The Pacific NW has proven to be the new promised land (at least for me). All the amenities you could ask for in Seattle and easy access to some of the most diverse climbing terrain on the planet have really hit home for me.
Most of my work this summer has been on Mount Rainier, via the Emmons and Disappointment Cleaver routes, however I have also been able to get up to Mount Baker for a few courses. Beyond the glaciated terrain the rock climbing is phenomenal and geologically diverse (in fact mind boggling)
The only caveat of the summer has been the extremely low snow pack and increased objective risk of climbing. We are seeing late August conditions already, which has increased the use of ladders, the size of crevasses, and rock fall. It is definitely an interesting year to be guiding in the Cascades!
Perhaps the best part of the job is working with clients. They come from all over the world and bring tons of different experiences to the mountain. Often it is the conversations that make the trips so memorable. Pushing clients further than they thought they could go and getting them to their personal high point, be it the summit or otherwise has proven rewarding.
I recently also completed the new Alpine Skills Course through the AMGA. We spent a few days at Mount Erie and then on Baker honing some old skills and learning some new. The course left me feeling like I am on the right path and keeping up with the industry.
It feels like I have just started fitting in and yet the season is already half way done. Looking forward to a few more months here and then returning to Chiang Mai for some relaxed sport climbing!
|early season trip up the DC|
|Ingraham Flats camp 11,200'|
|Salz looking epic on the approach to Mount Baker|
|clients after a 6 day trip on Baker|
|Baker from the Squak glacier side|
|descending with a client in amazing weather on Rainier|
|Emmons glacier from camp|
|crossing the crater at sunrise|
|sunrise summit with clients|