This day that I am speaking of has led me to where I am today with my career and hopefully will continue to push me in the direction I am going. It happened in the spring of 2008 while I was doing an internship with Solid Rock Climbers for Christ. SRCFC has an office in Bend, Oregon where I spent most of that spring. Most of the week, I was sitting in the office doing work on websites, databases, or emailing people. But three days a week, I had the chance to climb at Smith Rock. One of these weekends, I was asked if I wanted to help take some Boy Scouts climbing at Smith Rock. I agreed and started to get excited.
While I was in college, I would periodically take out beginner climbers when we would go to Arkansas as a group. Many of them spent time in the gym but had never climbed outside and I was giving them that opportunity. Near the end of college, I realized that the career path I had started to pursue was not going to work out so I started to figure things out. This is when I came across the American Mountain Guides Association’s website and requirements for the Rock Guide Corse. I remember reading the requirements for the course and realized that I didn’t know how to protect routes with trad gear and that I had not done any multipitch climbs. I figured that I would learn how to do these things and start working towards these requirements.
Fast forward back to that spring of 2008. I had been trad climbing for over a year at this point and I had only a few months before this, I did my first multipitch climb at Red Rock in Nevada. Now I was being given a chance to “guide” these Boy Scouts up some fun routes. Rick, the guy in charge of the outing gave me a quick overview of what we would be doing the night before. He had told me that we would be climbing on the pillars on Staender Ridge. The routes are primarily single pitch but offer cool little summits and great views of the park and the Cascades to the west.
I had a great time that day. I was able to take a group of the guys up some cool routes and we all returned back to the car with no issues that day. This day really lit the spark in me to pursue guiding and climbing instruction as a career. During this time of my life, I found myself continually climbing with people who had not developed the skills to climb certain routes and I would gladly put them up for them or teach the people how to clean routes or lead. These days were just as good as the days that I was able to make progress on a project or climb a really sweet route. I was allowing someone else to enjoy what I enjoyed.
Continue ahead to 2010 and that summer, I finally decided to put the money down to gain training and hopefully certification through the AMGA and then find a job guiding. I ended up taking a Single Pitch Instructor Course and a few days later the SPI Assessment with Ron Funderburke in Arkansas. I gained a ton of knowledge and a new appreciation for guides. This led me to apply to Fox Mountain Guides to become a guide where they thought it wise to hire me. Since then I have grown quite a bit as a guide and continue to do so daily and I love nearly every minute of it.
As an initial post to this new site, I wanted something that was meaningful to me and hopefully to all of you. One thing that I would love to hear is what ignited that spark that took you to where you are today?