Thursday, September 17, 2015

Three Things Thursday, Issue #2

This week, summer ends. Officially. It's snowing some places, with perfect rock climbing temperatures in many others. Git some. 

Warbonnet Peak, Winds. 9/5/2015


This week's tidbits
  • I know, I know... One of my three things last week was a death too. But damn, it happens. By far the most crushing news in my world this week is the passing of legend and mentor Bela Vadasz. While I would run into him periodically at guide gatherings and in the mountains, my most intimate experience with the guy was during my first AMGA ski course. In 2008 we toured up and down the Sierra, on peaks and terrain spanning hundreds of miles. I was, to put it mildly, starstruck to be skiing with, and learning from, this California and world-wide legend. On that course, near the end, Bela injured himself and had to be evacuated by helicopter. Years later I spoke with the rescuer that day. Dave G, from Inyo County SAR, remembers Bela in excruciating pain but continuing to instruct all of us students. 


  • There are many perspectives from which to view the explosion in popularity of gym climbing. As a climbing professional, I embrace the approach of more and more potential partners and guests. As one who values quiet, open space, I have some trepidation about the onslaught of this athletically-motivated, somewhat outdoors-ignorant cohort. Thankfully, the business as a whole is being proactive with assisting climbers through the gym-to-crag transition. Most readers here have likely already made that transition. We can help out now. I, for one, am stoked to be participating in a few weeks in Access Fund's ROCKProject, Denver. AccessFund is leading the way, while most gyms and large guide services are picking up the momentum with their own "head outside" programs. All such programs emphasize making this transition safely and with due consideration to the natural landscape and environment. It's an honor to be part of a proactive, positive movement at an exciting time in climbing history. 

Bela never withheld the kind words!

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