Friday, May 9, 2014

The Launch of Guided Exposure

Welcome to Guided Exposure

This blog is created to promote adventures in guiding. These adventures are part of a career guiding whitewater, rock climbing and other activities. Through this blog I am giving friends, family, and clients a place to view current adventures I am leading. Moreover I hope to generate interest in other guiding opportunities throughout North America and beyond. Also this blog will showcase the images I capture while traveling this path.

To bring everyone up to speed I arrived in Washington in October 2013. Immediately I found myself paired up with Chris from Seattle and en route to one of the states best traditional climbing routes "Outer Space" on Snow Creek Wall. This route lies with in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. Outer Space is defined as the white streak through the shield on the left side of the wall.

The Shield

This was a great intro climb to Washington granite. With a crux 5.9 traverse on the third pitch, 2 full length pitches of hand size cracks and plenty of chicken heads outside the crack, this is one of the finest multi pitch routes I've done so far. I look forward to leading clients on this route in the future. Sustained exposure, in a beautiful setting, within a wilderness area, overlooking Icicle Canyon provides an exceptional climbing experience.

Chris on Pitch 5
With the summer drawing to a close and winter on the horizon I made my way to Glacier Washington and Mount Baker. This is where Jeremiah and I started the season with a tour on Mount Ruth.

Jere on Mount Ruth

Eventually I landed a ski tech job at the Glacier Ski shop working for John and Drew Adams and an amazing crew of shredders. Here is some of the crew after a dawn patrol shred of Mount Herman.

Peter, Charlie, Woods, and Core

To no surprise the Baker back country truly is legendary. I spent the season exclusively touring on my Venture split board. Most of the time I toured around the Bagley Lakes Arena. This area provides some incredibly steep and varied terrain with easy access. With a base elevation of 4,200' it also provides consistent conditions. 

As the season was firing off I found myself preparing to head back to Colorado so I could spend time with my brother during his spring break. Immediately upon return I was shredding some of the best lines of the season and some of best lines I've ever ridden around the Frisco back country. Including all three chutes on Little Chief, two descents on Mount Royal via Dirty Books exiting left and right, and Willy's Way and a line I have named "The Swell" on Mount Wichita. The Swell is riders left of Willy's and perhaps has seen only a few descents.

Mount Wichita from Chief
After this I was on my way to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area outside Las Vegas Nevada for a rock climbing course with Colorado Mountain College. This amazing opportunity allowed me to learn from American Mountain Guide Association certified Rock Guides Kip Davis and Rainbow Weinstock. Since this course focused on single pitch traditional climbing I was able to assist other students with knots and hitches, belay, and anchor building skills.

Next my brother Justin and I were on our way to Moab Utah to hike, ride, and climb. This was an amazing trip where I was able to show my little brother some of my favorite spots. From Eldorado Canyon to Moab he got the best of the best. From climbing on beautiful multi colored Fountain sandstone to soft splitting Navajo sandstone that creates arches, windows, and towering walls. We hiked, We climbed, and We rode.
Justin and I on T1 in Eldorado Canyon after climbing Swansons Arete
As with all good things this trip had to come to an end. I made my way back to Washington in search of guiding opportunities either on water, rock or both. After interviewing with a number of outfitters I decided to work with The Outdoor Adventure Center based in Index Washington. Through Outdoor Adventures I have the pleasure of guiding different sections of rivers. These include the class III Wenatchee River in Leavenworth Washington and offers big water roller coaster waves through apple orchards on the dry east side of the cascades. This trip is also surrounded by some incredible rock climbing in Tumwater Canyon, Icicle Creek, and The Enchantments. This is where the aforementioned Snow Creek Wall is located. Another great class III trip we offer is the North Fork of the Skykomish River. This wild and scenic trip features big waves and consistent rock bar drops and can be combined with our class IV/V trip on the Main Skykomish. The Main Sky section is one of the main reasons I joined Outdoor Adventures. This trip is varied with class III/IV boulder gardens on the North Fork to its confluence with South Fork creating the Main Skykomish. Subsequently the water flow triples and big water ensues. The Main Sky has rapids such as Big Foot, Butter My Biscuit, Lunch Hole, the ever popular Aquagasm and of course the crux rapid Boulder Drop. With water flows fluctuating between 4,000 and 13,000 cubic feet per second this rapid is either class IV or class V. This section has no shortage of house size pour overs, troughs, and breaking waves. As with the Wenatchee the Skykomish River and the town of Index are located within walking distance to some of the best granite climbing in the state. Namely on the Index Town Walls where there are 6 pitch 500' routes. With a short 1 hour drive from Seattle and the Outdoor Adventure Centers riverside location on the North Fork Skykomish, how could a person go wrong?

Working as a guide in Washington will offer many networking opportunities while progressing my whitewater skills. Furthermore I will be working on prerequisites for future American Mountain Guide Association Rock Guide Certification.

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