Outdoor Skills And Thrills


COVID-19 has had a deep impact on our businesses and community in Northwest Ontario.  At Outdoor Skills And Thrills we have been working diligently in this ever-changing environment to create a working policy to keep our participants, guides, and community safe while we start to explore the rock again. On Friday June 12, 2020 we began to relaunch our 2020 rock climbing & ice climbing programs. Modifications have been made to the group size, approach to program delivery, and required personal protective equipment to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

We all need to be active participants in this plan.

Please read over the following details outlining the updates to our participants and what we are excited to offer. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.



Aric Fishman

Owner & Guide – Outdoor Skills And Thrills


What You Need To Know About COVID-19:

  • The virus originated in animals but mutated to spread in humans.
  • Similarly to the flu, the virus spreads from person-to-person via respiratory droplets, most frequently through close contact.
  • Evidence suggests that the coronavirus may remain viable for hours on surfaces.
  • High risk populations for severe illness include older adults, people with weakened immune systems and those with chronic medical conditions.
  • Symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pressure and discomfort in the chest.
  • Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus.


Hygiene and Preventative Measures:

✓ Wash hands regularly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

✓ Avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth.

✓ Always clean your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and after using the restroom.

✓ Wash or sanitize your hands regularly.

✓ Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the sleeve in your elbow crease.

✓ Keep sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and tissues around you to encourage regular cleaning.

✓ Avoid touching other people, including handshakes and hugs.

✓ Stay home if you are sick.


Some operational modifications:

In an effort to ensure the safety of our participants, guides, and community we have made the following adjustments to our standard operations and programs.


Private/Group Adventures and Courses – All adventures and courses can be booked as a private outing (1-on-1 or private group) for up to 10 people. All of our rock & ice climbing programs will be carefully run in an effort to avoid exposure to individuals outside of existing circles.


Public Adventures & Courses – For the time being we will not be posting any weekly public adventures or courses for the general public to join in to. 


Events Calendar – Our Events Calendar typically displays all of the public adventures and courses that are available to be booked by the public, now however the Events Calendar will be used to display which dates are already reserved/unavailable & which outings are closed/open to other participants. 


Hiking & Snowshoeing – In an effort to create recreation which lends itself to physical distancing we will be expanding our programs to now offer epic guided hikes & sightseeing tours. 


Climbing consulting (Ask a Guide) – Aric Fishman is available to consult on skills, route beta or outdoor plans to help you prepare and be safe on your own climbing adventures.


Some ways we are keeping you, us, and the general public safe:


Bookings and registration process is contactless and all done online

  • Online payments, virtual information packages, forms filled out and submitted digitally.


All of the climbing equipment used on an outing is quarantined for 72 hours (3 days) before & after use.

  • Any equipment that is given to clients will be dedicated strictly for them to use throughout the excursion, and will be then quarantined for 3 days after use.
  • Equipment not to be shared between participants in order to reduce the risk of transmission.


All guides must ensure they are feeling well and notify the group prior to and after an excursion if any symptoms develop. Temperatures will be monitored regularly and checked prior to an excursion. Guides equipped with PPE

  • If guides must be in close proximity with participants or the general public PPE will be used (Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer).
  • Participants are asked to bring their own PPE, however supplies will be available for participants to use and purchase as well if needed.


All participants must ensure they are feeling well and have no known exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19. Guests will be asked to complete a screening questionnaire,  prior to booking and as well sign a declaration of health and exposure prior to the excursion.

Sample of Screening Questionnaire


Wherever possible, participants will be asked to bring their own gear which will not be in contact with the guide or public, such as helmets, harness, and shoes. Where cross-contamination is unavoidable, gear that must come into contact with both clients and guides will be provided by Outdoor Skills And Thrills.


Participant & Guide Safety Oath: 

“I will adhere to all recommended guidelines given by the Ministry of Health, and Outdoor Skills And Thrills.” 

“I will sanitize my hands before & after touching any mutually used equipment” 

“I will maintain a minimum of 2 meter distance from others who are not already part of my inner circle.”

“I will leave the trail clear and ask others walking through to keep a 2 meter distance as well.”

“I will be diligent to not touch my face, or come within 2 meters of someone who is not already a close contact of mine during an Outdoor Skills And Thrills excursion”


Distance – Whenever applicable, guests will maintain proper physical distancing from the guide and general public.

PPE – Whenever guests must be in close proximity with a guide or general public, they will use PPE in the form of mask & sanitized or gloved hands. Participants must provide their own PPE according to our guidelines, or will be available for purchase.


Outdoor Skills And Thrills commits to adhere to all relevant recommended guidelines set out by the Provincial and Federal Ministries of Health. 

Outdoor Skills And Thrills commits to adhere to all relevant recommended guidelines set out by NOTO (Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario) – click here to see COVID19 Best Practices document.

Participant’s records will be kept for the foreseeable future to ensure ease of case tracing if such information is required.

Guide’s records will be kept for the foreseeable future to ensure ease of case tracing if such information is required.

All gear that may come within a 3 meter distance or in physical contact with any participant or guide will be cleaned to recommended specifications or isolated/quarantined for 72 hours (3 days) if unable to sanitize the material (such as ropes/harnesses/etc).



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