Despite this recent warm-up and rain event, Winter is now here to stay and a couple weekends ago Petra Cliffs Climbing Guides got out in Smugglers Notch for a day of Guide Training. It was a day filled with active learning, encouraging reminders and dusting off the cobwebs while having fun in the sun. Petra Cliffs Co-Owners Steve and Andrea Charest took the opportunity to share some of their knowledge with the rest of us and a moment to evaluate and offer up valuable feedback to our climbing guides on their performance ‘mock-guiding’ other guides.
For guides, climbing is second nature, but climbing isn’t guiding. Being a highly skilled and strong climber doesn’t mean you can be a competent or qualified guide. What a guide is is someone much more than the person who puts up the rope on that route you’re looking to climb. They are a mentor, an encouraging and aware climbing partner and a person you can trust has your best interest at heart. They are the ones who wish to see you grow to love the sport. They make sure and understand that the days you spend with them is an investment in your future and they want to give you the best return on that investment. They are a means to avoid troublesome misunderstandings and are there to get you the correct information the first time. Just as doctors are seen as specialists in the medical field, qualified climbing guides should also be held to professional standards and at Petra Cliffs, this is what we are striving for in our guides. All of our Guides have some level of AMGA training, and while there are benefits to a higher level of training and reaping those rewards from that guide; all of us here at Petra Cliffs encourage one another to pursue the highest level of training to deliver the appropriate level of professionalism. So whatever your winters goals are this year, we’re here to help you attain those goals by the best means possible and with the best training possible. Give us a call or talk to us in the gym about getting into the mountain and onto the ice. Open enrollment clinics and private guiding is available all winter long. Here are some pictures from the great day out guiding in one of the best winter playgrounds in Vermont and the Northeast.