Why It’s Worth Learning Outdoor Skills Like Rock Climbing Online

Summers ago, back in ‘the normal times,’ I attended the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy in Squamish, BC. It was a special few days, not only because of the nightly film screenings and live music, but for the excellent clinics with world-class guides at a fraction of the cost—not to mention the access to the professional athletes, who don’t typically teach climbing, and also instruct during the academy. Ahh, normal times.

Anchor building at last year’s climbing academy
Showcasing crack climbing techniques courtesy Arc’teryx

This year’s academy couldn’t happen in person, but Arc’teryx adapted to the now-COVID times, doing a remarkable job bringing the academy online. First were marquee film screenings—like the premiere of Free As Can Be, a film about Yosemite climbing legend Mark Hudon and rising pro Jordan Cannon’s friendship and ascents of Freerider on El Cap—as well as the annual photo competition. Although this year’s contest was a “compilation contest,” not produced by photographers during

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