Join the Pictured rocks climbing academy


Youth Climbers

 The PRCA is open to boys and girls beginning at age 7 through completion of high school. We climb mostly in Marquette and Munising, Michigan, and attend climbing festivals throughout the Midwest. 

The PRCA is for climbers of all experience levels - we welcome any youth interested in trying rock or ice climbing!  

Climbing - No Experience Necessary!

No experience or gear is needed to climb with us! Climbers with all levels of experience are welcome. We emphasize teaching and practicing climbing safety. Kids are able to learn climbing safety basics and continue to grow their knowledge and skills throughout their time being a part of the PRCA. 

The PRCA climbs indoors weekly during the school year following the Public School calendar. Most of our indoor climbs are at the PEIF climbing wall at Northern Michigan University, and sometimes at Hangdog Bouldering Gym in South Marquette. 

We also have monthly outdoor climbing outings lead by professional guides where our climbers get to test out their skills on rock and ice -- and all gear is provided! 

PRCA Membership

Being a member of the Pictured Rocks Climbing Academy means participating! Whether it's climbing, volunteering, attending festivals or events, if you are interested in joining the PRCA all that's required is to come to as many of these events as you're able! There is no cost to become a member of the PRCA. 

There are (reduced) costs associated with our guided climbing outings and some other events. We strive to keep this group low-cost so anyone can participate. Scholarships and accommodations are available for those who need them.

Climbers and volunteers interested in joining the PRCA need to sign a Liability Waiver and a Code of Ethics to join, send us an email if you would like a copy in advance!

What pictured rocks climbing academy members learn


Some of the things PRCA members learn are:

  • Climbing safety and hazard management
  • Equipment
  • Knots and climbing systems, belaying technique
  • Rock climbing terminology, guide books, route selection and climbing grades
  • Climbing anchor setup
  • Leave No Trace Ethics
  • Training for climbing
  • and much more! 


Climbing Mentors

Bryan DeAugustine


Bryan climbed for the first time at Inside Moves in Grand Rapids, MI while in college at Grand Valley State University during the early 1990’s. He moved to the U.P. in 1995 and never looked back. He claims the Tetons of Wyoming as his home mountain range for climbing and skiing, and escapes to Mexico often for a change of perspective, surfing and spearfishing the mainland’s Pacific coast and the Baja Peninsula. On rest days, he rides single track close to home here in Marquette. Bryan has been guiding climbing since the early 2000’s. He’s an inaugural member of the Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals climbing rescue team. 

Bryan has been married to his wife Heather for over 20 years and can routinely be found chasing their daughter and son twins, Bailey and Jackson, around their favorite climbing routes, ski descents and waves. Bryan holds a degree in history, English and teaching from GVSU and a Master’s in Administration from Northern Michigan University. He is currently the President of the PRCA. 

Laura Slavsky


A Marquette, Michigan native, Laura has been climbing since 2014. She graduated from Alma College in 2018 with degrees in Environmental Science and Spanish, upon which she returned to Marquette because she loves the area. During her time at Alma, she worked at the rock wall, helped host a semesterly youth climbers club, and was President of the Alma College Climbing Club. 

She has worked with school-aged kids K-12 in her work as a paraprofessional and at local after-school programs. She is passionate about sharing her love of climbing with others and hopes to help play a part in mentoring future generations of climbers. 

Laura is the current Executive Director of the PRCA. She is very excited to foster a love of climbing in youth climbers, and is looking forward to learning and growing through this experience. 

Kendra Stritch


Kendra Stritch, based in Stillwater, Minnesota, began climbing in 2006. She made history in 2014 when she became the first North American to win a stage of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. In 2016 Kendra finished sixth overall in speed after three top ten results.

Kendra takes motivation and inspiration from the support of local and international communities. She is passionate about sharing all aspects of climbing with everyone; you will find her at as many festivals and gatherings, and is passionate about introducing youth and women to rock climbing and ice climbing. She enjoys sharing her knowledge through mentorship and coaching of anyone who’s psyched to learn and have fun.

When Kendra’s not on the World Cup competition circuit you’ll find her climbing hidden gems around the Great Lakes or scaling multi-pitch ice and mountains in the Canadian Rockies, her second home.