Youth Rock Climbing Camps

The KMAC Youth Rock Climbing Camps are designed to make the connection and to bridge between indoor and outdoor climbing. Our climbing camps are based around traditional climbing ethics and principles. We are not about bells and whistles. We simply learn how to climb rock and have fun while doing it. Our youth climbing camps are known for their in depth instructional formats.

For the rock & mountaineering camps, students sleep in tents at KMAC’s private 10 acre secluded base camp outside Estes Park bordering Rocky Mountain National Park. Participants need only provide their own personal clothing items, a sleeping bag and pad. You’ll receive an equipment list upon registering.


Youth Mountaineering Camps

Over the years we have found that being exposed to the mountain environment at a young age leaves a lasting and lifelong love of the outdoors as well as developing a self-confidence that stays forever.

In Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness, we’ll carefully chose peak ascents geared to the individual skills within the group that will require technical climbing instruction in both snow and rock to reach the summit. Skills are taught in the field and then put into practice during peak ascents. Expect to be sharing the lead, solving route finding problems and fully involved in decision making. These mountaineering camps cover a wide range of skill development.

KMAC Guides certified in Leave No Trace and Interpretation will be “all in” for this challenging week of mountaineering instruction.  While this is a very physical mountaineering course, previous snow climbing, rock climbing or backpacking skills are not required for participation. However, students should be in good physical shape and be able to carry a 30lb pack.

IMG_4635.jpg resize.jpg 75Note: For full immersion in the climbing camps we have scheduled them to run consecutively to allow for a full 2 week camp. Students do not need to have taken beginner camps to enroll in the intermediate or advanced camps. Bring one or more friends and set up your own “private” climbing camp with one of the kmac guides if camp dates do not suit your summer schedule. For even more rope management training , rigging system practice, and just plain fun, students might even have the chance to set up and spend the night on the porta ledges at the KMAC camp rock site!

Throughout the year we get calls and emails from parents asking very similar questions:

“My son/daughter has been climbing indoors and is doing quite well. They’ve done a little climbing outside, and are interested in more outdoor instruction. They are very excited about rock climbing and I want to make sure they start off on the “right foot”. What do you have for that?”

I’ve included an excerpt of one of my email responses below:

“The climbing camps are very well suited for students like your daughter who have climbed indoors and want to take those skills outside. All of the climbing at KMAC is done outside on real rock. Having a very low student to guide ratio (sometimes as low as 2: 1) we are able to work closely with each student and tailor the course for each group. Every day, students go to a different rock site. We immerse them in the climbing experience. Evenings are used for slide shows, reviewing video, reading about climbing, and working with gear in the rocks around camp. There is multi-pitch climbing which requires belay stance changes and other advanced skills. We gear the camp directly to each participant’s skill level. There are usually 4 -6 students in each camp.”

Departures and Returns

All courses originate and end from KMAC’s headquarters on Deer Ridge in Estes Park. We provide pickup and drop-off at Denver International Airport for students arriving by plane.

Participants traveling by car should arrive in Estes Park at 11:00am on the course starting date. Lunch will be provided at KMAC. Pick-up time is 11:00am on the course ending date.

Participants traveling by air should schedule their arrival at Denver International Airport between 8:00am and 11:00am on the course starting date. A KMAC employee will meet your child at the airport. Departing flights should depart DIA between 8:00am and 11:00am on the course return date. Please contact KMAC before making flight reservations.  Additional airport pick up and drop off fees may apply.


Upcoming Youth Climbing Programs Schedule

Beginner Climbing Camp

Saturday, June 17thFriday, June 23rd

1 Person–$1,325.00

(Ages:  12-17)  Take your climbing skills to the next level and beyond. Be prepared for “all out” climbing. We will sample all of the types of climbing: sport, bouldering, trad, even multi-pitch if the group is up for it. Hand cracks, finger cracks, roofs, slabs, off widths, chimneys, Chaos Canyon (RMNP) bouldering, you name it, you’ll climb it. This camp is designed to give the beginning and intermediate climber as much knowledge as possible about climbing and all that it entails.

The camp offers students the opportunity to further develop and expand climbing skills in an extended climbing session. It is the perfect way to transition from indoor climbing to real rock. It is all about climbing and moving on rock every single day. Time is also given to working with protection, establishing belay stances and anchors and general rock climbing safety. For extra rope management training, rigging system practice, and just plain fun, students may even have the chance to set up and spend the night on the porta ledges at the KMAC camp rock site.

You’ll learn the KMAC approach that identifies each aspect of a climbing situation. This involves planning, critical thinking, and analysis of each system before proceeding.

Don’t forget that coming to this camp with a friend is a great way to become life-long climbing partners. We encourage this. Learning together is fun and helps a great deal as material is presented that students can talk about and share at a later date.

Participants traveling by car should arrive at KMAC at 11:00AM on the course starting date. Pickup time is 11:00AM on the last day of the course. Additional airport pick up and drop off fees may apply.

A sample itinerary is described below. The schedule can change due to weather, group skills, and other factors.

Day 1: Students arrive at KMAC. Orientation. Equipment issue. Lunch and course overview. Next we head to the private KMAC crags to get a feel for everyone’s climbing abilities and interests.

Day 2: The famous Jurassic Park. Tyrolean traverse and top rope sport climbing. Review teaching video.

Day 3: Face climbing day, RMNP

Day 4:Lumpy ridge RMNP. Single and multi-pitch climbs. Crack climbing introduction.

Day 5: Venue options: RMNP multi pitch and bouldering Chaos Canyon.

Day 6: Pizbadille Multi-Pitch adventure. Crags, Twin Sisters. Evening Celebration.

Day 7: Breakfast. De-gear. Students depart KMAC 11:00 am


Youth Mountaineering Camp 1

Friday, June 30thThursday, July 6th

1 Person–$1,325.00

(Ages: 12 – 14, 15 – 17)   From the KMAC basecamp in Estes Park, we’ll venture out into Rocky Mountain National Park daily to begin our skills training for mountaineering. We start with rock climbing basics. Once these skills are mastered only then do we move into snow climbing. Crampon and ice axe use will be taught and practiced in order to prepare for a number of peak ascent possibilities; some of which include Longs Peak, McHenrys Peak, Arrowhead and many more.

June 30:   Arrive at Kent Mountain Adventure Center. Equipment issue. Equipment check. Rock climbing instruction in the afternoon. Camp at KMAC.

July 1: Rock climbing instruction and skills practice all day.

July 2: Snow school. We’ll head into Rocky Mountain National travelling up the highest continuous paved road in the US; Trail Ridge Road, (12,000 feet). Even in summer, we’ll find plenty of snow to work on snow climbing techniques.

July 3: Mountain ascent.

July 4: Rock climbing.

July 5: Longs Peak ascent.  North Face route.

July 6: Final group meetings. Pack up. Students depart KMAC 11:00am

For extra rope management training , rigging system practice, and just plain fun, students will have the chance to set up and spend the night on the porta ledges at the KMAC camp rock site.

You’ll learn the kmac approach that identifies each aspect of a climbing situation. This involves planning, critical thinking, and analysis of each system before proceeding.

Consider enrolling in this course after having completed the Beginner or Intermediate Rock Climbing Camp either in previous years or concurrently in the same season. Don’t forget that coming to this camp with a friend is a great way to become life-long climbing partners. We encourage this. Learning together is fun and helps a great deal as material is presented that students can talk about and share at a later date. Minimum number of students: 2.


Intermediate Climbing Camp

Thursday, July 6thTuesday, July 11th

1 Person–$1,140.00

(Ages:  12-17)

This camp is designed to give the beginning and intermediate climber as much knowledge as possible about climbing and all that it entails. Safety, climbing commands, belaying, rappelling, knots, harness and helmet use, body positioning and movement, rope care and management, use of protection, history of climbing and learning to second multipitch climbs will be covered in this course. Depending on what students at most psyched on, we will sport climb, boulder, trad climb, multipitch climb, slackline, and even get a chance to develop new routes/problems. For extra rope management training, rigging system practice, and just plain fun, students may get the chance to set up and spend the night on the portaledges at the KMAC camp rock site.

Participants traveling by car should arrive at KMAC at 11:00AM on the course starting date. Pickup time is 11:00AM on the last day of the course. Additional airport pick up and drop off fees may apply. A sample itinerary is described below. The schedule can change due to weather, group skills, and other factors.

Day 1: Students arrive at KMAC. Orientation. Equipment issue. Lunch and course overview. Intro climbs at KMAC’s private rock site.

Day 2: The famous Jurassic Park- Tyrolean traverse and top rope sport climbing.

Day 3: Lumpy ridge RMNP. Single and multi-pitch climbs. Crack climbing introduction.

Day 4: Face climbing, multi-pitch routes. RMNP, Combat Rock. Cliff Camping on site at KMAC!

Day 5: Pizbadille Multi-Pitch adventure. Crags, Twin Sisters. Evening Celebration.

Day 6: Breakfast. De-gear. Students depart KMAC 11:00 am


Bouldering Camp

Tuesday, July 11thMonday, July 17th

1 Person–$1,325.00

(Ages:  14 – 17) Bring your crash pads and take your climbing skills to the next level and beyond. Note: It is not necessary to have taken the Beginner Climbing Camp to enroll in this course. Whether you are looking to send a V2 or V12, you’re sure to find this camp a learning experience.

Students with prior climbing experience will have the opportunity to further develop and expand their climbing skills in extended climbing and bouldering sessions by climbing with one of the KMAC coaching guides. KMAC uses guides who are expert boulderers and are intimately familiar with Chaos Canyon and other local bouldering areas. Depending on group makeup and where stoke is, groups can go to sport climbing and other “roped climbing” venues.

During the camp KMAC guides will assist your training and develop your climbing in the following ways:
• Finger and tendon strength
• Stamina
• Mental preparation
• Nutrition

You’ll learn the KMAC approach that identifies each aspect of a climbing situation. This involves planning, critical thinking, and analysis of systems.

Many students in our Bouldering Camp compete at national bouldering competitions though this isn’t a requirement. We do recommend some level of experience with indoor or outdoor bouldering and students who can climb at least V2 solidly will have a much better time. Don’t forget that coming to this camp with a friend is a great way to become life-long climbing partners. We encourage this. Learning together is fun and helps a great deal as material is presented that students can talk about and share at a later date.

Participants traveling by car should arrive at KMAC at 11:00AM on the course starting date. Pickup time is 11:00AM on the last day of the course. Additional airport pick up and drop off fees may apply.

A sample itinerary is described below. The schedule can change due to weather, group skills, and other factors.

Day 1: Students arrive at KMAC. Orientation. Equipment issue. Lunch and course overview.
Venue options: Bouldering in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Suzuki boulders.

Day 2: Lumpy ridge boulders.

Day 3: Chaos Canyon Bouldering–RMNP

Day 4: Return to “projects” at Chaos

Day 5: New problem development/Rest day

Day 6: RMNP Bouldering. Last chance to send! Evening Celebration.

Day 7: Breakfast. De-gear. Students depart KMAC 11:00 am


Youth Mountaineering Camp 2

Monday, July 17thMonday, July 24th

1 Person–$1,520.00

(Ages:  12- 14, 15 – 17)  Here in our Rocky Mountains there sits, tucked back deep on the Continental Divide a mountain seldom climbed. The mighty Elks Tooth, requiring technical climbing skills in both snow and rock to reach the summit. This mountaineering camp will cover a wide range of skill development including crampon and ice axe use.

July 17: Arrive at Kent Mountain Adventure Center. Equipment issue. Equipment check. Rock climbing instruction in the afternoon. Camp at KMAC.

July 18: Pack up. Depart Indian Peaks Wilderness trailhead. Map and compass lesson. Begin hiking. Hike approximately 6 miles into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Set up base camp approximately 9000 feet. Dinner. Evening discussion and planning

July 19: Snow school. Ice axe and crampon use. Rope safety and anchors.

July 20: Rock and mixed climbing school.

July 21: Alpine start! Time to put techniques to use for an ascent of the Elks Tooth. After ascending the initial snow slope, we will stay roped up for the spectacular traverse of the narrow ridge to the summit. Great views in all directions. Return to basecamp. Dinner. Evening discussion.

July 22: Break camp. Hike out to trailhead. Drive back to KMAC basecamp. Celebration feast and showers!

July 23: Multi Pitch climbing or bouldering.

July 24: Final group meetings. Pack up. Students depart KMAC 11:00am

Students will complete both camps with a strong foundation in fundamental mountaineering skills including:

  • Snow School: Movement on snow and walking and climbing with Crampons
  • Snow and Ice Anchors
  • Snow Safety – Rope Use for snow, ice, and Mixed Terrain meteorology

Advanced Climbing Camp

Sunday, July 23rdSunday, July 30th

1 Person–$1,325.00

(Ages: 12-14, 15-17)  We’ve set aside this week for students who just can’t get enough of outdoor climbing. It is tailored to students who have demonstrated advanced technical abilities and skills. Every day we will choose multi pitch routes on big faces and crags in Rocky Mountain National Park. Early starts and long days are often the norm.

This is a custom camp that we design for the unique goals of each participant. For extra rope management training, rigging system practice, and just plain fun, students will have the chance to set up and spend the night on the porta ledges at the KMAC camp rock site. Due to the complex and highly technical nature of this camp, the student to guide ratio is 2/1. Please call KMAC to schedule an  interview before enrolling in this course.

A sample itinerary is described below. The schedule can change due to weather, student skills, and other factors.

Day 1: Students arrive at KMAC. Orientation. Equipment issue. Lunch and course overview.
Venue options: Bouldering in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Twin Owls ascent. Climbing Craft: Make your own climbing water bottle.

Day 2: Lumpy ridge RMNP. Multi-pitch climbs. Crack and face climbing.

Day 3: Alpine start for alpine routes in RMNP. Options: Petite Grepon, Hallets, Spearhead.

Day 4: Lumpy ridge RMNP. Multi-pitch climbs. Crack and face climbing.

Day 5: Alpine start for alpine routes in RMNP. Options: Petite Grepon, Hallets, Spearhead.

Day 6:  Multi-Pitch adventure. Crags, Twin Sisters. Evening Celebration. Cliff Camping on site at KMAC!

Day 7: Breakfast. De-gear. Students depart KMAC 11:00 am