top of page

Rock Guide Course 2018 - Red Rocks, NV

In the Mountain Guiding profession there is little other than pure experience that can hone your skills in the hills and on the rocks. The books and articles available do a decent job of laying a foundation, however they are no substitute for hands on experience and situationally dependent decision making skills. And although experiential learning is a very valuable tool to me, I am also very thankful for organizations like the AMGA who offer courses to train guides in mountain skills in a hands-on, low stress environment, with real time feedback from experienced instructors in mountain craft. Last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of these courses in Red Rocks, Nevada and learned far more about managing people and decision making than I originally anticipated.

With nearly 8 years of climbing experience and an extensive background knowledge of rope systems and rescue components, I was curious as to what I might learn. In the initial days of the course, it was all a review. The systems, although rusty coming off of 6 months of ski patrolling, were familiar and easy to reacquaint to memory.

After a few days of review, we began talking about efficiency in transitions, station management, and client care. The systems, although familiar, were chosen with thoughtful reasoning and ample anticipation of the subsequent move. The reasonings for choosing particular systems were definitely of the more valuable discussions we had on this course.