Up in Glory or Down in Flames

The training is over.

Tomorrow evening five other guide-candidates and myself will be meeting our three examiners to begin our Rock Guide Exam from the American Mountain Guide Association.  AMGA exams are multi-day, "practical" exams where one candidate guides another candidate and an examiner on a climb or ski to demonstrate competentcy.  In this instance, we'll have five days to "get your guide-on."

I've been here for several weeks warming up on the sandstone of Red Rocks, which I quickly realized I haven't climbed on since I took my Advanced Rock Guide Course in 2005!  Unless you routinely pull down on southwest sandstone a refresher is certainly necessary.  Many of the crimps and edges are a result of patina flakes that just don't look solid.  Especially after four years of climbing almost exclusively on rock-solid, cut and cracked granite!  So it certainly took me a few days to start trusting the "snappy" looking flakes.

We'll be climbing grade III to V routes up to 5.10c (or higher) in difficulty, so I'm not sure that I'll be able to keep the site updates during the exam.  I'll certainly try, and you can always check my Facebook page for evening updates.