About Us

Mission Statement

The International Rock Climbing School (IRCS) is a non-profit organization founded in 2000. The IRCS is committed to offering diverse climbing and outdoor programs to children of all ages, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Knowing the importance of a comprehensive and far-reaching approach, we have developed a broad curriculum designed to build climbing skills from the most basic to the most advanced, establish self-confidence, and instill a spirit of cooperation and teamwork among all our students. By incorporating simple instruction into a program of extensive hands-on experience, our students will gain the skills, discipline, and confidence to succeed in any future endeavor, while at the same time developing a genuine love and respect for nature and the outdoors.

School Philosophy

We believe the best way for a student to learn and truly understand rock climbing is by following a long-term, highly structured educational program. Unlike many other activities open to children, rock climbing cannot be adequately learned in a weekend or a few weeks during the summer. Rather, students must study and experience the obstacles and complexities of safe climbing over a much longer period: a period extending even into years. Only through extended and determined study can a child gain the confidence and develop the communication skills necessary to lead or even simply undertake a safe wilderness expedition. With this in mind, the IRCS offers a graduated program along which students will be able to both mark their progress from novice scrambler to expert climber and achieve a comprehensive and detailed outdoor education.

Aleksey Shuruyev (Director/Founder)

Oct. 6Aleksey started climbing as a teenager, in the Caucasian Mountains near his hometown of Krasnodar, Russia. Since then, he has had 38 years of climbing and mountaineering experience in the Alps, Caucasus, Crimea, Yosemite ,U.S Rocky Mountains, Canada, Mexico, New England and Alaska. Aleksey has put up a dozen first ascents in Alaska, Yosemite, British Columbia, New England and the Caucasus, some of them are featured in the American Alpine Journals, Rock and Ice and Climbing magazine. A teacher by education, he has worked with children of all ages; for the past 24 years in the US, he has developed safety-conscious, well-rounded climbing and other outdoor programs for youngsters and the young at heart.
His students compete at the regional, divisional, national and world levels. Seven of his students became USA Youth Champions and three students won USA College National Championships. 10 of Aleksey’s students made US Youth National Team and competed at the Worlds.
Aleksey is USA climbing coach certified, also a graduate of the Appalachian Mountain Club Leadership School and is also Wilderness First Responder, CPR and First Aid certified. He graduated from Krasnodar Mechanic Technology College (1985) with degree in engineering, and from Kiev University (1995) with MA degree in History. Married for 30 years and has two daughters.

Most frequently asked question to Aleksey is: what is your hardest climb? Here are some videos which can answer this questions:


Not finished yet, but getting there.


General Information

Rock climbing can be divided into two distinct though interdependent branches: individual climbing skills and collective teamwork. At the IRCS we develop both of these facets concurrently in order to create solid all-around climbers. Beginning with the basics of knots, ropework, body movement, hand- and footwork, we will give every IRCS student the skills he or she needs to climb everything from sheer walls to cracks and overhangs. We will nurture individual climbing excellence in each of our students. Simultaneously, we will teach our students the necessity of good teamwork in order to succeed in any outdoor expedition. They will learn communication, problem-solving skills, group safety, collective action, and the joy of being part of a successful team.

We are constantly improving our programs to fit our students better and welcome any help or advice from all parents. The chief advantage of having small classes is that we are able to build strong, long-term relationships with all our students and their families. Only by working closely together with each parent can we achieve our most important goal: great physical condition and health, strong connection with Nature which will give kids confidence in their entire lives.

If you have any questions or would like to enroll, please go to our Programs page.