OUR MISSION is to provide powerful outdoor based programs. Through our courses we hope to strengthen your connection to the “old ways” of non-mechanized travel, adventure and low tech living skills. We also hope to instill in you the value of the natural world, our ancestral heritage and their honest ways of living. By putting to use these “lost life skills” and quiter forms of recreation we all help to preserve a world which is all too quickly becoming bygone.

OUR MISSION is to provide students with safe and unique adventures, in a small non-competitive group setting. Through our adventures we hope to strengthen your connection to mother earth so that we may all become more conservation minded.

Michael Hood, Director. Mike founded Vertical Ventures with the idea of developing a way to share his interest and enthusiasm for the outdoors with others.

OUR INSTRUCTORS are professionals, they‘re also  teachers, counselors, social workers, and moms. All are dedicated guides and instructors who share a love of the outdoors, people and dogs! They’re committed to sharing their experience and knowledge with others. Together they are a dedicated family of adventurers and friends. Most are house broken too!

SAFETY is the cornerstone of our programs. We are one of the oldest and most trusted rock climbing and adventure schools in the midwest. Our courses are led by experienced guides, who are adept at teaching you the skills you’ll need in the outdoors. We have finely tuned our programs over many years and our safety procedures are continually reviewed and updated. Our courses are carefully and meticulously planned long before you set foot on the rocks to help ensure your safety and comfort. The fact that Vertical Ventures has one of the best safety records in North America is no accident!

CONSERVATION We have a strong commitment and a long tradition of teaching low impact and “green” climbing ethics. We are tireless advocates of “Leave No Trace” techniques and include them in all our programs. We climb in harmony with the natural world and work to standardize climbing practices and promote strict ethics in all the parks we visit! Through Friends of the Ledges we regularly sponsor park rehabilitation projects. To preserve and protect our remaining wild places, we believe conservation through education is only the beginning! We walk our talk!

Questions and Policies

WHICH COURSE IS FOR ME ? We’ll do our best to ensure that the course or trip you choose meets your abilities and expectations. If you or your group are looking for a particular challenge, let us know and we can customize a program to suit your needs. Please remember your time with us should be fun, so we’ll help you pick an adventure that’s right for you. Consult our knowledgeable office staff - they’re also guides!

CUSTOM COURSES & PRIVATE GUIDING. We can accommodate most requests. We offer private lessons, instruction for small groups,  customized courses and trips. Ask about our weekday and group discounts.J

OUR REGISTRATION POLICY We now accept registrations over the phone with Visa & Mastercard. Send us your completed application along with your course tuition or trip deposit. If you make a phone reservation, payment must be received within 10 days or your reservation will be canceled.

GROUP DISCOUNTS If you register a group of (7) or more for our weekend 1 Day Basic or Kids Basic Rock Climbing Course you will receive 50% off your own course tuition. Call for information on our weekday discounts s!

CANCELLATION POLICY If you decide to cancel your trip/course or transfer to another date, your tuition will be refunded or credited at the time we receive written or voice mail notice, less the following cancellation fees.
Notice   Cancellation Fees
30 - 60 days  30% course fees
14 - 29 days  50% course fees
Less than 14 days 100% course fees

Late Cancellations If you cancel less than 14 days prior to the start of your course for any reason, there can be no refund or transfer of tuition unless a replacement is found to fill your vacancy. If your Basic or Intermediate Rock Climbing Course is canceled by Vertical Ventures you will be transferred to your second choice date or you may transfer to another date. If you cannot reschedule your tuition will be refunded.



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