Vertical School

Victorian Branch is running a National Vertical School over Easter 2019. The School will provide abseilers, rock-climbers, and cavers with an opportunity to learn, develop, and be assessed in those skills.

When and where will it take place?

The School will be held at Cooinda Burrong Scout Camp in western Victoria from Friday April 19 to Monday April 22 2019. Participants are requested to arrive on Thursday night. Practical parts of the School will be held off-site at locations in the Grampians, Mount Arapiles, and Budj Bim/Mount Eccles.

How will it be organised?

There will be several  streams to choose from:

  • abseiling,
  • caving,
  • top-rope climbing,
  • lead climbing (pre-reqs apply),
  • vertical rescue (pre-reqs apply), or
  • complex vertical rescue (pre-reqs apply).

What is the program?

We’ll meet at Cooinda Burrong Scout Camp, in the Grampians, on Thursday evening. The School will begin on Friday morning with some core training and skills assessments on artificial surfaces, and a trip to a Grampians climbing area on Friday afternoon. On Saturday each stream will split off to do different things specific to their stream. The cavers will travel to Budj Bim/Mount Eccles for their segment, while the climbers and abseilers will remain at Cooinda Burrong and run day trips to Mount Arapiles and crags in the nearby Grampians. Monday morning will be spent wrapping up loose ends and final assessments before the School concludes in the early afternoon.

What qualifications is the School offering?

The School is designed to address Scout qualifications up to Level 2 in climbing, caving, and abseiling, and the associated SIS10 units. For a full list of SIS10 units available, refer to the full participant information document. Due to the format of the School we are unable to assess full Guide qualifications, but there are a small number of places available for prospective Instructors; email us for details.

Who can apply?

The School is open to Venturers, Rovers, and Leaders who meet the pre-requisites listed below. All participants must:

  • be aged over 15 on April 18 2019;
  • have a reasonable level of fitness;
  • have completed the following e-learning modules:
    • Planning for Outdoor Activities (AA OUTDOOR PLAN)
    • Assisting in Conducting Outdoor Activities (AA ASSIST)
    • Abseiling skills (AA ABSEIL) required for all participants, not just abseilers;
    • Elementary Navigation (E NAVIGATE) e-Learning modules
    • Navigation Skills (AA NAVIGATE) e-Learning module;
  • Leaders and Rovers must have completed Bushwalking- Level 1, Basic Outdoor Skills, or Basic Scout Bushwalking, and;
  • Venturers must have completed Venturing Skills.

 There are also additional pre-requisites for some streams:

Stream Pre-requisites
Climbing-lead Rock climbing - level 2 (top-rope)
Vertical rescue One of the following quals:
  • SISOABN303A Apply single pitch abseiling skills natural surfaces
  • SISOCAY302A Apply vertical canyoning skills
  • SISOCVE411A Apply vertical caving skills
  • SISOCLN302A Apply climbing skills on natural surfaces

Or have reasonable equivalent experience

Complex Vertical rescue Hold the unit 'Perform vertical rescues' (SISOVTR301A) and hold relevant multi-pitch competencies, or have reasonable equivalent experience

What will it cost?

The course fee is $450:

  Due date Amount
Deposit January 31 2019 $150
Balance March 1 2019 $300


  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Use of personal equipment (harness, helmet, carabiners, belay devices, etc)
  • Use of specialist group equipment (cave ladders, rescue eights, pulleys, etc)
  • Use of climbing shoes for climbers
  • Use of ropes
  • Shirt


  • transport to/from Cooinda Burrong Scout Camp

How do I apply?

Applications open at on November 14 2018 and close on January 31 2019.

Who do I contact for further information?

For more information, refer to the participant information document. If you still have questions, contact Lachlan Shield at

Share page