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Entries from Guide Grant


RMI Guide: Cody Doolan on the AMGA Rock Instructor Course

I recently completed the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) 10 day Rock Instructor Course (RIC) held at Smith Rock near my home town of Bend, Oregon. The RIC is the first in a series of courses by the AMGA to become certified as a rock or alpine climbing guide. The course exceeded all expectations by provided valuable knowledge and techniques that I can apply not only to rock guiding but to Rainier and much of my personal climbing. During the 10 days, the weather ranged from sweating in a t-shirts to shivering in a down Jacket and although it threatened rain or even snow at times, the weather held nicely the whole course. The Canadian geese had arrived for nesting and were an ever present entertainment of squawking and fighting for nesting sites in the background. What really made this course for me were the quality people I met both instructors and students. We had three instructors that each brought years of unique experiences and different skill sets to the table. This gave a diverse prospective on each topic and provided many learning opportunities. The group dynamic with the other students was awesome and created a very fun learning atmosphere that yielded new friends. My RIC was made financially possible though the RMI / First Ascent Guide Grant and I want to thank them for their generous contribution to the course tuition as I look forward to future courses with the AMGA. RMI Guide Cody Doolan
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RMI Guide Lindsay Mann Takes On AMGA Ski Guides Course

This January 9 - 20, 2012, RMI Guide Lindsay Mann participated in an AMGA Ski Guide Course in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. First Ascent Athletes Zach and Reggie Crist were among her classmates, and First Ascent Athlete Kent McBride was an instructor. The 12 day course focused on various ski guiding techniques such as belayed skiing, short roping, downhill guiding, pace setting, and navigation skills. The course involved resort skiing, sidecountry skiing, backcountry tours, snowcamping, and a yurt trip. Although the course was ski specific, many of these skills are transferable to glacial guiding. During the course Jackson Hole received over a foot of snow, which made for some great skiing. Lindsay plans to take more AMGA courses in the future.
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RMI Guides Learn Valuable Instruction in the AIARE Level 1 Instructor Course

RMI Guides Lindsay Mann and Pete Van Deventer recently met up in Frisco, Colorado, for the AIARE Level I Avalanche Instructor Training Course. AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) is the main course provider for avalanche courses and training in the United States. For three days Lindsay and Pete along with 16 other future instructors discussed current avalanche knowledge, curriculum material, and teaching techniques. Classroom time was balanced by field sessions, ski touring the very accessible terrain around Vail Pass. While the snowpack so far this year is relatively uninteresting from an avalanche perspective, the opportunity to trade ideas with 16 other peers and watch each other in the field was a great experience for both Lindsay and Pete. Many thanks to First Ascent and RMI for providing a Guide Grant to aid Lindsay and Pete in moving into an avalanche education instructor role. Look for Pete and Lindsay ski touring around the Aspen, Colorado, area when they are not guiding trips on Rainier, Alaska, and beyond for RMI.
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RMI Guide Zeb Blais Recaps the AMGA Rock Instructor Course

I was a bit worried on my first night at Smith Rock State Park when my Nalgene bottle froze solid over night. How were we possibly going to climb when it was a struggle just to keep the numbness from our fingers and toes? I was in Central Oregon for an American Mountain Guide Association Rock Instructor Course with four of my fellow RMI guides: Katie Bono, Levi Kepsel, Elias de Andres Martos, and Solveig Waterfall. All of us were on the ten day course with the aid of the RMI/First Ascent Guide Grant. This educational Grant was established to promote the continued professional development of RMI guides. We were looking forward to that instruction as well as some sunny rock climbing after a long season of guiding in Washington and Alaska but the weather would need to cooperate. I had heard that our instructors were hardened veterans of the rock realm, but without some really good tricks this weather seemed like too big a hurdle to overcome. I quickly thought about what my option were and did not come up with much except to kick myself for signing up for a rock course in November. As it turned out I needn’t have worried. On day one the weather was much warmer than the days of the previous week and the course kicked off without a hitch. Instructors Dale and Tom brought eons of experience to each day’s lessons. We tried to soak up every bit we could. The best analogy I could come up with for this was trying to take a drink of water from a fire hose. Every day added another layer of complexity in strategy and technical systems. And the weather kept cooperating! Day after day we received ominous weather forecasts but the weather never materialized and we climbed for eight days straight! When the snow finally did arrive we had moved indoors for the classroom portion of our course. Perfect timing. By the end we all agreed how far we had progressed. We were blown away by the mastery of rock that our instructors possess and thankful that a little rubbed off on us. We can’t wait to put our newfound skills to use guiding next summer in the North Cascades and elsewhere. We hope to see you there! RMI Guide Zeb Blais
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