Canyoneering Instructors Service Network (CISN) was founded by Rich Carlson in 2013. The network's primary mission is to assist with economic development and enhance quality of life for individuals and communities around the world through the provision of training for canyoneers, canyon guides and canyon rescue teams. We are especially interested in serving underprivileged youth and unemployed adults in Native American communities and in developing countries. For qualifying groups, we will provide training, assist with the establishment and promotion of a youth service program, canyon guide program and/or canyon rescue program, as well as help with the acquisition of gear.

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Have a question? Call: 1-877-RAPPEL-8

The American Canyoneering Academy (formerly the American Canyoneering Association) is the premier source for training, technical information and services for recreational canyoneers, canyon leaders, guides and rescue professionals in the United States, Canada, Latin America and around the globe.

Founded in 1999 to …
• Promote safety, self-reliance and ethics through education.
• Facilitate the exchange of ideas and information among an international canyoneering community.
• Provide venues for networking between canyoneers; regionally, nationally and internationally.

The primary focus of the ACA is education and training.
Through our courses, workshops, meetups and online information, the ACA has been and continues to be, instrumental in setting standards and providing leadership for the canyoneering community.


Canyoneering Instructor Service Network (CISN)


Canyoneering Instructors Service Network (CISN) was founded by Rich Carlson in 2013. The network's primary mission is to assist with economic development and enhance quality of life for individuals and communities around the world through the provision of training for canyoneers, canyon guides and canyon rescue teams.

Gorging: A Documentary


Gorging is a feature documentary about the sport of canyoneering, its pioneers and participants. The film features the ACA's Rich Carlson, along with Dennis Turville, Michael Kelsey and Steven Cabourne.

2014 Schedule Posted

We are working on our 2014 calendar and adding a wide variety of workshops and events in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, California, Mexico, Costa Rica, South America, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nepal, Iran and elsewhere. Check out the Schedule section of our website and check back often as additional programs will be added regularly.

Rich returning to Iran, June 2014


For three weeks in November-December 2012, the ACA's Rich Carlson had the privilege of teaching a series of canyoneering workshops in Iran. 15 Iranian students participated in the workshops ranging from ART of Canyoneering to Canyon Leader and Canyon Rescue Technician. Students came to the workshops with solid technical foundations from prior experience in rock climbing, caving and canyoneering.

Hong Kong Canyoning Association


The Hong Kong Canyoning Association (HKCA) was established in 2011 with the assistance of the ACA's Rich Carlson, who continues to serve as the HKCA's Technical Director. HKCA conducts a range of technical canyoneering courses following the ACA model.

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Connect with other Canyoneers

Join the ACA Canyoneering Meetup
The ACA provides a variety of ways to meet other canyoneers from across the country and from around the world. Meetup events include informal get togethers, canyoneering trips, workshops and practice sessions. Many of our events are free and all are open to the public.

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