A colleage posed the question this morning. “Are you realy going to be the first?”
Well, if I’m not, no one else will. I am choosing to step up and step out. I recognize that there are significant hazards ahead, but I am prepared to manage these risks and mitigate the hazards as they appear. I am ready for the new era in guiding and instruction. I will be constantly reassessing along the way.
So, what is the plan? Well, first we are only going to book private guests or parties of immediate contacts. We are also only doing outdoor activities. From what we have read from the guidance, being outside is a benefit. There is more air movement so the exposure is lower. We are doing only day trips. We are not doing any group activity for a while. We never really did this anyway, but I believe this to be a strong precaution. We plan to offer a hand wash opportunity before and after climbing as well as doing regular hand sanitizer applications. We will all wear a mask of some kind when social/physical distancing isn’t possible. We will brief each morning when we meet and I may ask some pointed questions, and you may ask them of me. Gear that we use is going into a 72hour hold at the end of each day for your safety and for mine.
I am also going to remind you that you can be a willing participant in your day. I am going to ask you to buy into our new normal. We will implement some strategies to stay ‘clean’. Please speak up and communicate. I am going to ask you to bring a few things with you. These things include your own climbing gear. Of course I can provide it, but it will be easier if you provide your own. I will also ask you to bring belay gloves that you have or can get- any light leather palmed glove will work. Have a mask with you. You know that buff you brought with you in the winter, that’ll work. Please bring it. I am also going to ask you to fill out some updated risk management paperwork. It’s really not different, but it’s new.
We can’t share food or drinks. I can’t make those Logan Bars to share right now, and unfortunately, I can’t try your wife’s famous chocolate chip cookies. I’m sorry. Maybe we can try them again when this is all behind us. We can’t even carpool to the crag. As much as I prefer to hop in your car and go with you, I can’t. What even more weird, is that I can’t give you a handshake or that hug we all so desperately need.
Most of all, I want you to know that I’m taking this seriously and I trust you are too. We need to be clear and honest if this is going to work for us. I am planning to be conservative, not take additional risks, and I’m asking you to do the same. To that end, we’re going to start by asking only local guests to book days in our local zones with your favorite local guide. That means we’re not going to the Gunks or North Conway or the Dacks yet. As things improve we can step farther into the pool, but for now it’s the shallow end. We are also going to provide mostly day trips and single pitch climbing experiences. There are lot of options here and I’m happy to explore some with you, especially the ones you haven’t been to yet. We are going to need to be patient with each other.
Have a question? Simply ask. I’ll answer it the best I can. Most of all, I’m happy that we are able to get out again. So many of you called to see if I would take you out and I’m happy to see that I’m seeing the light through the tunnel now. In five days time, we can start to see if it make sense to launch again.
Standby. Lace up. It’s time.