Expectations and some more thoughts on the “Rona

Just some ideas regarding climbing during the pandemic we’re are still experiencing, even if it doesn’t make the news anymore….

1. Climbers are social. We’ve all missed each other! However, on a day when others are out, consider where you put your pack down relative to the others that are out. If your pack and gear explosion isn’t 6 feet away from mine, you’re not doing it right.
2. Don’t put your stuff all over. Be reasonably contained. Try to keep random stuff from being everywhere. I’m thinking shoes, slings, bug spray, random gear, car keys, your dog, hammock, etc. try to keep the stuff you’re not using in your backpack. Better yet, leave your hammock and dogs at home.
3. Don’t put your pack at the base of the cliff, against the wall. Put it aside in a spot where it’s unlikely you will impede others ability to get around. It’s likely that you put your pack down against the wall at a route that gets climbed.
4. There’s a lot of people out and about. Be friendly to the neighbors. Say hi and wave.
5. Please stop racking up and packing up in the road. This is so 1990.
6. For heaven’s sake, if you need to get that close to me, wear your face cover. I know it’s unlikely to catch the ‘Rona, but cover up. The state mandate hasn’t yet changed. Stay vigilant.

That is all for now. Thanks for considering all of this.

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Infectious Diseases and Moving Forward

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.

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Good FREE Content on rope stuff here


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Mischevious Black Birds

Corvus corax, the common Raven. People the world over sense a certain kind of personality in ravens. Edgar Allan Poe clearly found them a little creepy. The captive ravens at the Tower of London are beloved and perhaps a little feared: legend has it that if they ever leave the tower, the British Empire will crumble. Native people of the Pacific Northwest regard the raven as an incurable trickster, bringing fire to people by stealing it from the sun, and stealing salmon only to drop them in rivers all over the world.

You sometimes see them in the mountains, undoing the zippers on your cached backpack, or digging up your food bags from under 3 feet of snow.

You might also see ravens in Boston, tying knots in ropes. My buddy has a new side hustle. Check it out: Corvus Professional.

Mountainside Math

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