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RMI Guides Hone Their Craft in Colorado

From Dan May

At the beginning of April a crop of RMI guides including myself, Leif Bergstrom, Henry Coppolillo, Lacie Smith, Tatum Whatford, and George Hedreen, headed off to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to work on honing our alpine guide skills with the help of the AMGA. We split our time between Boulder and Estes Park, Colorado while completing the Alpine Guide Course. Often in these courses, you are amongst colleagues spread across other guiding companies, however in this instance, we had the opportunity to work and learn together. Being able to sharpen our guiding skills in alpine terrain amongst our peers that we work with in the North Cascades, Denali, and South America was a great opportunity.

Practicing terrain belays

These courses offer us the chance to add additional tools to our ever-growing toolkit as guides while being reviewed, critiqued, and taught by the AMGA instructors. While romping around the Flat Irons, Eldorado Canyon, and Tyndall Gorge of Rocky Mountain National Park, we took turns climbing rock, ice, snow, and mixed routes while guiding each other through the terrain. These chances and skills as a guide are invaluable. It is easy to convince your friends to go climbing with you, but to convince your friends to let you guide them through peculiar terrain to practice your techniques and skill sets is another story.

Leading a pitch of mixed climbing.

At the end of the nine days, all RMI guides successfully completed the course and had a great time doing so. Now we are all turning our sights to Ashford and Mt. Rainier in preparation for another great summer of climbing.

George, Lacie, and Dan practicing short roping.


Comments (1)

Thank you for sharing how you, as guides, maintain & improve your skills. I hope to climb with RMI this year. I wish you all a safe and healthy climbing season!!

Posted by: James O’Neil on

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