As lifelong rock climbers, all of us at KMAC have traveled the world seeking the best cliffs and mountains there are to offer. In our travels we have been able to experience that true climber lifestyle, that lifestyle that has inspired us to make these climbing camps something special—it revolves around making only two decisions each day: what should we climb and what is for dinner? We have tried to keep this lifestyle as the backbone of KMAC climbing camps. Unlike many similar camps, we don’t have a preplanned list of climbs for the group to go down. Instead, we use the full spectrum of routes and problems that the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park have to offer, well over 2,000 climbs! Each camp we run will be totally unique, custom tailored to each student’s abilities and goals.
The KMAC Youth Rock Climbing Camps are designed to bridge the indoor and outdoor climbing disciplines. Specifically, we aim to blend the best qualities of a traditional summer camp experience, the subtle observations and skills of a top-level climbing coach, and the risk management/technical skills of AMGA trained rock guides. Students will leave with a baseline of knowledge that will inform a lifetime of good decisions, not to mention they will have one of the best weeks of their lives. The KMAC climbing camps are consistently rated the best in the nation amongst athletes that have attended multiple 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. Our basecamp is a semi-primitive campground with a covered outdoor camp kitchen, dozens of cliffs & boulders that serve as our outdoor classroom, and some of the most epic views in the lower 48!
We work very hard to ensure we are educating students to be athletes. This education will include training theory, injury prevention, how to rest, and how to properly eat. In addition, we place high value on practicing Leave No Trace ethics in the backcountry, teaching our athletes wilderness skills and principles they can’t learn in the gym. We go out of our way to provide high quality food for all students and are happy to cater to all dietary restrictions and allergies.
June 15-22: Youth Mountaineering Camp
From the KMAC base camp 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 then move on to snow climbing. Crampon and ice axe use will be taught and practiced in order to prepare for several peak ascent possibilities. We will learn to honestly and objectively assess our team strengths to pick an objective. Once we choose a peak, we will work backwards through all the steps we need to do to get to the top. In that process we will learn basic expedition planning and choose several training and acclimatizing goals to get us ready for our big send! Students will complete this camp with a strong foundation in fundamental mountaineering skills including but not limited to: movement on snow and walking and climbing with crampons, snow and ice anchors, mixed terrain climbing, snow safety including use of ropes, avalanche basics, and alpine meteorology.
June 22-29: Beginner Climbing Camp
This camp is designed for those who have climbed some—maybe just in a gym—and want to experience the vertical world outside. We will spend a week sampling the various disciplines of rock climbing in the legendary Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas. We will begin with the fundamentals of climbing and establish safe habits and practices right off the bat to establish a background of lifelong safety in the vertical world. We will go bouldering, sport climbing, trad climbing, and practice many of the techniques it takes to climb slabs, cracks, and faces.
June 29 – July 6: Intermediate Climbing Camp
Similar to the Beginner Camp, we will spend time in many different disciplines of rock climbing: sport, trad, bouldering, and multipitch. But this time we assume students have built some strength up back at their home climbing gyms. From this starting point we will have an intense week of climbing and learning. We will have lessons on a wide range of topics: movement on rock, analyzing protection, footwork, crack/face climbing technique, rope management, even some basic high-angle rescue. Students will come away from this week with a huge boost to their climbing resumes and a solid understanding of how to evaluate the risk of a climbing situation as taught by professional climbing guides. If all goes well, we will end the week by climbing a multipitch (a climb taller than one rope length) route!
July 6 – 13: Teen Bouldering Camp
Designed to take a background in gym bouldering to the outdoors! If you can send V3/V4 at your home gym you are qualified to check out the world-class bouldering of Rocky Mountain National Park with KMAC! Our guides will teach lessons about everything you need to know to boulder outdoors safely and with continual improvement for a lifetime of climbing. We will discuss: training, nutrition, route selection, proper spotting techniques, and a host of other topics. Students will take turns using guidebooks and topo maps to lead the group to problems then work together to come up with beta and send!
July 13 – 20: Bouldering Masterclass
This is an advanced course designed for students who climb all the time. While many students for these courses are on comp teams, this is not a requirement. We recommend that you can send V6 or harder in your home gym. We will spend a week getting to know the world-class bouldering of Chaos Canyon and other areas in Rocky Mountain National Park. Feedback and discussions will follow your sessions, as well as ‘bigger picture’ topics such as: injury prevention, advanced training techniques, nutrition, mindset training, climbing ethics, and more. Students will have the opportunity to work a project over multiple days, as well as get on boulders of varying levels. You will move through this week as a team, dedicated to everyone’s successes, ready to spot and get psyched together in this rugged alpine terrain.
July 20 – 27: Elite Climbing Camp
The Elite Climbing Camp is designed for advanced climbers wanting to take their climbing to the next level. We recommend you can climb at least 5.12 in your local gym to attend. This course is staffed not only by AMGA trained guides but also by elite level coaches and trainers. We will spend our days sport climbing and bouldering at the premier venues of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park seeking your dream route. We will discuss then practice high level route selection and redpoint techniques. Students will leave with a solid understanding of how to train for, redpoint, and send the hardest climbs in the world (one day)!
July 27 – August 3: Rifle Sport Climbing Camp
The Rifle Climbing Camp is designed for elite youth climbers who want a KMAC climbing camp experience at the world-class venue of Rifle, CO. We recommend you can climb at least 5.12 in your local gym to attend. This camp starts/ends at Denver International Airport (or en-route if you live in the Northern Front Range). We will drive to our basecamp just outside of Rifle Mountain Park and setup camp before spending a week with guides who know the Park intimately. Like our other camps, this isn’t just a free-for-all of climbing, students will work with coaches to develop skills and techniques with the goal of coming away from this week being a much more well-rounded climber.