphael Zar, Nanoose Bay, BC
I had an amazing time on the Intro to Rock course. Ken was an awesome instructor, a good balance between clear and concise instruction, and humour! Since the course, I’ve bought all my own gear and have been travelling around the island to different crags since. I’m hooked! Shannon Hamilton, Tofino, BC
We had a great time, and Mark was an exceptional instructor. He definitely covered things that were worth hearing again and added a whole lot more to the information load. Best of all, is he always explained WHY we do something, which was a real game changer. We confidently applied our skills the next morning without concern. We look forward to taking our skills to the next level and returning to IAG for another course soon! Laska Paré, Victoria, BC
This weekend was an incredible experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. Not only was the programming great, but Ken [our guide] was an absolutely fantastic instructor and guide. It was one of the finest experiences I have had and with his help was able to push past many mental blocks I had during climbs. I was shocked by what I was able to accomplish with him stewarding. By the end of the weekend, I had the sublime experience of being physically exhausted from the activities but totally energized mentally. Ken's unique blend of experience, teaching and philosophical approach to life, risk, and experience cannot be overstated. Jonathan Horvatin, Victoria, BC
Great experience and [our guide] Ken was magic! Really good group and Ken brought out the best in us. We were all stoked after two days of climbing, belaying, and rappelling. Best ever and I intend on taking more courses. Thank you very much for opening up a new world of adventures. Richard Williams, Victoria, BC
The two days were great! Learned a ton from [our guide] Graeme; he was incredibly patient and very supportive. You run a great experience for newer climbers! Lorrie Brooks, Victoria, BC
The lesson was awesome. Graham [our guide] is so patient and explains everything in a logical fashion. You can see that safety is his first concern and I felt safe the entire time. I will watch for your other courses as I would certainly consider other opportunities. Kathy, Victoria, BC
I was thrilled with my whole experience with Island Alpine Guides. Easy registration process, clear instructions to prep for the weekend, timely response to questions before the course, and an incredible alpine experience (helped by perfect conditions). Our amazing guide Jen was epically skilled, professional, a good communicator and an amazing teacher. I would recommend IAG in a heartbeat!!!!!! Amy P, Quadra, BC
We had such a great time. Prior to this we had been climbing in the gym but now feel this course has given us the base knowledge to get out there and start climbing outside on our own. We actually picked up our first rope and equipment yesterday! I’d also like to mention how amazing Helene is. The whole course went smoothly. She has so much knowledge and passion for what she does and it really shows. Very detail and safety oriented and straight to the point. But also very encouraging and uplifting. It was super cool to learn from someone with such an incredible background and gain knowledge through her stories and experiences. She’s an inspiring woman. Needless to say, we’ll be back in the near future! Jess R.,
It was awesome!! We all learned so much and our comfort level increased dramatically even by the end of the first day. So worth it, would highly recommend it! Graeme was great; really calm and a really good teacher. Tracy F.,