Climbers will often tell you that it is more about the lifestyle than the activity itself. It’s not only about the movement on rock, but the whole experience of being in nature with inspiring and dedicated people.

Rock Climbing forces fitness and finesse for those who pursue it, both mentally and physically. The Sea to Sky is a rock climbers mecca, enthusiasts come from all over the world to enjoy the perfect fine grit granite, with no better example that the Smoke Bluffs, Squamish. This was the location that our Rock Guide Level 1 course took place, a perfect area for learning and developing skills.

The WAS Rock Guide Training Program introduces the fundamental skills necessary to become a competent rock climbing guide. With three hands-on courses, students learn the fundamentals to rock climbing and guiding while building a resume of rock climbs and multi pitch experiences. The course is taught by Chris Lawrence with his depth of experience in many disciplines which make him a favourite amongst his students. Chris is not only a local legend but an internationally certified guide who has been working for thirty years in the mountains, both in summer and winter.

Each day begins with an established routine of a weather and equipment assessment and a group discussion of what the specific focus of the day will be on. Every day focuses on a different skill acquisition in the morning and is followed by hours of climbing and putting the earlier learned skills to use. A daily debrief focused on specific questions, teaching methods, and personal progression concludes each day and ensures students are ready for the following morning’s adventure.


“The dynamics of the students in our group made for a very healthy learning environment with everyone bringing different skill sets and experiences that undoubtedly gave us all confidence and expanded our knowledge in Rock Guiding. To have someone with such vast and varied experience as Chris really elevated our confidence and pushed us to try some more technical and out of our comfort zone skills” – Katie Wooster

The course provides an individual approach to education as each climber has their own challenges and background. Chris is dedicated to demonstrating best practice with skills and teaching which is essential to the students’ success. The skill acquisition followed by real life climbing situations cements knowledge giving substance to the learning as well as providing the confidence needed to develop as a climber.

“The camaraderie of the group was awesome. Each person inspired and educated each other, we all had different skill sets we were willing to share and use to help each other. Everyone exchanged numbers at the end of the Level 1 with solid plans for some extra curricular climbing on the cards!” – Katie Wooster

The Rock Guide Course runs every summer and is open for all levels of climbers!


“We search out the most perfect pieces of rock. It’s so amazing that these formations are so perfect for climbing on. It’s almost as if they were created for climbing. Every climb is different, has its own unique set of movements and body positions. Climbing and my appreciation for nature are totally intertwined” – Chris Sharma